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Capitals Insider: May 10, 2009 - May 16, 2009

Boudreau: 'I'm Still Sort of Stunned'

(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post) Here's some of what Coach Bruce Boudreau had say at KCI earlier today: Q: Are you still stinging 48 hours later? A: I'm still sort of stunned we could play as a unit as we played in Game 7. You try to search...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (201)
 
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Theodore: 'I Still See Myself as a No. 1 Goalie'

(Jahi Chikwendiu -- The Washington Post) Despite being replaced in goal after only one playoff game -- by the player the Capitals consider to be their future No. 1, nonetheless -- veteran Jose Theodore said he intends to come back to Washington next year and challenge Simeon Varlamov for...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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Fedorov: 'I Still Have Got Some Legs Left'

(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post) Sergei Fedorov told a small group of reporters here at KCI moments ago that he has no plans to retire and that he hopes to return for another season with the Caps. "I cannot imagine myself retired; I don't know why," the 39-year-old...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Ovechkin Details Injuries

Alex Ovechkin said he suffered a groin pull in Game 4 of the series against the New York Rangers. He also said he was suffering from a wrist injury in the playoffs. Both ailments required injections before games, he said. Ovechkin also said he does not need surgery on either...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Semin Played With Injured Thumb

Here are a couple of really quick notes from Breakdown Day at KCI: GM George McPhee just said that he has no plans to buy out Michael Nylander's contract. It does not make financial sense, he said. McPhee also added that he thinks Nylander has not fully recovered from the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Morning Reading List: Still Thirsting for a Cup

(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post) (Filling in on MRL duty for Katie, who's out of town.) A thrilling 2009 postseason for the Capitals was cut short Wednesday night, and now General Manager George McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau need to look ahead in order to make next season's...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 15, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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Video: How Will the Caps Recover?

On today's Washington Post Live, The Post's Barry Svrluga and Comcast SportsNet's Al Koken measured the damage done to the Caps after losing to the Penguins in a blowout Game 7. Check out the video below:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 6:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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McPhee, Boudreau Have Some Thinking to Do

After the Capitals' highly successful regular season and disappointing finish in the playoffs, General Manager George McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau will need to sit down and figure out what -- or who, rather -- the team needs to go further in 2010. In his story for tomorrow's paper, Tarik...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Gustafsson Signs

The Caps have signed center Anton Gustafsson to a three-year entry level contract. Gustafsson, 19, was the team's 21st overall pick and is the son of former Cap Bengt Gustafsson. I'm assuming we'll get another look at Gustafsson, a player GM George McPhee is really high on, at development camp...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2009; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Sloan, Beagle Back To Hershey

As expected, Tyler Sloan and Jay Beagle have been returned to Hershey to help the Bears in their run for the Calder Cup. I'm working on my season wrap-up right now and will post some of my thoughts on the blog later this afternoon....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2009; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Behind the Column: Caps Fall in Game 7

Go behind the column at Game 7 with Mike Wise. Highlight: Barry Melrose (in a what-would-you-even-call-that-shade-of-blue suit) talking about the time he put Coach Bruce Boudreau's head into the glass back in the day. ("He deserved it.") Highlight No. 2: Boudreau's son, Brady, wandering around in the background and wife,...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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D.C. Sports Bog: Fan Questions About Game 7

Question: What exactly is happening in the above video? Answer: Go to the Bog to find out, and for some additional sorely-needed lightheartedness....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Video: After Defeat, Caps Fans Still Proud

Caps fans expressed their disappointment following Pittsburgh's victory in Game 7 last night at Verizon Center, but they remain very optimistic about the team's future. Watch the video below:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 6:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (269)
 
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Morning Reading List: The End of the Road

(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post) After six close, down-to-the-wire style games, the last thing anyone expected was a lopsided result in Game 7, but that's precisely what the capacity crowd in Verizon Center received. The Penguins shocked the Capitals and those rocking the red with a decisive 6-2...

By Katie Carrera  |  May 14, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Mike Wise: How to Frame the Season?

In his final interactive video, Mike Wise isn't sure how to look at the Caps' season after tonight's Game 7 defeat. Was it an unbelievable thrill ride that lasted until the second round, or was it simply a disappointment? Record a response and let us know what you think....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 14, 2009; 2:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Poti: 'No Excuses'

So much went wrong for the Caps in tonight's 6-2 loss to the Pens, and it all went so wrong so fast. They took bad penalties (I'm talking about Shaone Morrisonn's slash that led to the game's first goal). The goaltending was suspect (I'm thinking about the Pens' second and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2009; 1:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Postgame Quotes

Alex Ovechkin On the loss: "I'm very disappointed. They played better. First 10 minutes were pretty good, getting pucks in deep. I didn't score on the breakaway, so if I score first goal, maybe a different game. I didn't score it. They're experienced guys. They're a great team. They played...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 11:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
 
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Green, Ovechkin, Semin and Poti All Hurt

Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't want to use injuries as an excuse in the postgame press conference and offered up few details about which of his players were battling injuries, only vaguely acknowledging that Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin were hurt. I'm hearing at least seven Caps, including several of the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 13, 2009; 10:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
 
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Game 7: Penguins 6, Capitals 2

The Capitals' exhilarating and, at times, improbable postseason run came to an end tonight at Verizon Center in a 6-2 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After rallying Monday night at Mellon Arena to force a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Caps returned home and opened...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 9:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (160)
 
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Live Game 7 Chat: Capitals vs. Penguins

Our live chat will begin as soon as the puck drops for tonight's can-you-believe-we're-here-again Game 7 of the Caps' semifinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center. If you're not near a computer, go to twp.com/sports from your mobile phone and click on "Caps Playoffs Central" to get live game...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (170)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Penguins at Caps

Simeon Varlamov will be back in net for the Caps as they attempt to win a second straight Game 7 and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net for Pittsburgh. Here's what the rest of the Caps' lineup should look like based on warmups (it's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 13, 2009; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Video: Gonchar, Lines and More

Tarik got to the Verizon Center press box a little early today -- too excited for Game 7, maybe? -- and recorded a new webcam update. He talks about Sergei Gonchar's status ("I'm expecting him to go"), Bruce Boudreau's lines (the Laich-Steckel-Bradley combo should return) and more on the Mike...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
 
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Skate Notes, Gonchar a Game-Time Decision

Here are a few notes and quotes from the Caps' and Pens' morning skates: Although this series has been almost completely unpredictable from Game 1 through Game 6, Alex Ovechkin said he's got a pretty good sense of how tonight's decisive Game 7 will unfold, at least in the early...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 13, 2009; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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A Capital Success: How Did Leonsis Do It?

From Marc Fisher's blog: Last year around this time, I foolishly wrote that a Game 7 is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a climax that summons everything a fan has to give and brings strangers together in a frenzy of hope, desire and expectation. Well, here it is again. The Washington Capitals,...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Poll: Least-Favorite Penguin?

Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby may be the NHL's dream matchup, but this Eastern Conference semifinal series has been downright nasty at times. So we ask:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
 
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Morning Reading List: Game 7

(Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post) There is no spectacle in sports quite like a Game 7, especially in a Stanley Cup playoff series like this one. After five games that have been decided by one goal -- three that have required overtime, the fate of these two...

By Katie Carrera  |  May 13, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Video: Wise, Koken on Washington Post Live

In case you missed it, here's a clip of columnist Mike Wise and Comcast SportsNet's Al Koken talking about Monday night's memorable Game 6: Also, the Hershey Bears, the Caps' minor-league affiliate, just blanked Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Pens, 3-zip in their second-round Game 7. I wouldn't dare...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 9:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Quote of the Day and More on Game 7

(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post) Here's the quote of the day, from the most quotable guy in town: "The star power is there, and they haven't underperformed. It's not like you're playing in the Super Bowl and you have the best running back in the league going seven...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 5:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (134)
 
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Video: Gonchar, Penalties and Stick Support

Tarik reports from Kettler Capitals Iceplex on the return of Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar, minor penalties and Mike Green's ongoing stick saga. Check out the video below:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Bog Chat: Caps Bring It on Home

Here's an excerpt from Agent Bog's Caps chat today: Atlanta, Ga.: Coming into Game 6, I got the sense that the Caps had a desperate, yet a "we'll-show-them" kind of an attitude. How would you describe the attitude of the Penguins coming into Game 7? Dan Steinberg: You know, we...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Laich: Discipline for Caps 'An Achilles' Heel'

Here are some notes from this morning's practice at KCI: The Caps held a very optional practice this morning with most of the big-minute players exercising their option. By my count, there were 11 players on the ice today and six of them didn't play last night (if you count...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 12, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Video: How the Caps Celebrated

(Read the related Bog post here) Plus: Alex Ovechkin has been trying to score a nice set-up for his people on Wednesday night. Trying and failing, thus far. "Right now I try to order box for my family and my friends and you can't find it, so probably everything's...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
 
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Morning Reading List: Caps Live to Play Another Day

(Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post) David Steckel scored his third goal of these playoffs as Washington faced sudden-death not only in overtime of yesterday's Game 6 but the sudden end of their season to ensure that the Capitals would return home to play in yet another Game 7....

By Katie Carrera  |  May 12, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
 
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Mike Wise: Unleash the Fury

Mike Wise is just happy he saw such an incredible, season-saving Game 6 tonight at Mellon Arena. What did you think of the game, and who will win the decisive No. 7 Wednesday night at the Phone Booth? Watch Mike's video and record a response:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 1:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Scuderi: 'Varlamov Is Unbelievable Right Now'

David Steckel just won over a new generation of Caps fans, and this scintillating semifinal is making a bid to go down as one of the most memorable series in a generation. It's that good. Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are living up to their reputations as the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 12, 2009; 12:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Sports Bog: How the Caps Celebrated

From the D.C. Sports Bog: After Brooks Laich had addressed about 732 media members tonight, and after I made him repeat himself yet again in the hallway, everyone turned off their recording devices and went to find someone else. Laich just stood there, smiling. "What a game, though, eh?" he...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 12, 2009; 12:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Game 6: Capitals 5, Penguins 4, OT

With their season on the line yet again, the Capitals lived to see a Game 7 tonight with a 5-4 overtime victory at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena, thanks to David Steckel's clutch goal 6:22 in. Viktor Kozlov's second goal of the game 6:07 into the third period gave Washington a 4-3...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 11, 2009; 10:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (221)
 
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Live Game 6 Chat: Capitals at Penguins

Tonight's live chat will start as soon as the puck drops at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena for Game 6 of the Caps' semifinal against the Penguins, who can take the series tonight with a victory. If you're not near a computer, go to twp.com/sports from your mobile phone and click on...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 11, 2009; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (159)
 
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Green's Favorite Stick Has Arrived

Remember the little story I wrote earlier today about Mike Green breaking the last of his favorite sticks in Game 1? And how there's just one Mike Green edition Easton Stealth remaining in the world, and how it was earmarked for the Hall of Fame? Well, it's in the house...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Tonight's Lineup: Caps at Penguins

Simeon Varlamov will be back in net tonight at Mellon Arena as the Caps attempt to stave off elimination and force the series back to Washington for a Game 7 on Wednesday. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal for Pittsburgh. Based on warm-ups, here's what the lineup might look like:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Video: Trying to Force a Game 7

In his latest webcam update, Tarik talks about Alexander Semin's health, Mike Green's new stick and more as the Caps prepare for a make-or-break Game 6 at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 11, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
 
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Q&A With Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin ducked out of Mellon Arena hoping to avoid the cameras and questions, but a few reporters caught up to him before he got on the bus. Here's what the Caps winger had to say: Q: Is there a need for a speech on a day like today? Are...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Green Adjusting to a New Stick

Mike Green broke the last of his discontinued Easton Stealths -- the stick the slick-skating defenseman used to rack up 31 goals and 73 points -- early in Game 1 of this series. For the rest of that game, and the next two, Green said, "I felt like I was...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Feinstein: Caps Show Class and Promise

Here's an excerpt of a new column from John Feinstein, who praises the character the Caps showed after their Game 5 loss on a fluky defection off the stick of defenseman Tom Poti: That the game ended on a fluke play isn't in doubt. "Anyone who has played in the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 11, 2009; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Boudreau: 'Nobody Wants to Go On Vacation'

Before I head to the stands to watch the morning skate, I wanted to pass along a few quick notes and quotes from Bruce Boudreau's session with the media moments ago: As you might imagine, many of the questions were about the type of mentality it takes to succeed in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
 
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Morning Reading List: Game 6

(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post) The Capitals' backs are against the wall, but that's not anything really new for this team either. Washington has faced six elimination games in its past two post seasons -- three against Philadelphia, three against New York -- it's just a matter of...

By Katie Carrera  |  May 11, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
 
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Boudreau: 'It's Capable of Being Done'

Only two Caps went on the ice this morning (in warmups, no pads): Brooks Laich and Donald Brashear, whose six-game suspension ended yesterday. But it doesn't sound like Boudreau is in a hurry to put Brashear back in the lineup with the Caps facing elimination tomorrow night in Pittsburgh. "It...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 10, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (205)
 
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Ovechkin Ties Record, Backstrom Sets One

The Caps played their best game of the playoffs tonight. With the exception of a lull early in the third period, they competed as hard as they have all postseason. They were as physical as they've been all postseason. Alex Ovechkin played like an MVP. But it wasn't enough against...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 10, 2009; 12:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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