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Capitals Insider: September 14, 2008 - September 20, 2008

The Gaetan Duchesne Cup

In an effort to spice up this week's intra-squad scrimmages (and have a little fun), Coach Bruce Boudreau has created a three team tournament in which each squad will play twice. The award will be the Gaeten Duchesne Cup, named after the former Capitals winger who died suddenly last year...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 20, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Clark Passes First 'Test' of Camp

By completing today's strenuous training camp session without a hint of pain, Chris Clark just passed the first of what will be a series of tests this preseason. "I passed one test, but the bigger test will be tomorrow, when there's more puck battles and a scrimmage," said Clark, who,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 20, 2008; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Backstrom On the Ice (Updated)

As of late yesterday afternoon, the word on center Nicklas Backstrom was that he wasn't going to skate today because of his sprained right ankle. No need to rush him, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. Then I get to the rink this morning and what do I see? Backstrom on the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 20, 2008; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Backstrom Improving, Won't Skate Tomorrow

Center Nicklas Backstrom (sprained right ankle) won't participate tomorrow, but he should be on the ice at some point next week, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. "He could [skate tomorrow] but we want to be overly cautious," Boudreau said. "This is still September. Those ankles are such a weird injury....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 19, 2008; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Minor Moves

The Caps have returned center Anton Gustafsson, a 2008 first round draft pick, to his team in Sweden; defenseman Craig Swizter, a training camp invitee, has been cut; and defenseman Keith Seabrook has been returned to his junior team (Calgary, WHL). I'll try to get the latest on Gustafsson's back...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 19, 2008; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Caps Rout Flyers in Rookie Game

Bob Woods and Bruce Boudreau were both pleased with the way the 7-0 win over the Flyers rookies showcased the organization's goal to have the same system from the top down. This was the style they wanted to see from the rookies, the energy and the grit they were looking...

By Katie Carrera  |  September 18, 2008; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Fedorov: 'It's Just a Dispute'

Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov joined their teammates for an informal skate this morning, leaving Alexander Semin as the only roster player yet to report. I'm hearing he's expected to arrive from Russia late today or tomorrow. On another subject, I asked Fedorov about the lawsuit a Michigan bank filed...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 18, 2008; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
 
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Rookie Game Lineup; Gustafsson Out

Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for today's rookie game against the Flyers' rookies. Forwards Bouchard-Perreault-Pinizzotto Osala-Beagle-Kugryshev Lacroix-Morin-Leffler Taylor-Broda-Della Rovere Defense Alzner-Godfrey Mestery-Carlson Dovgan-Collins Goalies Varlamov Neuvirth Holtby You have probably noticed that first round draft pick Anton Gustafsson is not listed. He aggravated a herniated disc in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 18, 2008; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Backstrom's Ankle Improving (Updated)

Nicklas Backstrom, who has been nursing a sprained right ankle since last Thursday, skated on his own for about 10 minutes this afternoon and looked pretty good to me. I also noticed Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin joking around before Backstrom went onto the ice. At one point, the two of...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 17, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
 
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Notes and Observations From Today's Scrimmage

With one day to go until the highly anticipated game against the Flyers' rookies, the Caps' rookies had a high-tempo intrasquad dress rehearsal at KCI. Here are some observations: *Goalies Michal Neuvirth and Simeon Varlamov continued to be very sharp. Varlamov, who relies heavily on his athleticism, had a few...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 17, 2008; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Boudreau's Rookie Camp Short List

When asked which of the rookie camp participants have stood out over the first three days, Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't think about it long. Defensemen Karl Alzner and John Carlson topped his short list, with honorable mentions going to forwards Steve Pinizzotto, Jay Beagle, Brett Leffler, Oskar Osala, and the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 16, 2008; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Poti Is Healthy -- Finally

Tom Poti is back, and for the first time since early last season, he's completely healthy. If you recall, the veteran defenseman suffered a serious shoulder in October and was not the same the rest of the season. In addition to forcing him out of the lineup twice for a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 16, 2008; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Rookie Camp: Day Two

So how exactly did Alex Ovechkin end up on the ice with two dozen prospects at KCI this morning? He came to Coach Bruce Boudreau at 8:30 a.m. and asked if it would be okay, that's how. "What does that say about the character of the guy?" Boudreau said. "I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 15, 2008; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Ovechkin Skating With Rookies (Updated)

This is not exactly breaking news, but you might be interested to know that your league MVP, Alex Ovechkin, is on the ice for rookie camp (though he doesn't appear to be taking part in the strenuous skating drills.) One can only imagine what a guy like a camp invitee...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 15, 2008; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Rookie Camp Begins

The final 15 minutes of today's rookie camp looked like a scene out of the movie "Miracle", with Coach Bruce Boudreau playing Kurt Russell, relentlessly skating the youngsters up and down, up and down, up and down. It wasn't meant as a punishment, though. Boudreau did it for a couple...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 14, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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