Alex Ovechkin

Everywhere Man: Ovechkin makes NHL’s first- and second-All Star Teams


The NHL has announced that Alex Ovechkin has been named to its 2013 All-Star team.

Check that — teams.

Ovechkin, the Hart Trophy winner as league MVP, received enough votes from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to earn the right wing spot on the first team…and enough votes to earn the left wing spot on the second team.

The news, as you’d expect, has drawn some criticism:

Larry Brooks, New York Post

Craig Custance, ESPN

Stephen Whyno, Canadian Press

Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo!

This development overshadowed the fact other players were awarded for their achievements this season (and no, not every spot went to Ovechkin).

Here are the All-Star Teams:

First Team

G: Sergei Bobrovsky

D: P.K. Subban

D: Ryan Suter

RW: Alex Ovechkin

C: Sidney Crosby

LW: Chris Kunitz

Second Team

G: Henrik Lundqvist

D: Kris Letang

D: Francois Beauchemin

RW: Martin St. Louis

C: Jonathan Toews

LW: Alex Ovechkin

In case you’re curious, the PHWA did send out an email to members specifying that Ovechkin had been playing right wing this season.

So,  on the premise left wing votes were erroneous, it’s Edmonton’s Taylor Hall getting the shaft. He finished third among all left wingers in voting, with 205 — 12 fewer than Ovechkin.

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks