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Capitals Insider: January 3, 2010 - January 9, 2010

Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers

Michal Neuvirth will start in goal tonight at Philips Arena, where the Caps will be attempting to shake off another strange day of travel and hand Atlanta its 10th loss in 11 games. Johan Hedberg, meantime, will be in net for the Thrashers. The rest of the Caps' lineup should...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 9, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers  
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Caps have travel trouble, again.

For the second time in a month, the Caps had problems with their charter flight service. As a result, the team arrived in Atlanta around 10:30 this morning instead of yesterday afternoon. The delay left equipment managers scrambling to get pads, jerseys and skates ready for the morning skate here...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 9, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers  
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Boudreau: Varlamov could begin skating this weekend

This morning's practice was optional, and many of the team's stars such as Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin did not participate. Coach Bruce Boudreau also did not skate, so today's update will be a little shorter than usual:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 8, 2010; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Tags: Brooks Laich, Semyon Varlamov  
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Morning roundup: The finishing touch

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Nicklas Backstrom scored twice in the third period and Alex Ovechkin added a late goal as the Caps beat the Senators, 5-2, at Verizon Center to capture their second win in a row. | Full story » Postgame wrap-up: And now for some morning linkage:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 8, 2010; 5:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Tags: Morning roundup  
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Caps 5, Senators 2

There was a time in Nicklas Backstrom's career when the center enjoyed setting up goals more than actually scoring them. That, however, is no longer the case. "I can't say I don't like it," Backstrom cracked after notching his 16th and 17th goals in the third period tonight to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 8, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Tags: Nicklas Backstrom, Ottawa Senators  
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Tonight's lineup: Senators at Caps

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight at Verizon Center as the Caps go for their second straight win. Pascal Leclaire, meantime, will start for the Senators, who are minus top-line forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. Also for the Caps, Brian Pothier will return and Quintin Laing will come...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 7, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
Tags: Ottawa Senators  
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Boudreau: Karl Alzner could be back soon

One day after Karl Alzner was sent down, Coach Bruce Boudreau said the young defenseman's demotion to the Bears might only be temporary. "We're healthy with eight defensemen and we wanted that right-hand guy in there [Brian Pothier], so if [Alzner] was going to sit out a couple games, why...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 7, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Tags: Boyd Gordon, Brian Pothier, Jose Theodore, Karl Alzner, Ottawa Senators, Quintin Laing, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Semyon Varlamov: 'My knee is injured'

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) That "lower-body injury" Semyon Varlamov suffered late in Sunday's rehab start in Hershey was not related to the groin muscle he strained on Dec. 7, after all, he told me this morning. The injury he suffered with the Bears, the oft-injured goalie said, was a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 7, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags: Semyon Varlamov  
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Morning roundup: Caps go for two in a row

Tonight's matchup:   Ottawa Senators (22-17-4) Washington Capitals (25-11-6) Verizon Center, 7 p.m. TV: CSN Radio: 820 AM, 1500 AM A few Twitter updates from Tarik: *Appears as though Quintin Laing will be a healthy scratch for the first time since Oct. Looks like he'll join Tyler Sloan in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 7, 2010; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Tags: Morning roundup  
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Notebook: Pothier ready to play again

Tarik's latest Caps notebook focuses on defenseman Brian Pothier, who looks to return tomorrow night against the Senators after missing 11 games with a cracked rib. "Sleeping, breathing, coughing, sneezing, laughing, twisting, anything with your rib cage, it all hurt," he said of the ailment that landed him on injured...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 6, 2010; 6:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Tags: Brian Pothier  
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Afternoon roundup: Caps top Habs, WJC, etc.

Making up for lost time now that our blog software has returned from a brief hiatus... (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) A quick, Caps-centric recap of the last 24 hours (in reverse chronological order): *Caps assign D Karl Alzner to Hershey. *David Steckel signs for three years, $1.1 million per....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 6, 2010; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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The blog is back ... we think

Just got an email from the blog powers that be, and it would appear that Movable Type is back up and running. Please bear with us as we play catch-up. In the meantime, here are Tarik's Twitter updates from this morning (in reverse chronological order): *Semyon Varlamov returned to Washington...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 6, 2010; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Caps 4, Canadiens 2

Quite a busy evening on F Street. To recap, in order:...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2010; 11:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Steckel signs extension

I'm hearing David Steckel has signed an extension. I'll have to get the particulars tomorrow. Lots going on in Capsland tonight....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2010; 10:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags: David Steckel  
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Boudreau on Ovechkin: 'Alex was the only choice'

Some postgame quotes on Alex Ovechkin being named captain: Coach Bruce Boudreau: I know [the players] were really happy when I told them this morning. This doesn't happen too often, but the group got up and cheered. I had talked to a lot of them in the last couple days...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 5, 2010; 10:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Tags: Alex Ovechkin  
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Video: Alex Ovechkin puts on the captain's 'C'

Here's a video via NHL.com of Alex Ovechkin putting on his captain's 'C' for the first time. Let's just assume he was excited on the inside....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 5, 2010; 8:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Tags: Alex Ovechkin  
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Photo: Alex Ovechkin in his captain's sweater

Here's a shot from Post photographer Toni Sandys of Alex Ovechkin with his new captain's 'C:' (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) Here's the full story from Tarik. Also, here's a quote on Ovechkin from countryman Ilya Kovalchuk, via the Atlanta Thrashers: "I would like to congratulate Alex on being named...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 5, 2010; 7:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Tags: Alex Ovechkin  
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Caps name Alex Ovechkin captain

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Note: We're experiencing blog server issues, so if you can even see this, apologies for the delay. It's official: Alex Ovechkin is the new captain of the Caps. The two-time MVP just came out onto the ice here at Verizon Center with the captain's 'C'...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2010; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Neuvirth in net, Fleischmann moves to center

Michal Neuvirth will make his third consecutive start in goal tonight against Montreal and the Canadiens' top-ranked power-play unit. The most interesting tidbit this morning at KCI, however, was Tomas Fleischmann shifting from left wing to center. Fleischmann hasn't played the position since his days as a junior in Moose...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 5, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Tags: Brian Pothier, Semyon Varlamov, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Morning roundup: Home sweet home ice

Update: Tarik reports from Kettler that Alexander Semin, who left practice early yesterday, is out on the ice shooting pucks and looks fine. Update No. 2: Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin are the only players missing. Tarik will follow up soon. The Caps are back at Verizon Center tonight...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 5, 2010; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Tags: Morning roundup  
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Nicklas Backstrom: Playing with a migraine is 'twice as hard'

Here's a look at today's Caps notebook from Gene Wang, who spoke with Nicklas Backstrom about his occasionally-debilitating migraine headaches. And if you haven't had a migraine before (lucky you), Backstrom sums it up pretty well: "First of all you can't see; like you see blurry," Backstrom said. "Then your...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 4, 2010; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Tags: Nicklas Backstrom  
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Alexander Semin leaves practice early

Winger Alexander Semin left practice with an undisclosed injury, but Coach Bruce Boudreau said he did not believe it to be serious. "According to Alexander Semin, he's fine," Boudreau said. "He felt something today, and he said it's better to be maintenance free, not push it, and he'll be fine...

By Gene Wang  |  January 4, 2010; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Tags: Alexander Semin  
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Backstrom skates, Varlamov suffers minor setback

The Capitals were back at Kettler for their morning practice after a lengthy West Coast trip in which they lost to San Jose and Los Angeles. The good news for the team was first-line center Nicklas Backstrom participated fully during the first portion of practice. Backstrom missed the final 39...

By Gene Wang  |  January 4, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Tags: Nicklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov  
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Morning roundup: Done with the west coast

The Caps' last journey out west was marked by losses to the Sharks and Kings, so it's probably a relief to be back home in Washington. Tarik is also happy to be home with his family for the first time in 2010, so to give him a little break, Gene...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 4, 2010; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Tags: Morning roundup  
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