James O'Brien

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin

Orpik says Crosby, Ovechkin are ‘opposites’


For a decade now, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have been subject to sometimes breathless comparisons.

That’s what happens when you’re the two biggest scoring sensations in your sport, but there have been times in which people have jumped to some strange conclusions about each star.

Brooks Orpik is one of the only people who could probably provide a credible account of what the two forwards are like, especially off the ice.

Those hoping to drum up differences between the two might be heartened to hear his thoughts about just how much they contrast, as CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley reports.

“They couldn’t be any more different,” Orpik said. “They are two of the bigger names in the game, but in terms of the way they carry themselves off the ice they couldn’t be more opposites.”

Orpik said that Crosby displays a serious demeanor “90 percent of the time” and is something of a student of the game. Meanwhile, Ovechkin isn’t necessarily all-hockey, all-the-time in the same way.

(Cue certain people making the same conclusions as always, then?)

Anyway, for all the eye-rolling this induces for some, it’s interesting to get some more insight from the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Perhaps it might get you a little more revved up for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN?

Related: Teams excited for playoff atmosphere in October.

Canucks halt Habs’ historic streak at 9

Carey Price

Well, it had to end some time.

The Montreal Canadiens already made some history – or at least joined some very short lists of teams in history – by winning their first nine games in regulation.

They were eyeing some more on Tuesday, yet the Vancouver Canucks ended that run at nine (and emphatically so) by winning 5-1.

On the bright side (or negative side if you love drama), the game was lopsided enough that people are unlikely to grasp at straws that this moment or that supposed blown call kept Montreal from keeping its great run going.

Instead, most Montreal fans and observers would prefer to put this behind them.

Vancouver came into this one hoping to avoid being on the wrong side of history, and the Canucks succeeded.

If you want to single out a performance, maybe look to Jared McCann (pictured), who scored two of the three first-period goals for Vancouver.

On a night that largely consisted of good news for Vancouver, they did see a tough injury for Brandon Prust.

Either way, the streak is over.

The question remains: will Montreal make more meaningful history in, say, June?

Boudreau admits latest Ducks loss is ‘demoralizing’

Bruce Boudreau

The latest Anaheim Ducks’ defeat – one in which they lost despite going up three goals in the first period – has elicited three types of responses from hockey fans.

1. Some say “Aw, poor Bruce Boudreau.”

2. Others laugh at his misfortune.

3. Many opt for both.

That 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, particularly losing even a standings point thanks to Antoine Roussel‘s late goal, could probably be summed up by this.

How does Boudreau feel, though? Is he furious? Maybe he’s making excuses?

No, it seems like he’s a combination of defeated and bewildered.

“It’s a 3-0 lead. You should not lost a game like that,” Boudreau said, according to the Ducks. “We won’t sugarcoat it – it’s demoralizing.”

Despite closing off a back-to-back game tonight (and a third period in which the Stars generated a 17-2 shot advantage), Boudreau insisted that it wasn’t a matter of running out of gas.

This post briefly discusses why Boudreau might deserve more time despite many calling for his head, yet quotes like these do indeed make you wonder if he’s losing his wits.

After a night like this, Boudreau’s seat is likely quite a bit hotter, so we’ll need to wait and see what happens.

For more on the loss, click here.

Bad as it Getz: Ducks run out of gas, blow lead vs. Stars


At first, it seemed like the sort of situation that might rally the Anaheim Ducks, as they shook off bad news about Ryan Getzlaf and managed an early 3-0 lead.

That edge evaporated, however, and the story changed to “Hey, at least the Ducks might salvage a point tonight, not so bad considering back-to-back games.”

Then … well, Antoine Roussel scored with about a minute and a half left, giving the Stars a 4-3 win and a true kick to the groin for the Ducks. They get nothing but regrets.

It couldn’t be more obvious that Anaheim ran out of gas in this one, either, although Bruce Boudreau denies as much.

The Ducks were up 3-0 heading into the first intermission before Dallas tied it up in the second period, with Anaheim managing a small 18-17 SOG edge.

The bottom fell out for Anaheim in the third period, as the Stars poured it on. The Ducks managed just two shots in the final frame (versus 17 for Dallas).

It seemed like Frederik Andersen might bail them out, but then he caved. Just brutal.

Before you call for Boudreau’s head

Allow this quick note while you gather your pitchforks.

Anaheim’s about to close out a five-game road trip against the Blues on Thursday.

They’ll play six of seven games at home to begin November, so why not see if Boudreau can right the ship then? (See their schedule here.)

Now, things get hairy after that (five of six on the road), but maybe the Ducks will be in a better place then?

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; these are absolutely the types of losses that might inspire drastic changes. Should Anaheim cut the cord with Boudreau or give him a little extra time?

Allen shines for Blues as Bolts suffer second straight shutout


You can make an argument that both the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning were in a tough way on Tuesday.

Sure, the Blues’ situation stands as more obvious.

They’re just getting bombarded by injury issues right now, forcing them to show resiliency early in the season in more ways than one.*

The Lightning didn’t really have it easy, either, as tonight’s game closed out a daunting four-game road trip through the Central Division.

In other words, both teams had excuses, even if neither seemed to lean on them. Ultimately, it was the Blues who fought through their challenges the best, as Jake Allen earned his first shutout of 2015-16 in a 2-0 win for St. Louis.

Scott Gomez scored the meaningful goal in this one, as Troy Brouwer found an empty net.

Those who easily panic will note that the Lightning have now suffered two straight shutout losses. The effort was there for the Bolts, yet Tampa Bay’s been a bit up-and-down to start off what’s a significant season for the franchise.

* – See their six-game road trip from Oct. 10-20 as injuries began to pile up.