Ovechkin credits ‘unbelievable’ Lundqvist for beating Capitals


Dressed in a black Nike t-shirt that read “Where the —– is the finish line?”, Alex Ovechkin met with the Washington media today, one day after his Capitals were eliminated by the New York Rangers.

How could Ovechkin explain what happened to the Capitals, who despite their high-powered offense couldn’t even muster a goal in Games 6 and 7 losses?

Answer: Henrik Lundqvist.

“Almost one guy beat us,” said Ovechkin, per CSN Washington. “Of course they have a good team. They have great players, a great defensive team. But the goalie out there was unbelievable. It was like he was best in the league.”

Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 32 goals during the regular season, only managed to beat Lundqvist once on 30 shots.

As for Ovechkin’s suggestion following Game 7 that the refereeing favored the Rangers in Game 6 because the NHL “wanted” the series to go the distance?

“That’s not my call,” he said today. “I don’t skate with a whistle. I skate with a stick. My job is to play the game and somebody else’s job is to look at the game and make decisions. … I said everything last night.”

Ovechkin will now travel overseas to represent Russia at the World Championships in Sweden and Finland.

Image via Stephen Whyno, Washington Times

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…