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Ovechkin sports new look, talks lockout

Ovechkin sports new look, talks lockout

Alex Ovechkin showed up at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday sporting a military-style haircut.

Im one of the soldiers of the NHLPA, the Capitals captain said with a smile.

Ovechkin certainly sounded like a soldier ready to do battle with the NHL as it moves closer to a Sept. 15 lockout.

The following are excerpts of Ovechkins fairly explosive interview with a small group of reporters at Kettler:

On the possibility of a lockout: Of course nobody wants to be in a position to be in a lockout, but it is what it is and were not going to give up.

On the players plan to help struggling NHL teams: We want to help teams that financially are not that good and the league knows it. They tell us what they want and think that cutting our salaries and our contract years is going to help that. Why are they still signing guys for 10 years and not five years? Its strange and they look stupid. They right now say they want to cut salary and everything. Lots of guys just wont come back if this happens.

On players support for executive director Donald Fehr: I think everybody trust him and we all know exactly what hes going to do. We feel exactly how its going to happen. If there is going to be a lockout theres going to be a lockout. Were ready for it. If we were not ready we would have signed the offer they gave us.

On playing in Russia if there is a lockout: Of course I think about it. My hometown Moscow has teams and my Russian federation has a league. Of course Im probably going to be there, but I dont want to be there. I want to be here. But my contract is here and I hope the NHL and the NHLPA is going to sign a deal before Sept. 15.

On players being asked to give back a percentage of their salaries: Its not fair for us. They still make money. They still sell tickets and they have money. Why they sign us to long-term deals and that kind of money and when the CBA is done they want to cut our salary? Why do they want to cut 20 percent? If theyre going to cut a percentage of the contracts and years, I dont think lots of guys who sign American deals are going to come back and play here. Its not reasonable to be here. You have to think of your future. You have to think of your family.

On if he thinks players would leave the NHL and never come back: Yeah, Why not?

On if he would consider leaving the NHL if his contract was reduced by 15 or 20 percent: Im going to think about it, but I hope not. Its something the league wants for all the players. Sidney Crosby just signed, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber just signed huge deals. They want to cut 24 percent for nothing? I dont think its fair enough.

On the potential of a lockout: I dont think were close enough to make a deal. Its all about the owners and Gary Bettman.

On what it will take to get a deal done: We know exactly what theyre going to do. Im not going to tell you whats in our mind.

On the impact an NHL work stoppage would have: Of course its going to be hard and of course its going to be a long time to wait. But it is what it is. Everybody wants to play hockey and make money. Nobody wants to play for free.

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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.


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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.