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Capitals Insider: November 8, 2009 - November 14, 2009

Devils 5, Caps 2

What a letdown for the Caps tonight at Prudential Center. They came here riding a four game winning streak and with something to prove against a very good Devils' team. And, after taking an early 2-0 lead, they stunk. Jose Theodore had another rough night. Alexander Semin had a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2009; 11:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (178)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Devils

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight as the Eastern Conference's top two teams battle at Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur, meanwhile, will start for the Devils, who have won seven straight and 10 of their past 11 games. Alex Ovechkin, Mike Knuble and Milan Jurcina are out with injuries. The...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2009; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (163)
 
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Ovechkin out tonight in New Jersey

Alex Ovechkin will miss his sixth straight game tonight, Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed moments ago. And although the team still hasn't announced when he'll return, all indications are that No. 8 will be back in the lineup Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (after getting tomorrow off and a full practice...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Ovechkin: 'You never know'

Alex Ovechkin skated hard at the end of the morning skate with the assistant coaches, which usually is a sure sign he won't be in the lineup tonight. But Ovechkin insisted that a decision on his status against the Devils has not been made -- yet. "Well, you never know...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2009; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Ovechkin will be game-time decision (updated)

Alex Ovechkin will take the morning skate and is expected to take the pregame warmup tonight at Prudential Center. If all goes well, the two-time MVP and team officials will then decide whether he'll return from a five-game absence and face the Devils. The Caps are 4-1-0 without Ovechkin, but...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2009; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Caps 3, Wild 1

The Caps took a third period lead, and for a change, held on and beat the Wild, 3-1, to pick up their fourth win in a row. But tonight was just as much about what they lost. Mike Kunble is out three to four weeks with a broken finger,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 11:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Knuble out three to four weeks

Mike Knuble suffered a broken finger late in the first period and will need surgery, a team official said. He is expected to miss three to four weeks. The first line right wing was injured when he was shoved from behind and crashed headfirst into the net by Wild defenseman...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 9:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Wild at Caps

Semyon Varlamov will make his second start in seven games tonight when the Caps host Wild. Backup Josh Harding, meantime, will get the nod for Minnesota. David Steckel is back from tending to family matters and will play tonight, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. That means Boyd Gordon won't suit...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
 
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Nylander update

Here's an update from Slava Malamud of Russia's Sport-Express on the Michael Nylander situation: The ever-changing Michael Nylander-to-the-KHL story may or may not be nearing its conclusion, with more information leaking out by the day. As Tarik reported yesterday, CSKA Moscow (better known in the West as Central Red Army...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Jurcina out, Steckel questionable

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Milan Jurcina will miss tonight's game against Minnesota and probably Saturday's game in New Jersey with a pulled muscle in his lower body. Boudreau also said Jeff Schultz will be a healthy scratch, so that means Tyler Sloan will return to the lineup. David Steckel's status,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
 
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Ovechkin a "possibility" for tomorrow

Alex Ovechkin won't play tonight against the Wild, but Coach Bruce Boudreau said there's a "possibility" that he'll suit up tomorrow in New Jersey. "He feels great," Boudreau said of the two-time MVP. "I said go over and talk to [head athletic trainer Greg Smith]. That means he's getting really...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Varlamov to start

Based on the morning skate, it looks like Semyon Varlamov will get the nod in net tonight against Minnesota. It also appears that Alex Ovechkin (strain near his left shoulder), Jeff Schultz (groin) and Milan Jurcina (undisclosed) will be out. Ovechkin isn't quite ready to go, but he's definitely still...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Morning roundup: Just 'a couple of days' away?

Alex Ovechkin practiced with his teammates yesterday for the first time since suffering a left shoulder strain on Nov. 1 and says he expects to return to the lineup in "a couple of days." He raced up and down the ice, swinging his arms comfortably and carrying his stick...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 13, 2009; 5:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Varlamov on nerves, fans, the save

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Here's another update from Russian reporter Slava Malamud: Oh, how many ways there are for a goaltender to make an eye-popping save. It's one of those wonderful things about the game of hockey. And I bet you haven't seen a lot of saves like Semyon...

By Slava Malamud  |  November 12, 2009; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
 
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Ovechkin's 'getting closer'

Alex Ovechkin returned to practice this morning and easily had his best skate since suffering that left shoulder strain on Nov. 1. He participated in all of the drills (none involved contact) and, for the first time, took full slap shots. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he would be surprised if...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 12, 2009; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Video: Bettman on KHL relations

If the NHL and Kontinental Hockey League are going to work together in the future, it won't be before reaching "common ground on some fundamental issues," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last night following a meeting with KHL President Alex Medvedev. Bettman named the lack of a transfer agreement as...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 12, 2009; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Ovechkin back at practice

Quick update from Tarik: Alex Ovechkin is on the ice for practice. Not sure if he'll be participating fully or not. But he's letting his shots rip. By the way, here's that photo gallery from last night....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 12, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Morning roundup: An 11th-round knockout

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. Well, that one was interesting. Alexander Semin has two goals, Chris Clark had the decisive tally in the 11th round of the shootout and the Caps beat the Isles, 5-4, last night. "Even when we were down, I never thought that we were out of...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 12, 2009; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Caps 5, Isles 4 (SO)

The Caps beat the Islanders, 5-4, in the shootout tonight. But the buzz after the game was about a player who wasn't in the lineup. According to a report on RDS.ca, Michael Nylander has agreed to be loaned to Dynamo Minsk of the KHL. Forward Michael Nylander agreed with...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 12, 2009; 12:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
 
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Clark lifts Caps in shootout

Chris Clark scored the decisive goal in the 11th round of the shootout to give the Caps a 5-4 victory over the Isles. Here's what Clark had to say about his "move," singular: Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 11, 2009; 10:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Islanders at Caps

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight as the Caps look to win their third in a row. Dwayne Roloson, meantime, will get the nod for the depleted Islanders. While the Caps won't have Alex Ovechkin, a thin New York lineup will be missing Kyle Okposo (swine flu), Doug Weight...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 11, 2009; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (196)
 
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Caps' collective health on upswing

Here's the latest infirmary report: Alex Ovechkin (left shoulder strain) has unofficially been upgraded to "questionable" for this weekend's games; Mike Green (upper body) and Alexander Semin (right wrist) will suit up tonight; Boyd Gordon (sore back) could return by this weekend; and Jeff Schultz (lower body) returned to practice...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 11, 2009; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
 
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Ovechkin 'questionable' for the weekend

The biggest news this morning was Alex Ovechkin's continued improvement from a left shoulder strain. There's been so much improvement (videos here), in fact, that Coach Bruce Boudreau called the two-time MVP "questionable" for this weekend's games. "But you never know because he's getting so much better on a daily...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 11, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Video: Ovechkin making progress

Alex Ovechkin didn't skate with his teammates this morning, but he did come onto the ice afterward. He took slap shots and did full wind-ups, something he hasn't been able to do since suffering a left shoulder strain on Nov. 1. Today's focus has been stickhandling and shooting, whereas the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 11, 2009; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Morning roundup: Making a splash

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) In three games with the Caps, undersized center Mathieu Perreault has taken advantage of his call-up, racking up a goal and two assists and impressing Coach Bruce Boudreau. "He's had a great week," Boudreau said. "His energy, his tenacity, his pedigree. I say that because...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 11, 2009; 8:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Nylander update

While a number of outlets are reporting that Michael Nylander appears to be headed to Russia, including this report posted on TSN.ca within the past hour, a Caps official just said the team does not expect an update on the veteran center's status today. I'll post an update as soon...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 10, 2009; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
 
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Ovechkin continues to improve

Alex Ovechkin hasn't practiced with his teammates yet, but he reiterated moments ago that he's inching closer to returning to the Caps' lineup. "I feel better today," said Ovechkin, who skated on his own this morning. "Right now I feel better every day. [I'm] probably day-to-day. I just need a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 10, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Practice updates

Update: Tarik reported yesterday that Michael Nylander is likely headed to the KHL's Dynamo Minsk. Now, TSN's Bob McKenzie tweets that Nylander is indeed headed to Russia: Nylander makes the final call on whether he's going to Russia but it looks like he's prepared to do it. Not formalized just...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 10, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
 
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Morning roundup: Ovechkin eyes his return

Alex Ovechkin practiced for the second time yesterday, taking shots, stickhandling and skating hard for about a half hour. He's no longer in pain and may return to games within the next week. "I wish it was going to be tomorrow," said Ovechkin, who suffered a strain near his...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 10, 2009; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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McPhee encouraged by Ovechkin's improvement

GM George McPhee said he wouldn't be surprised if Alex Ovechkin returns in time for this weekend's games. "He's doing well," McPhee said. "As we said, it will be week to week. We weren't sure whether he could play this past weekend, and we'll see if he can play this...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (287)
 
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McPhee on Nyls: 'There's some things that are going on' (updated)

GM George McPhee acknowledged that Michael Nylander cleared waivers this afternoon, but he declined to shed much more light on the awkward situation other than to hint that a deal could be in the works. Earlier in the day, Coach Bruce Boudreau said that Nylander will not be returning to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Ovechkin: 'Probably a week'

Alex Ovechkin returned to the ice today, skating at the end of the Caps' practice and again for about 15 minutes with Mark Nemish. He took some wrist shots, did a little stickhandling and carried his stick in his left hand the entire time he was out there. "I feel...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Video of Ovechkin skating, shooting

As promised, here's a short video I took of Alex Ovechkin this morning at KCI. The two-time MVP did not skate with his teammates, but came out toward the end of practice. I'm told he might be coming back out in a bit for a conditioning skate....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Boudreau on Nyls: 'Michael wasn't going to be a good fit' (updated)

I haven't received word on whether or not Michael Nylander has cleared waivers. But this much is pretty certain at this point: It doesn't seem that No. 92 will be returning to Washington....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Ovechkin joins practice

Alex Ovechkin came out for the final 15 or 20 minutes of practice today. He definitely is still bothered by a strain in his left shoulder, but he's skating and took a few wrist shots. I'll have a video of his session shortly....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Green returns; Ovechkin, Schultz, Nylander missing (updated)

Practice just started at KCI, and I don't see Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz or Michael Nylander on the ice. Ovechkin, of course, is out with a strain near his left shoulder; Schultz left Friday's game with a lower-body injury; and Nylander was placed on waivers on Saturday. Nylander is scheduled...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 9, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Morning roundup: Caps' offense still clicking

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Even with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green sitting up in the press box, the Caps managed to get some serious offense going -- even if it was almost all in the third period -- Saturday night: Sparked by Mathieu Perreault's first career NHL tally and...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  November 9, 2009; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Caps dispute report on Ovechkin

The Caps have issued the following statement in response to a Yahoo! Sports interview quoting Alex Ovechkin as saying he expects to miss 4-5 weeks: "The Washington Capitals dispute the validity of this report." The timeline suggested in the interview, I'm told by a team official, is not accurate. The...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 8, 2009; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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