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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Bourque.’

Defenseman Rob Blake retires after 20-year career

compiled from staff, San Jose Sharks and NHL news

Coming into the 2009-2010 hockey season, Rob Blake knew that this would be his last NHL season.

He performed quite well for a player of 40 years old, helping his team, the San Jose Sharks reach the Western Conference Finals.

He made the decision officially last week at a press conference that his career is over. He will probably end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Blake leaves the game on his terms, still able to play at a high level against the younger players in the NHL and could’ve played another year or two but didn’t want to be selfish and take up a roster spot that could go to a younger player.

Rob Blake (nhl)

Blake had a very satisfying and decorated career. He helped the Los Angeles Kings advance to the Stanley Cup final in 1993, winning the Norris Trophy for the Kings as the league’s to defender in 1998.  Winning the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001 and earned a gold medal for Canada in 2002.

He helped San Jose post the top regular season record in the Western Conference the past two seasons, but the team was unable to get into their first Stanley Cup final.

Blake was named team captain this past season for San Jose, and his leadership was a steadying influence on a team that needed a steady hand to lead the players.

He teammed with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Blake had seven goals and 23 assists in 70 games and was the team’s most reliable defenders.

Blake grew up on a farm in Ontario, never thinking that his hockey career would last until he was 40. He played college hockey for the Bowling Green State University Falcons and was a fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. He came up to the NHL late in the 1989-90 season after finishing his college education and career. His first goal as an NHL player came in the playoffs against Calgary.

Blake leaves the NHL 10th on the career list with 240 goals as a defenseman. He finished his career with 537 assists and 777 points. His 136 power-play goals are the third most by an NHL defenseman, trailing Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (173) and Al MacInnis (166).

Washington edges Blue Jackets 3-2 for 51st win

Columbus, Ohio–Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green summed up the truth following Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jackets. “We know we only played 40 minutes tonight when we need to play 60. It is wasn’t for Jose (Theodore), it would have been a lot different game.”

A team like Washington with a potent offense which is the best in the NHL, can get away with a game like that every now and then. However, their defense can be porous at times but with a shut-down goalie like Jose Theodore, the Capitals can play defense when they have to.

Goalie Jose Theodore (WASH)

Alexander Semin, Tomas Fleischmann and Mike Green scored first-period goals and that was enough for Jose Theodore as Washington beat Columbus 3-2 before 16,957 at Nationwide Arena.

Theodore had 34 saves and improved to 18-0-3 with a goals-against-average under 2.70 since January 13, extending his own Capitals record for decisions without a regulation loss.

Washington set a franchise record with its 51st win of the season. The win also moved them closer to clinching the President’s Trophy for the best NHL record. They only need one more win or a loss by San Jose to grab the trophy for the first time in its history and have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Capitals also continued to add to their franchise record for points in a season to 114 and set a new record for wins on the road, 23.

The Blue Jackets provided some excitement last night, just not enough to win. Antione Vermette scored two goals and Rick Nash added two assists.

The key play in the game for Columbus came early in the 3rd period and trailing 3-2, they had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:30 and a chance to tie and or go ahead and they couldn’t generate any shots.

SOUNDS OF THE GAME FROM THE POSTGAME LOCKER ROOM (to listen to an audio file, click on the link)

44 718 Tomas Fleishmann Washington Capitals Center Got an early lead and hung on

44 721 Alex Ovechkin Washington LW His thoughts on win number 51

44 722 Alex Ovechkin It was nice to see goalie Jose Theodore bounce back and save the game

44 728 Claude Noel Columbus Not scoring on the 5-on-3 was the key to losing

44 736 Claude Noel How does he approach this last week with his interim tag
GAME NOTES

* Columbus Right Wing Derek Dorsett played in his 100th NHL game.

* Scoring just one goal in his last six games, Alex Ovechkin remains stuck at 133 career goals at home and 133 on the road. He didn’t muster a shot in the first two periods and finished with two total.

* The Blue Jackets are now 4-5-3 all-time against Washington overall and 2-3-2 at Nationwide Arena.

* Nicklas Backstrom, who had 36 goals in his first two seasons combined, scored his 30th goal of the year Thursday night. Backstrom is the first Capitals center in 20 years to record 30 goals, since Mike Ridley (1989-90).

* Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are the only players in the NHL with at least 30 goals and 50 assists.

* The Capitals are 9-1-1 in April in three seasons under head coach Bruce Boudreau.

* Washington owns the NHL”s best record at home, 28-5-5. The Capitals have hosted sellouts for all 38 home games and a club-record 45 games in a row dating back to last season (53 games including playoffs).

* The Caps have a chance to lead the league in power play percentage for the first time and their 25.6% success rate would break last year’s record of 25.2%.

* The Capitals have seven 20-point scorers, the most of any team in the league.

* Washington has four of the top 20 scorers in the league in Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Alexander Semin. Last year that group made the Capitals the first team since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins to have its top four scorers all average more than a point per game and they are on pace to repeat that feat.

* Alex Ovechkin hit the 100-point mark last Sunday, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Statsny and Dale Hawerchuk as the only players to do so four times in their first five NHL seasons. Ovechkin has four of the six 100-point seasons in Capitals history. Ovechkin is second in the NHL in points (102) and goals (46), while ranking first in plus/minus (+43), shots (348), points per game (1.52) and goals per game (0.69).

* Mike Green’s assist Thursday gave him 73 points, matching his career high first set last year. He has the most points by a defenseman in consecutive seasons (146) since a trio of Hall of Famers in 1992-93 and ’93-94 (Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy). His goal Tuesday night gave him his third straight year with at least 18 goals, a first for an NHL defenseman since Sergei Gonchar when he was a Capital from 2001-2003. The last non-Caps defenseman to do so was Ray Bourque (1992-94).

Green is enjoying his second straight 70-point season, making him just the 13th defenseman all-time to post 70 or more points in consecutive seasons (joining Bourque, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis, Denis Potvin, Phil Housley, Bobby Orr, Larry Murphy, Nicklaus Lidstrom, Borje Salming, Gary Suter and Randy Carlyle. He’s the seventh to do so before turning 25th (the other six are in the Hall of Fame). Green, Lidstrom and Chris Chelios are the only active defensemen with a single 70-point season.