Quick Links

Chimera takes aim at Bettman


Chimera takes aim at Bettman

The Capitals were supposed to be finishing up their preseason schedule this weekend with home games against the Nashville Predators Friday night and the Detroit Red Wings Sunday.

Instead, seven Capitals hit the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday, Day 19 of the NHL lockout, waiting for the first slate of regular season games to be canceled. The Caps were scheduled to open the season Friday, Oct. 12 at home against the New Jersey Devils.

With no negotiations scheduled and each side still waiting for counter-proposals, it could be months before the NHL is back in action.

Its up to the owners, Capitals veteran left wing Jason Chimera said. They keep saying we need to come back with a proposal. It seems like were the only ones making concessions right now.

Its tough for the regular fan to get into it because its billionaires against millionaires. But ultimately they want to take 17 percent off our paychecks and they wont back down from that. Weve made proposals in their direction every time.

In the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement, NHL players took in 57 percent of the leagues hockey-related revenue. In his initial proposal, commissioner Gary Bettman cut that figure to 43 percent before eventually raising it to 47 percent. The players most recent proposal has their share of revenue never falling below 52 percent.

I think we would have had a deal done if they hadnt started off with that initial proposal they made, Chimera said. The initial proposal was absurd. It was just a slap in the face.

Most players were optimistic when we heard we got a proposal and when they threw that at us a lot of guys were kind of shocked and bewildered. Why would they do that? Its their choice for locking us out. We could be playing in a weeks time. Thats the kicker. We said all along wed hammer it out while we play.

On Thursday Chimera was joined by forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribeiro, Jay Beagle and Matt Hendricks and defensemen John Carlson and Mike Green. Defenseman Karl Alzner, in town for a fund-raising event, watched from the bench.

Two fans watched from the stands.

Its going to have a very big impact on the game when you start losing games, Chimera said. At this time of year the stands are usually packed with people. Thats not the case. People just arent thinking about hockey and it hurts the game, big-time. We were just gaining popularity in the States and its a shame to lose that over something that should be hammered out.

Deep down, Chimera says he believes an agreement will be reached within a month or two and that an abbreviated season will begin before the turn of the calendar. Until then, most of his disappointment is directed at Bettman, who is on the verge of losing regular season games for the second time in his tenure.

The NHL's last lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

I think there will be a season, Chimera said, but players are pretty adamant. The players are pretty unified. I dont know if Gary thinks a lockout is another tool to help him. Hes the only guys in sports who seems to like lockouts.

Quick Links

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


Quick Links

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.