A couple of games ago when the Caps were in Montreal and the Habs fans boo'ed Alexander Ovechkin for no apparent reason other than he was carrying the puck up the ice, Capitals TV Announcer Joe B. stated: "Its called respect." I found that an odd take but not an unreasonable one on the whole situation. However, this past week, an article was published in The Hockey News that really says RESPECT back to the Capitals about their play and prospects this season. It's titled: "Ovechkin, Capitals crushing NHL with new responsible, winning system" - basically it says what most of us in the Capitals blogsphere have been saying for a while but to be said in The Hockey News well that's RESPECT.
Also interesting information and reading this morning for Caps fan is this post over at "Capitals News Network" about the NHL Team who that leads the league in minutes played by rookies so far this season. So if you've been enjoying the play and/or having a man crush on Marcus Johansson, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Michal Neuvirth, Jay Beagle, or Braden Holtby, and wondering why, this blog post might help you understand the roots of those feelings. Or perhaps the way these guys have been playing the second half of the season you forgot they were all at least technically rookies, and lest not forget Semyon Varlamov, who is just past rookie status himself.
In case you missed the Selection Show for the NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament this morning on ESPN 2 the 16 teams in this year's tourney are:
The five (5) automatic bids - Hockey East Champions and defending 2010 Champions Boston College, WCHA Champions North Dakota, ECAC Champion Yale, CCHA Champion Miami of Ohio, and Atlantic Hockey Champ Air Force.
and at large selections: Minnesota - Duluth, Union, University of Denver, Western Michigan University, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha, Colorado College, Merrimack, Notre Dame, and New Hampshire.
Regions for the Tourney are:
In the East Regional in Bridgeport, the # 1 Seed is Yale who play #4 Air Force, while #3 Minnesota - Duluth plays #2 Union.
In the Midwest Regional its the #1 seed North Dakota Fighting Sioux vs #4 RPI and #2 Denver vs #3 Western Michigan Broncos.
In the West Regional its #1 Boston College vs # 4 Colorado College and #2 Michigan vs. #3 Nebraska - Omaha.
In the Northeast Regional in New Hampshire its #1 Miami of Ohio vs. #4 New Hampshire and #2 Merrimack vs #3 Notre Dame.
If you're wondering why/how an at large selection/#4 seed basically gets to play a home game against a number 1 seed who is being force to travel out of area (i.e. Miami of Ohio vs. New Hampshire) then you are sharing the feeling I have right now as I listened to the selection show. If you know the answer then please enlighten me, I cannot understand why the Selection Committee isn't making New Hampshire travel say to the Midwest region and sending RPI to play Miami of Ohio in New Hampshire, but hey that's just me and just one of numerous possibilities that would likely be "more fair" than what they've done here. Of course if you're Miami of Ohio, you'll probably just tear through the region as a way of demanding RESPECT...
Finally as noted over at Japer's Rink today - Happy 28h Birthday to Dennis Wideman.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!