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A Breakout Monster, A Bull No More And Motherly Love

At the top of yesterday's, um, star-studded NHL media conference call, Pierre McGuire offered high praise for a certain Caps blueliner when talking about this coming season:
"I think my breakout monster on defense will be Mike Green of the Washington Capitals. I think Mike Green is poised to really have an electrifying year and quite frankly I think Mike Green will be the leading point getter for all defensemen in the National Hockey League."
Can one have a breakout season a year after leading one's position in goals? I guess we'll see (and for more pre-season praise for "The Catalyst," click here).

Puck Daddy has much more on the conference call, including Don Cherry's expectations for Alex Ovechkin's encore to his brilliant 2007-08. Quoth Cherry:
"I'd be surprised if he does as well as he did last year.... He came on last year. He was doing things that he shouldn't do. He was cutting into the middle.... There's going to be a lot of guys waiting for him this year. He's not going to be running around like a bull in a china shop like he did this year.

He kind of caught everybody at the start of the season. They knew he was good, but not as great as he is."
Whether or not AO can repeat last year's numbers and/or achievements remains to be seen, but I can guarantee that if he doesn't, it's not because teams spent last season neglecting to focus on defending him and have suddenly had a collective epiphany.

Finally, in response to a question alluding to a certain high-profile hockey mom, Mike Milbury fondly rememebered his own mother and her tireless, selfless efforts to help her son fulfill his dream of playing in the NHL:
"Don't get me wrong, I love my mother dearly. She's not with us any more. But she was a pain in the ass. I mean all I heard was, You got to hustle more, you got to work more. She drove me nuts."
Stay classy, Mike.