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Thursday Roundup/Caps 6, Pens 3

[Boxscore - Recap - Postgame Coverage]

They took too many undisciplined penalties, did a poor job on both the power play and the penalty kill, and even though their star rookie was their best player, it wasn't enough as their porous defense was repeatedly exposed. Man, it feels good to type that and not be talking about the Caps. The Las Vegas Kansas City Houston Portland Pittsburgh Penguins showed last night why they're the worst team in hockey, and the Caps used four special teams goals to take advantage of Pens mistakes and secure a 6-3 win.

Perhaps more importantly, Alexander Ovechkin put to rest any debate as to who is the better rookie as between himself and Sidney Crosby (though reasonable minds might, I suppose, still debate that question as between Ovechkin and Henrik Lundqvist). In a game televised nationally across Canada, Ovechkin had a three point night (and quite the line - see below), and is on pace for the second highest goal total any rookie has ever had. Ever. He now has a 13-goal, 10-point lead over Crosby in two fewer games and with two more team games to play. Barring an utter disaster, Ovie should finish ahead of The Kid in Calder balloting. But all that didn't stop Alex from asking Sid for an autograph postgame.

The WaPo recaps the game here, the WTimes here.

In other Caps news, majority owner Ted Leonsis has a post on his personal experiences with player trade demands (the latest, of course, being Brendan Witt's) up at Ted's Take. Check it out.

Thread of the Day: Peering Into A Statistic -- Assists

Elsewhere 'round the rinks:
  • In case you've been living under a rock, today at 3:00 p.m. eastern is the NHL trade deadline. There are several sources that will be more up-to-date with the latest transactions than The Rink (I recommend Kukla's Korner and James Mirtle, to name just two), but I aim to post all of the moves, culled from multiple sources, on the TagBoard at right as soon as I see them, so feel free to stop by early and often.
  • Former Cap and future Hall of Famer Phil Housley turns 42 today. Housley played more games, registered more points and had more assists than any other U.S.-born player in history.
  • Jaromir Jagr got caught with an illegal stick not once, but twice last night, putting his team shorthanded in overtime and disqualifying himself from the shootout (which they lost). This is the guy that's going to win the Hart Trophy as the League's MVP?
  • Today is the two year anniversary of Jordan Leopold's last NHL goal. Yet he is inexplicably still on a roster in my fantasy hockey league.
Daily Awards
  • Hart: Alexander Ovechkin (Goal, 2 assists, +1, 10 shots on goal, 2 hits, 3 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 1 blocked shot)
  • Ross: Alexander Ovechkin, Jozef Stumpel (3 points each)
  • Norris: Bryan Muir (no, seriously... 3 assists, 6 shots on goal, 2 hits, 2 takeaways in a whopping 30:59 of ice time)
  • Vezina: Kari Lehtonen (Win, 2 goals against on 34 shots in shootout win)
  • Richard: Jozef Stumpel, Nathan Horton (2 goals each)
  • Calder: Alexander Ovechkin (Goal, 2 assists, +1, 10 shots on goal, 2 hits, 3 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 1 blocked shot)
  • Aiken: Sebastien Caron (Loss, 5 goals against on 41 shots is bad enough, but when you let in a beauty like this, you're getting a one way ticket to Aikenville, population: you)