Blackhawks Vs. Capitals: Vital Viewing Information For Winter Classic 2015 | Bleacher Report

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One area of growth that will make a major difference Thursday will be his responsibility in the defensive zone. With the arrival of head coach Barry Trotz, Ovechkin went from minus-35 in his plus/minus rating last season to plus-seven thus far in 2014. While Ovechkin has continued to improve defensively on the ice, some of his biggest changes have come away from the rink, as he told Erik Brady of USA Today : Of course, you feel 30 years old. You’re not young anymore. You have that kind of experience where you start thinking about what is going to be in the future. When I just came to the league, I didn’t realize Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov, they said, ‘Just remember, when you hit 30 you are going to feel all your old bruises; you need to get more sleep, go to bed early.’ And I’m like, ‘No way that is happening.’ And right now, you start to realize you can’t do those things you could do when you were 21 or 22. You can’t do what you did previous years if you want to get success. If you want to stay in the same position where you are, you have to change your style of life. Just because Ovechkin is taking the game more serious doesnt mean he still hasnt found time to enjoy himself, as Hemal Jhaveri of the USA Today showcased on Twitter: You know who’s having a great time at the #WinterClassic ? Alex Ovechkin. http://t.co/pNEv8TA1pc pic.twitter.com/Eyb3gDKUm7 Hemal Jhaveri (@hemjhaveri) December 31, 2014 Most fans are expecting the Blackhawks to dominate Washington due to the elite defensive numbers Chicago has put up this season. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2316136-blackhawks-vs-capitals-vital-viewing-information-for-winter-classic-2015

NHL Winter Classic: Washington Capitals beat Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 – San Jose Mercury News

Teammates past and present marvel at what Hossa can do in the defensive zone and without the puck. ”He’s got that powerful stride that gets him back in the play easily,” said former Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin, who’s now with the Columbus Blue Jackets . ”And he can take the puck off your stick with ease. He’s so strong on the stick and it’s always in the right position. He can steal pucks with the best in the league, for sure.” That, Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad said, is how Hossa turns defense into offense. In 1,127 games, Hossa has 472 goals and 547 assists. Hossa is 76th on the all-time points list, ahead of Hockey Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine, Lanny McDonald and Maurice Richard. He’s 52nd in goals, ahead of LaFontaine, Doug Gilmour and Pavel Bure, and third among active players. His career numbers are similar to former Senators teammate Daniel Alfredsson, who retired earlier this month after putting up 426 goals and 682 assists in 1,178 games. But Hossa may be one of the most underrated players in the NHL. ”Maybe I would have more numbers but maybe some other teams wouldn’t want me,” Hossa said. ”There’s an advantage and disadvantage with that. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/blackhawks-hossa-may-hall-fame-resume-161531731–nhl.html

Blackhawks’ Hossa may have Hall of Fame resume – Yahoo Sports

Alex Ovechkin, the player most responsible for making the nation’s capital worthy of hosting the NHL’s annual outdoor game, scored a goal, and he was also among the first to mob teammate Troy Brouwer when Brouwer’s power-play goal decided the game with 12.9 seconds to play Thursday. The NHL showcase was every bit the thrill for the Washington Capitals, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 before 42,832 at Nationals Park. “We started talking about Winter Classic since we started the season, and this is it,” Ovechkin said. “I remember Brouwie said it’s a good time to show up and make a show. And he did.” Brouwer scored against his former team to cap a chaotic sequence. Ovechkin had his stick broken on a slash by Brandon Saad. While Ovechkin was raising his hands to make sure the officials would call the penalty, Brouwer gathered the loose puck in the left circle. “Somebody had to try and keep it alive, so I just kind of turned around, threw it to the net,” Brouwer said. “I’m not even sure where it went in, but I heard the noise of the crowd, heard the noise of the guys on the ice.” What a noise it was, a playoff-level celebration by players on the ice and fans in the stands, many of whom flung their commemorative Winter Classic seat cushions high into the air. “First period was definitely a challenge,” Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said. “It was tough to pick up pucks.” source: http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_27242382/nhl-winter-classic-washington-capitals-beat-chicago-blackhawks?source=rss

 

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