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Capitals Insider: February 15, 2009 - February 21, 2009

Green: 'We were absolutely terrible'

Bruce Boudreau was not a happy coach this morning. And his players quickly found out just how angry he was in the aftermath of Friday's 4-1 loss to Colorado. The day began with a 10:45 a.m. video session ("It wasn't pretty," Shaone Morrisonn said.). Things then intensified at 11:30, when...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 21, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
 
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Caps skating ... hard

Practice here at KCI has only just begun, but the focus of today's session is already obvious: Coach Bruce Boudreau is going to put the Caps through a hard skate as punishment for their weak effort last night against Colorado. Boudreau has also shaken up his lines (F-Street is no...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 21, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Avs 4, Caps 1

Bruce Boudreau warned his players that Colorado was going to muck it up make it tough to carry the puck through the neutral zone. So what did they do? They tried to carry the puck through the neutral zone anyway. As you probably know by now, it didn't work very...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 20, 2009; 11:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Jose Theodore will oppose Andrew Raycroft in net tonight when his old team, the Avalanche, comes to Verizon Center. Staffan Kronwall, meantime, is in and John Erskine is out (flu). Here's the rest of your Caps' lineup: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Fedorov-Fehr Laich-Nylander-Bradley Brashear-Steckel-Gordon Defense Morrisonn-Green Schultz-Poti Kronwall-Jurcina Check back later for...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 20, 2009; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (200)
 
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Morning Skate Update

It appears Jose Theodore will indeed start against his old team, the Western Conference worst Avalanche, tonight at Verizon Center. Also looks like defenseman Staffan Kronwall will get in the lineup and replace John Erskine, who skated this morning but has the flu, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. Kronwall will...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 20, 2009; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (261)
 
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Morning Reading List

Preston Keres--TWP *Could Alex Ovechkin be the first player to win back-to-back Hart Trophies since Dominik Hasek completed the feat in 1997 and 1998 with the Buffalo Sabres? Tarik asks, and as you might guess the Capitals think so. *The Denver Post previews tonight's game with a look at...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 20, 2009; 4:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Theodore looking forward to facing Avs

So you think tomorrow's game against the Avs doesn't mean a little more to goalie Jose Theodore? It's been almost eight months since his messy breakup in Colorado, but he's still smarting a little bit, he told me this morning. "I was surprised," Theodore said. "With the way the GM...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 19, 2009; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Ovechkin: 'It just happened'

Dominik Hasek was the last player to win back-to-back MVP awards, claiming the Hart Trophy in 1997 and 1998 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He's about to have company, it seems. Alex Ovechkin probably had already wrapped up his second straight MVP before last night's goal. But now...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 19, 2009; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (231)
 
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McPhee: Ovechkin will be 'fine'

Alex Ovechkin was limping around after last night's game, the result of taking a slap shot off his left foot in the third period of the Caps' 4-3 shootout win over Montreal. His foot was also seriously swollen, and he's not taking part in this morning's optional practice. But I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 19, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Morning Reading List

Preston Keres--TWP *The Capitals continued their success at home with a 4-3 shootout win over Montreal. But it wasn't Alexander Semin's game-winner in the shootout nor David Steckel's tying goal with less than three minutes in regulation that had the Verizon Center crowd buzzing. No, it was Alex Ovechkin...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 19, 2009; 4:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
 
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Caps 4, Canadiens 3 SO

First things first. If you haven't seen Alex Ovechkin's goal from the first period of this game, go watch it. Even if you have seen it, watch it again for fun. The Caps' left winger seems able to consistently out do himself with implausible goals, but perhaps the most remarkable...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 11:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Ovechkin's Crazy Goal

Okay, for everyone who's not near a television here is Alex Ovechkin's goal from the first period against the Canadiens that tied the game at 1-1. I won't break this down, the play speaks for itself. Could it be "The Goal" part two?...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 9:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

The Caps begin their season-long, five-game home stand against the Canadiens at 7:30 p.m. and will play nine of the next 10 games at Verizon Center where they are 22-4-1. Based on warm up here is what tonight's lines and pairings should look like. Forwards: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Fleischmann-Fedorov-Fehr Laich-Nylander-Bradley Brashear-Steckel-Gordon Defense:...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 7:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (123)
 
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Line Name Poll

As promised, here's the poll with some of the more popular suggestions from this morning's comments. I combined variations of same name so that there weren't thousands of options. More to come around game time. (Friendly reminder that tonight's game is at 7:30 p.m. not the usual 7 p.m.) poll...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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Wednesday Morning Update

Sorry for the delay, there were a few problems with the blogging software this morning across the website. Bruce Boudreau wouldn't divulge how his lines will look tonight against the Canadiens, but did say that the Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin combination will stick together for the time being. As you'd...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Morning Reading List

Chris O'Meara--The Associated Press *Tarik examines the recent success of Eric Fehr, who has nine points in his past eight games and may finally be breaking out the way the Capitals have been hoping he would in the NHL. Also mentioned in the story is how the line of...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 7:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
 
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Kovalev Sent Home

According to the AP, the Canadiens have given struggling star winger Alex Kovalev "time off" to get himself together. So Kovalev won't be with his teammates when they visit Verizon Center tomorrow night. Also, Sergei Kostitsyn was sent down to Hamilton and Carey Price has switched from his red pads...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 8:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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Johnson: 'They had to do more than expected'

Brent Johnson came to KCI this morning, walking gingerly with the aid of crutches one week after having surgery on his hip. He told me he's already feeling much better. But he still doesn't know when -- or if -- he'll be able to return. "They had to do more...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Who's That Kid?

From Slava Malamud of Sport-Express: As you can see from this picture, posted on his page on Odnoklassniki (the Russian version of Classmates.com), a certain Caps player has been harboring hockey ambitions since the early in his childhood. And his parents were quite supportive, putting a hockey stick and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
 
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Beagle Sent Down, Kozlov Out Tomorrow

Here's the latest from KCI: *Jay Beagle was sent down after practice. *About Karl Alzner's demotion earlier in the day, Coach Bruce Boudreau said the rookie could be back soon. "We have eight [defensemen] here and he wasn't playing tomorrow," Boudreau said. "He could be back for Friday." *Viktor Kozlov...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Alzner Sent Down

Also, defenseman Karl Alzner has been sent to Hershey, according to a team spokesman. I'll get Coach Bruce Boudreau's reaction/reason for the move when practice is over. Alzner was a healthy scratch in Tampa Bay on Saturday after a rough game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Kozlov Not Practing

Viktor Kozlov, who has missed five games with a groin muscle pull, is not on the ice for practice this morning. I have not received a status update on the big Russian, but it seems that his groin "tweak" might be a bit more serious than the team originally suggested....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Morning Reading List

Steve Mitchell--The Associated Press *The Times looks at how the Capitals roster and salaries are structured, and suggests that they might be able to sustain themselves better in this salary-cap era than say the Penguins will and did after their Stanley Cup Final run last season *Mike O'Connell talks...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 17, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Morning Reading List

Chris O'Meara--The Associated Press *The Capitals earned five out of six points on their three-game road trip, which concluded with an Alex Ovechkin hat trick in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers yesterday. Washington is now 13 points ahead of Florida in the Southeast Division standings. *Here's the...

By Katie Carrera  |  February 16, 2009; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (167)
 
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Caps 4, Panthers 2

Alex Ovechkin is not only the best hockey player on the planet right now. He's a fortuneteller, too, as it turns out. Ovechkin said after tonight's 4-2 win at BankAtlantic Center that he told Tomas Vokoun during warm-ups that he was going to score two goals on the Florida netminder....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 15, 2009; 9:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
 
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Today's Lineup

Less than 24 hours after last night's 5-1 throttling of the Lightning in Tampa, the Caps are back at it - but with several changes to the lineup. Jose Theodore will start in goal. Jay Beagle, Milan Jurcina and Karl Alzner are back in. Michael Nylander, John Erskine and Staffan...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 15, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (242)
 
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