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Capitals Insider: March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009

Crosby: 'It comes down to respect"

It's been two weeks since Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby had their "run in" at Verizon Center. Guess what? They're still annoyed. "We're emotion[al] guys, and we play hard, and when we have something on our mind and we want to say something, we say it," Ovechkin said today. "I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 7, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (272)
 
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Saturday practice notes

Injury Update Alex Ovechkin and Tom Poti each completed this morning's practice, but only Ovechkin said definitively that he'll suit up tomorrow against the Penguins. Poti said he'll wait until tomorrow morning before making a decision. Nyls Hurt Michael Nylander suffered an upper body injury on Thursday and will miss...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 7, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Ovechkin, Poti are practicing (updated)

Practice is just beginning here at KCI and both Alex Ovechkin (bruised heel) and Tom Poti (groin muscle pull) are on the ice. Ovechkin seems to be skating fine; Poti looks a little cautious. Update:Sergei Fedorov and Michael Nylander are not practicing. I'm told they are not injured but just...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 7, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Sloan Recalled

With Tom Poti still hobbled by a nagging groin injury, defenseman Tyler Sloan has been recalled from Hershey. I'll have more shortly....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 7, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Boz Talks to McPhee

Here's a sneak preview of Thomas Boswell's column examining the Caps current three-game losing streak. He spoke with GMGM today. Enjoy!...

By Matt Vita  |  March 6, 2009; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (157)
 
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Updates on Ovechkin and Poti

As you've probably read or figured out by now, Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau called off practice this morning. The players and coaches did meet (which is not uncommon on an off day) and, I'm told, Alex Ovechkin is receiving treatment on his bruised heel and is walking comfortably. Although his...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 6, 2009; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
 
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Morning Reading List

Nick Wass--The Associated Press *The Capitals dropped their third straight game at home last night marking the first time such a streak has occurred under Bruce Boudreau, but the story sounded eerily similar. Despite many scoring opportunities (the third straight game with at least 34 shots) Washington couldn't finish...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 6, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (145)
 
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Leafs 2, Caps 1

For the first time under Bruce Boudreau the Capitals have now lost three straight games at home, but the coach was more pleased with his team's effort tonight than the first two games during this streak. Despite being without Alex Ovechkin and Tom Poti the Capitals created many scoring chances...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 5, 2009; 11:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Ovechkin: 'I'm okay'

Alex Ovechkin just spoke to reporters between periods and said his foot injury is not serious and that he hopes to be ready for Sunday's game against the Penguins. "We want to take it easy and make it's going to be okay," Ovechkin said, standing rather comfortably. "Me and [head...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 8:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (296)
 
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It's official: Ovechkin scratched tonight (Updated)

Okay, here's the latest on Alex Ovechkin. He will miss tonight's game as a "precaution", according to a team spokesman. He suffered a bruised heel yesterday in practice when assistant coach Dean Evason accidentally hit him with a slap shot during a drill. Ovechkin skated this morning and was hoping...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
 
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Ovechkin not warming up

Alex Ovechkin did not take the warm up before tonight's game against the Maple Leafs. He was struck on the right foot by a slap shot Wednesday in practice, and it appears he won't play. If that is the case, it will be only the second game in his career...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Nylander set to play tonight

If you buy the excuse that the Caps were distracted the past two games by the approaching trade deadline, that means they'll get back to their winning ways tonight against Toronto, right? Yesterday's dud of a deadline, of course, has come and gone and the Caps' dressing room was left...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (248)
 
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Poti, Ovechkin and Theodore all to play

Coach Bruce Boudreau just met with reporters and said Tom Poti (groin) and Alex Ovechkin (foot) will play tonight against the Maple Leafs, and Jose Theodore (flu) will start in goal. I'll have more in a bit....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Poti and Ovechkin skate

Tom Poti and Alex Ovechkin skated briefly this morning, so the thought around here is that both will be okay to play tonight against Toronto. I'll have to confirm this after the morning skate, but the Caps did not recall a defenseman....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 5, 2009; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Morning Reading List

Jonathan Newton--TWP *As most of you know, yesterday's trade deadline passed without incident at KCI. While the Caps were in the mix no deal seemed like the right fit for GM George McPhee, and the team you've grown accustomed to so far this season will be together the rest...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 5, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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Caps pursued Anaheim's Chris Pronger

GM George McPhee said he inquired about trading for Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger, the crown jewel of the deadline day (who didn't end up changing teams). But the talks didn't get far because a) the Ducks weren't all that interested in trading Pronger and b) the asking price likely was...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (285)
 
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Pothier, Kronwall Assigned to Hershey (Updated)

Brian Pothier's comeback has officially begun. The veteran defenseman, who has been out for more than a year because of a concussion, has been assigned to the Bears for a conditioning stint. If Pothier completes the stint symptom-free, he should be available to the Capitals in the coming weeks. If...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Caps stand pat

The Caps did not make any trades today, according to a team spokesman. GM George McPhee will address the media within the hour. So check back for the latest....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (218)
 
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Morris to the Rangers

Derek Morris won't be coming to Washington, after all. The veteran defenseman has been acquired by the Rangers, according to reports, in exchange for Dmitri Kalinin, Petr Prucha and Nigel Dawes. The trade deadline, meantime, has passed and the Caps have not announced any trades, though deals sometimes trickle out...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (160)
 
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Guerin to Pittsburgh

Bill Guerin finally has a new team. The Isles captain has been acquired by the Pens for a conditional pick (third rounder at best), according to reports. I've been checking with my sources about Derek Morris and I'm hearing that the Flyers and Rangers are making a hard push for...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (240)
 
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Ovechkin update and other notes

Alex Ovechkin did not speak to reporters, but he did walk through the dressing room and did not appear to be limping. "I asked the trainers, and they said he got hit in the foot and it's sore," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But he's okay." Some other notes and quotes...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (268)
 
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Ovechkin injures foot (updated)

Alex Ovechkin just left practice after taking a slap shot off of his right foot. He went to the bench in obvious pain, removed his skate and then was helped to the dressing room by a trainer. Update:A team spokesman just told reporters that the injury is not believed to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
 
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Quick practice update

Defenseman Tom Poti, who was a late scratch last night because of a groin injury, is not on the ice for practice. Everyone else, including Jose Theodore -- a late scratch because of the flu against Carolina -- is out there. Stay tuned. It could be an interesting day out...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 4, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Morning Reading List

Jonathan Newton--TWP *Home sweet home has changed to anything but for the Capitals who are suddenly struggling at Verizon Center after their second stinker in a row, and their fourth loss out of the past six games in Washington. *Here is the Hurricanes perspective from the Raleigh News &...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 4, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (221)
 
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'Canes 5, Caps 2

It's not often that the Caps post back-to-back stinkers. At least not since Bruce Boudreau took over. But that's exactly what's happened. Two days after a 6-2 loss to Florida that Boudreau described as "concerning" the Caps were flat in a 5-2 loss to Carolina that sent fans scurrying to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 11:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Poti aggravates groin injury

According to the Caps, defenseman Tom Poti was pulled from warmups because of a groin muscle injury. Poti, as you no doubt know, has been hampered by groin pulls all season. I'll try to get a further update on his status after the game....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 8:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (219)
 
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Poti pulled from warmups (updated)

Tom Poti came out for warmups, but when I looked up a few moments later, the veteran defenseman had been pulled from the ice. I don't want to speculate here, but it certainly is curious considering tomorrow is the NHL trade deadline. Update:As of 7:34, there still is no word...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (207)
 
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Theodore's got the flu, out tonight

Goaltender Jose Theodore will not start tonight because he has the flu, Coach Bruce Boudreau just said. Michal Neuvirth will start in Theodore's place. Boudreau also said that John Erskine will take the warmup and "might" play. He wouldn't give a reason, but I'm assuming that means another defenseman is...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 5:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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McPhee: Caps looking long term

GM George McPhee and his assistants have been working the phones nonstop the past 48 hours, and they'll continue to do so through tomorrow's 3 p.m. trade deadline. But as of this afternoon, McPhee said he's not expecting the Caps to make any major moves. A tweak or two? Yes....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
 
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The other Backstrom re-signs in Minnesota

One of the goalies rumored to be on the move tomorrow -- the Wild's Niklas Backstrom -- has re-signed for four years, $24 million, according to ESPN.com. So Caps fans can scratch him off their wish list....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (195)
 
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Kozlov and Kronwall in, Nylander and Erskine out (Updated)

Here's the latest from KCI: Looks like Viktor Kozlov will indeed return tonight against Carolina after a one-game absence due to his lingering groin muscle strain. Coach Bruce Boudreau has also given his defense a little jolt in the aftermath of Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Panthers by putting Staffan...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Kozlov set to return?

Viktor Kozlov is on the ice this morning after missing Sunday's game with a lingering groin muscle injury. I don't see a call-up from Hershey out there, so I'm assuming that means the Unsung Russian will be ready to return tonight against Carolina. I'll have more after practice....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Morning Reading List

Jonathan Newton--TWP *We have a Hershey edition of the MRL today as both Tarik and I took trips to Hershey in recent weeks, to look at the phenomenon that is the Bears in central Pennsylvania. There's a special bond between the folks in Hershey and their hockey team, as...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 3, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Green named February's second star

Atlanta sniper Ilya Kovalchuk received top honors, but Caps defenseman Mike Green gets some love from the league, too. St. Louis goalie Chris Mason, meantime, was the third star. Green led NHL defensemen and ranked second among all scorers with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 13 games, helping...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 2, 2009; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (226)
 
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Beagle Sent Down

No big surprise here, but the Capitals have officially reassigned Jay Beagle to Hershey. Coach Bruce Boudreau said before yesterday's 6-2 loss to Florida that he expects Viktor Kozlov to be ready for tomorrow's game against Carolina. Kozlov sat out the Panthers game after aggravating his sore groin muscle against...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 2, 2009; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
 
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Morning Reading List

Johnathan Newton--TWP *It wasn't a matinee to remember yesterday as Florida chased the Caps and their fans out of Verizon Center "discouraged" as Washington fell to 3-5-1 in the second of back-to-back games when they win the first. *Here is the Times recap along with Panthers perspectives from the...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 2, 2009; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
 
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Ovechkin responds to Cherry

Earlier today, you heard Bruce Boudreau respond to Don Cherry's criticism of Alex Ovechkin's emotional goal celebrations. Now here's Ovechkin's take. When I brought up the subject after today's dismal 6-2 loss to Florida, at first he smiled and pretended not to hear my question or know who Cherry was....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2009; 7:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
 
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Panthers 6, Caps 2

The Capitals suffered their worst home loss of this season and their first four-goal loss in Verizon Center since Nov. 21, 2007 against Atlanta. Simply put, Florida wanted this game more than Washington did. The Panthers had not lost two straight games in regulation since a three-game losing streak ended...

By Katie Carrera  |  March 1, 2009; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Today's Lineup

Jose Theodore will start today against the Panthers, who are coming off a 7-2 throttling in New Jersey yesterday. With a win, the Caps grow their lead in the Southeast Division to a whopping 17 points. Craig Anderson will start in net for Florida. Here's the rest of your Caps'...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2009; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (275)
 
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Boudreau on Cherry: 'He was wrong' (Updated)

Before today's game, Bruce Boudreau was asked to respond to Don Cherry's comments about Alex Ovechkin's goal celebrations Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada. Boudreau and Cherry are friends. Cherry called Boudreau to congratulate him when he was promoted to Washington. Boudreau, however, said his old buddy was wrong...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Beagle and Theodore in, Kozlov and Nylander out

The latest from Verizon Center: *Jay Beagle was recalled and will replace Viktor Kozlov in the lineup today against the visiting Panthers, Coach Bruce Boudreau said. Kozlov's groin, the muscle that caused him to miss nine games, tightened up in Boston yesterday. "I told him that he's not going to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2009; 1:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Guerin not coming to Washington

Reports out of Long Island are that Islanders captain Bill Guerin is on the move and that he's not on the ice for practice this morning. But my sources here in Washington are telling me that the Caps are not his next destination. Also, Jay Beagle has been recalled from...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2009; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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