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Capitals Insider: January 4, 2009 - January 10, 2009

Canadiens 5, Caps 4

Bruce Boudreau won't be coming back here later this month, after all. Milan Jurcina lost the puck in his skates with 21.2 seconds remaining tonight, and Sergei Kostitsyn sent the Caps to one of their toughest losses of the season, 5-4, at Bell Centre. Not only was the loss their...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 10, 2009; 11:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Brent Johnson will start in goal for the Caps and oppose Jaroslav Halak tonight at Bell Centre, where the Caps will be looking to win three games in the same seasons against the Canadiens for the first time since 2000-01. Based on warm-ups, the combos should look like this: Forwards...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 10, 2009; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (184)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Just when you thought the Caps were getting healthy ... Boyd Gordon (back spasms) and Sergei Fedorov (ankle) won't suit up tonight, so that means Eric Fehr and Michael Nylander will get back into the lineup after sitting out last night's game as healthy scratches. When asked who was starting,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 10, 2009; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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Blue Jackets 3, Caps 0

Since there's a fair amount of postgame news in the previous post (and I've got a flight to Montreal in a few hours) I'm going to keep this one short and to the point. Steve Mason is good. And the Caps, well, they've had better efforts. The result was a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 11:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Gordon Out With Back Spasms (Updated)

Gordon's back spasms flared up during pregame warm-ups, and the center ended up missing the entire game. There was no immediate word on his condition, but it's unlikely that he'll be ready to play tomorrow night in Montreal. Gordon been bothered on and off by his back all season. Also,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 10:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Gordon Injured

As you probably saw in the update on my previous post, Boyd Gordon is listed in the lineup but did not take a shift in the first period. I just talked to GM George McPhee and he confirmed that Gordon suffered an injury in warm-ups. McPhee also said he would...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Tonight's Lineup (Updated)

No surprises to report. So here's how the Caps will line up tonight against the Blue Jackets (who are without eight regulars): Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Fedorov-Kozlov Laich-Steckel-Clark Brashear-Gordon-Bradley Scratches--Fehr, Nylander Defense Alzner-Jurcina Sloan-Green Morrisonn-Collins Theodore Johnson Update:Boyd Gordon, according to NHL stats, did not take a single shift in the first...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Backstrom Named To YoungStars

Snubbed yesterday when the Eastern Conference All-Star Team was named, Nicklas Backstrom received a bit of a consolation prize today when he was chosen for the YoungStars Game for the second straight year. The NHL announced the team moments ago. Karl Alzner did not make the cut. Backstrom wasn't definitive...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Here's the latest from KCI: As mentioned previously, with Tom Poti going on LTIR this morning, the Caps are able to keep Karl Alzner in Washington for the time being. Tomas Fleischmann and Sergei Fedorov are also in the lineup tonight, replacing Eric Fehr and Michael Nylander, both of whom...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Poti Put On LTIR

The Caps have placed defenseman Tom Poti on long term injured reserve, temporarily clearing $3.5 million of cap space, which allows the team to keep Karl Alzner in Washington, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. Poti, who is out with a groin injury, will be eligible to come off LTIR on Wednesday....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Sloan Recalled (Updated)

In a bit of a surprise, Tyler Sloan has been recalled and is on the ice for the morning skate. The other six defensemen, including Karl Alzner, are out there, as well. Update: Sloan is here because Jeff Schultz is hurting. The Caps haven't said exactly what's wrong, but I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 9, 2009; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Morning Reading List

Most of you have likely seen the NHL All Star rosters by now, and it's a reasonable guess that some of you are wondering why Alex Ovechkin is the only player representing the second place team in the Eastern Conference. For today's hard-copy story, Tarik shares the Capitals frustration with...

By Katie Carrera  | January 9, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Caps React to All-Star Selections

Here's what the Caps had to say about the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, which, if you haven't seen, included only Alex Ovechkin. The squad does, however, include four Canadiens, three Bruins and two Penguins. "I don't know why Semin is not over there, and Greenie and Backie, I think they...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 8, 2009; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (214)
 
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Ovechkin Earns Spot; Backstrom, Green Snubbed

Alex Ovechkin may not be starting in the All-Star Game, but the reigning MVP is, as expected, Montreal-bound, the NHL announced moments ago. The bigger news, though, is that Ovechkin will be the only (player) representative from the Eastern Conference's second best team. That's because niether Mike Green nor Nicklas...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 8, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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Thursday Practice Update

While everyone awaits word from the NHL on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team -- it is set to be announced at noon -- here's the latest from KCI: Sergei Fedorov and Tomas Fleischmann are out there and assigned to lines, though it remains unclear whether they will be cleared to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 8, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Morning Reading List

Tom Boswell will tell you quite plainly that he's never been a die-hard hockey fan. This year and this season however, something -- or perhaps everything -- about the Capitals caught his attention, and he thinks the rest of the city should take notice. *In case you missed it yesterday,...

By Katie Carrera  | January 8, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
 
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Roster Housekeeping

As I mentioned yesterday, the Caps will have to make a move when Sergei Fedorov (and his $4 million salary) comes off long term injured reserve in order for Karl Alzner to remain under the salary cap, and thus, in Washington. GM George McPhee acknowledged as much during a conversation...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 7, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (242)
 
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Catching Up With 'Gus'

I mentioned earlier this week that Bengt Gustafsson, the former Caps great, current coach of Sweden's national team and proud Dad of one of the club's top prospects, is in town this week as a "guest coach" with his former NHL club. Well, now that the Flyers have come and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 7, 2009; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Clark Says He's Okay (Update)

Chris Clark apparently was not injured when Alex Ovechkin accidentally hit him late in the third period of last night's 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers. The Caps' captain said he simply was not expecting the collision, which made it look worse that it really was. "I was more stunned,"...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 7, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Morning Reading List

Of all the things that came out of last night's 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers -- ending a two-game losing streak to Philadelphia, improving the home record to 18-1-1, extending the current seven-game winning streak, Jose Theodore's fifth consecutive victory, etc. -- perhaps the most meaningful note is that...

By Katie Carrera  | January 7, 2009; 7:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
 
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Caps 2, Flyers 1 (SO)

Coach Bruce Boudreau attempted to downplay the significance of tonight's 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers, since it came in the tiebreaker. "We won in a shootout," he said, shrugging. "It's not like we came in here and out-shot them 43-14 and dominated them. We won in a shootout. That's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 7, 2009; 12:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

It hasn't happened often this season, but Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau did not have to shuffle his lines and pairings. No new injuries means he's going to use exactly the same lineup tonight that he used in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Rangers. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov Laich-Nylander-Semin Fehr-Steckel-Clark Brashear-Gordon-Bradley Defense Schultz-Green...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 6, 2009; 5:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
 
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Stevens Reponds To Boudreau

This morning at Verizon Center, reporters asked Philadelphia Coach John Stevens about Bruce Boudreau's blunt comments yesterday regarding Stevens's Flyers, their tough guy and piling it on in the teams' most recent meeting. Here's what Stevens had to say, from the DC Sports Bog: "You know what, you guys can...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 6, 2009; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
 
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Morning Skate Update (Update)

No surprises this morning -- if you don't count Shaone Morrisonn firing a slap shot in my direction, knocking my coffee off the dasher boards and putting a star crack in the notoriously weak plexi glass here at KCI. Otherwise, the biggest development was that Tomas Fleischmann and Sergei Fedorov...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 6, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Morning Reading List

The game many of you have been waiting for is here as the Flyers visit Verizon Center for the first time since ending the Capitals' season in Game 7 of last year's Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Slowly but surely Philadelphia seems to have supplanted many of the Washington's other rivals in...

By Katie Carrera  | January 6, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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Monday Morning Update

Slowly but surely the Caps are returning to full strength. Sergei Fedorov (sprained ankle) completed his first team practice in a while today and said he hopes to come off LTIR on Friday (the first day he eligible to do so) and possibly play on Saturday. Meantime, Coach Bruce Boudreau...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 5, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (164)
 
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Quick Injury Update

Almost everyone is on the ice this morning at KCI, including Tomas Fleischmann and Sergei Fedorov (though neither is assigned to a line). The word before yesterday's day off was that Fleischmann was going to be ready to go for tommorrow's showdown with the Flyers. But the fact that he's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | January 5, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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Morning Reading List

One more day until the Capitals meet the Flyers again with hopes of erasing memories of the 7-1 loss in Philadelphia. Tarik will have updates from this morning's practice and don't forget that Coach Bruce Boudreau will be on Washington Post Live this afternoon. But in the meantime here is...

By Katie Carrera  | January 5, 2009; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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