Few, if any, goalies have seen Alex Ovechkin in playoff form as often as Henrik Lundqvist. One can guess that the New York Rangers’ star netminder is probably all too familiar with seeing scary shots from the Washington Capitals’ key winger.
Ovechkin seems to be at his trigger-happy best in Game 1, and not just on that laser shot that currently stands as the only goal. It’s possible that he’s always yapping, really, but you get the impression that his trash talk gets a little louder when his game is on.
Microphones caught a great moment between the two, as Ovechkin taunted Lundqvist with “All series long baby, all series long” shortly after that goal:
That can’t be music to Lundqvist’s (or Rangers fans’) ears …
Here’s the goal that maybe left Ovechkin feeling extra bold:
The Buffalo Sabres’ coaching search isn’t expected to ramp up until next week, but the Associated Press reports that Todd McLellan and Luke Richardson are among the “initial candidates” for the gig.
That same report indicates that Mike Babcock would be a likely candidate, as well, if he decides to leave Detroit. (One could probably insert Babcock’s name into any team’s wish list, though, right?)
It sounds like Sabres owner Terry Pegula has some other fish to fry in regards to the NFL Draft, as he’s also the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Once the smoke clears on that, the AP reports that things might really get cooking.
One factor might just be familiarity after Sabres GM Tim Murray cited less-than-ideal comfort with former Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, according to the AP:
In firing Nolan, Murray said he had difficulty establishing a good working relationship with the former coach over the past year. Murray called it a priority to have a comfort level when it comes to hiring his next coach.
Richardson certainly fits that category, while Babcock and Murray have ties that go back to Anaheim in 2002. Babcock coached the Ducks from 2002-04, when Murray served as the team’s player personnel director.
McLellan would be an interesting choice, as he’d go from a weird semi-rebuild in San Jose to a full-fledged one in Buffalo. Just imagine how often he’d make these faces with the Sabres, considering that he was grimacing so often with a fairly successful Sharks squad:
The New York Rangers looked great during much of the first period of Game 1, but Alex Ovechkin’s one of those rare snipers who can change things with the flick of a wrist.
New York managed a 12-7 shot advantage in the opening frame, yet Ovechkin’s attempt was the only one to hit a net, giving the Washington Capitals an early 1-0 lead. Should Henrik Lundqvist have stopped this laser?
(Easier said than done, obviously.)
Red Wings GM states the obvious: They want Babcock back
Get this: the Detroit Red Wings want to keep Mike Babcock.
That seems like an obvious thought, although in the world of sports management, you never really know. Red Wings GM Ken Holland stated his franchise’s desire to keep their storied, scowling coach in the fold, as MLive.com reports.
“He’s regarded in the industry as one of the top coaches in the game, if not the top coach,” Holland said. “He’s in the prime of his career. Our hope is that Mike wants to stay, but he’s positioned himself to have the option to explore.”
Maybe most interestingly, the long-tenured general manager gave a window in which he’d like to retain the long-tenured coach. Holland said he’d like to at least get something done “in the month of May.”
Really, that gives Babcock plenty of time to survey the many openings (and likely some lofty offers) and choose the location that fits his needs best. It’s reasonable to think that Detroit might end up being his choice, even if there’s the impression he might be leaning toward something different.
In the meantime, observe these photos of Babcock first becoming the Red Wings’ coach many moons ago.