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Capitals Insider: May 13, 2007 - May 19, 2007

Watch Your Step

One of my favorite hockey writers, Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, has a funny column about one of the game's quirky traditions: Don't tread on the team logo in the dressing room. It's a respect thing, I guess. Almost every club has its logo imprinted on the carpet, smack in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 19, 2007; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Backstrom To Throw Out First Pitch

On Sunday before the Nationals host the Orioles at RFK Stadium. I'm sure Nicklas, the Caps' fourth overall pick in 2006, has seen a baseball. I'm just not sure he's ever thrown one. So, if it bounces, cut him some slack. Backstrom is due to arrive in Washington on Saturday...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 18, 2007; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Blown Opportunity

Wow. Talk about a blown opportunity by the Wings last night. The Ducks, without suspended defenseman Chris Pronger--their best player and leading scorer in the playoffs--pulled off a huge 5-3 victory in Anaheim to tie the Western Conference Finals 2-2. Read about it here. If the Wings end up getting...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 18, 2007; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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The Pronger Hit: Dirty or Not?

The NHL thought so. As did respected hockey columnist Al Strachan, who just posted this piece on Fox Sports. Strachan doesn't think the one game suspension levied against the Anaheim defenseman is nearly enough for the hit he laid on Tomas Holmstrom. I completely agree. There's no place in the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 17, 2007; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Backstrom To Wear No. 19

I forgot to mention that little detail yesterday. It's the number he's worn forever, I'm told. Why? No one with the Caps knows if there's any significance to it, but I aim to find out when I meet him for the first time on Monday. So, for fun, I looked...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 17, 2007; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Backstrom Agrees to Terms With Caps

Although it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention the past few months, the Caps made it official today -- Nicklas Backstrom, the club's No. 4 overall pick in 2006, has agreed to terms on a three year entry level contract and will be on the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 16, 2007; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Drury or Briere?

This article in The Buffalo News confirms what we've all suspected for a few months now: the Sabres likely aren't going to be able to keep both Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, the team's co-captains. Both are centers, both are going to be unristricted free agents, and either, in my...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 16, 2007; 8:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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A Must Read About Ottawa's Emery

Ever wanted to know more about Ray Emery, the goaltender behind Ottawa's postseason run? It's all in this great column by Damien Cox, who writes for the Toronto Star and ESPN.com. He is the NHLer who refuses to fit in, yet refuses to be typecast as the nut, the rebel,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2007; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Stanley On His Way Back to Canada

There's no longer any doubt, in my mind at least, that Ottawa is the NHL's best team. I felt that way six weeks ago when I wrote that the Sens would win the Cup in six games over Detroit. And I feel even stronger about that prediction after watching last...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2007; 7:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Ovechkin Action Figure

Okay, now I've seen it all -- the Ovechkin action figure. Check it out here. Goes on sale tomorrow....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 9:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Moscow Times: Ovechkin a 'Major Disappointment'

Never thought I'd read those words. But there they were, in this article in the Moscow Times. As I said in an earlier entry, I did not follow the World Championships very closely. I had too many other work obligations (NASCAR in Richmond, a couple of days on the Nats,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 8:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Sports Business Journal: NHL Revenue Up

Ratings may be in the dumps, but revenue is up in the NHL, according to Sports Busines Journal. NHL regular-season and preseason revenue grew 5 percent to 7 percent this year, putting total revenue on track to grow to between $2.2 billion and $2.25 billion for the entire season. Such...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swedish Website: Backstrom, Caps Close to Deal

According to this report (it's in Swedish), the Caps and 2006 first round draft pick Nicklas Backstrom have agreed to terms on an entry level contract. The paperwork, however, has not been signed. I have no idea how credible this website is, but since it's out there, I figured I'd...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Monday Morning Reading, Part 2

One more item of interest: Caps pro scout Larry Carriere is mentioned in this Columbus Dispatch article as a Blue Jackets GM candidate. He's considered to have 7-1 odds of getting the job. I heard the same thing recently. We'll see where this goes....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Monday Morning Reading

The Couch Slouch has an interesting take on how to boost the NHL's TV ratings: Televise the game north-south, rather than east-west. And eliminate one intermission. Read more here. It's such a shame we're still talking about how to improve ratings for hockey. If this year's unbelievable playoffs can't do...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2007; 7:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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