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Capitals Insider: March 21, 2010 - March 27, 2010

Laich out tomorrow vs. Flames

Here's your early afternoon practice update from KCI: *Brooks Laich won't be in the lineup tomorrow, Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed moments ago. "As much as Brooks would like to play yesterday, he has to realize that he took a pretty significant shot to the face," Boudreau said. For his full...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 27, 2010; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Laich skates, B. Morrison leaves practice

Brooks Laich is back on the ice this morning wearing a full cage on his helmet to protect his face injury. Here's a quick video from pre-practice warmups: Now that practice has started, however, Laich has left the ice. I'm also not seeing Brendan Morrison, though I believe he was...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 27, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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From atop the standings, Caps watch the playoff race unfold

With the Caps on the verge of clinching the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Coach Bruce Boudreau is anxiously waiting to find out who his team will face in the first round of the playoffs. "Believe me, it's what I do. It's all I do," Boudreau said. Click here...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 26, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Caps caption contest (because it's Friday)

The Caps are taking the day off after losing in a shootout last night against Carolina but setting a new franchise mark for points (109). There shouldn't be too much going on today, but Gene Wang is working on a story about playoff scenarios and how much the Caps are...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 26, 2010; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (211)
 
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Caps set new mark in loss to Canes

A collection of Caps-centric links to kick off the day: *Washington breaks the franchise record for points but falls to the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, in a shootout. *Postgame video: John Carlson on his goal. *Canes cool with a moral victory. (News Observer)...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 26, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Caps lose in shootout, 3-2

What a weird night in Raleigh. The Caps rallied from two goal deficit. Semyon Varlamov had his best performance since returning from his injuries. Rookie John Carlson scored his first NHL goal. The team set a franchise record for points. But they lost, 3-2, in the shootout. Check out my...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 25, 2010; 11:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at 'Canes

Coach Bruce Boudreau does not appear to have made any changes to his lineup. So things should look familiar on what could be a big night for the Caps. Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble Chimera-Morrison-Semin Fleischmann-Belanger-Fehr Laing-Steckel-Bradley Defense Sloan-Green Poti-Corvo Erskine-Carlson Goalies Varlamov Theodore I'll have more later....

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 25, 2010; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (236)
 
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Ted Leonsis reaches agreement on price for Wizards, Verizon Center

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and the estate of sports entrepreneur Abe Pollin have reached an agreement on a price for Leonsis to purchase the Wizards and Verizon Center, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Click here to read the full report....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 25, 2010; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Bruce Boudreau: 'There's really only one goal'

With a win in Carolina tonight, the Caps can make all kinds of regular-season franchise history. But it should come as no surprise that the team isn't celebrating anything quite yet. "We're trying to keep it as even keel as we can, because there's really only one goal that we...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 25, 2010; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Tags:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Caps-Canes morning skate notes

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal for the Caps in Carolina on what could be an historic night for the franchise. They can clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in club history with a win and a Devils loss (in regulation or overtime to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 25, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Tags:  Carolina Hurricanes  
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Mike Knuble keeps teammates grounded

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) As part of a team with gifted stick-handlers and skaters to spare, Mike Knuble has forged a lengthy NHL career from grit rather than grace. His allegiance is to the unsightly parts of the game, and teammates most often will find Knuble in a...

By Gene Wang  | March 25, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Tags:  Mike Knuble, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Caps get another victory against rival Pens

A collection of Caps-centric links to kick off the day: *Shootout goals from Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble lift Washington over Pittsburgh for the third time in three meetings this season. *Tom Boswell: "How good are the Caps right now? Since World War II, only two pro...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 25, 2010; 5:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Ovechkin: 'It was mentally a very important win for us'

It was exactly the type of game you would expect when the NHL's top team hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion. Tense. Physical. Thrilling. It was all those things and more. What was completely unexpected, though, was the way it finished - on a shootout goal by Mike Kunble, a...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 25, 2010; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Eric Fehr on not giving the Pens 'any ideas in our rink'

Here's winger Eric Fehr on his third-period goal in the Caps' 4-3 shootout win against Pittsburgh: On the win: "Well it means a lot, definitely, against a team that's a possible playoff opponent, you wanna make sure you keep the pressure on them and don't give them any ideas in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 11:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Tags:  Eric Fehr, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Mike Knuble: 'We just want to keep playing well'

After scoring the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout against his team's biggest rival, Mike Knuble still managed to downplay the Caps' 4-3 victory over the Pens tonight. "You can make what you want out of the game," the veteran winger said when asked if the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 10:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Tags:  Mike Knuble, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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In-game chat: Caps vs. Penguins

Join Post reporter Gene Wang here on the Insider as Caps take on the rival Pens at Verizon Center. The chat will get underway around 7 p.m. Join the conversation below: Caps vs. Penguins...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Tags:  Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Sheriff: Caps not involved in steroids use

Two Polk County detectives flew home from Virginia Wednesday with no evidence that any member of the Washington Capitals had been involved in performance-enhancing drug use, but the steroid investigation that led to Tuesday's arrest of a Reston chiropractor with ties to the team was far from over, the sheriff...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Sidney Crosby: 'I never will' compare myself to Alex Ovechkin

Some notes from Pittsburgh's morning skate, including the fact that Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will sit out Wednesday night against the Capitals because of a sore foot. But first -- what else? -- Sid vs. Alex. As of this writing, the top nine news items on NHL.com focused on Washington-Pittsburgh....

By Barry Svrluga  | March 24, 2010; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Tags:  Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby  
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Matt Bradley, Shaone Morrisonn comment on steroids investigation

Update: Caps owner Ted Leonsis just posted a long blog entry with his thoughts about the investigation and the players' names being leaked to the media, adding that he hopes "yesterday's surprise questioning has put an end to future rumormongering and the desire to grab headlines." Read it here. Here's...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Tags:  Matt Bradley, Shaone Morrisonn  
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Eric Fehr: 'I don't think it was the players that were really targeted'

Caps winger Eric Fehr said he spoke to investigators for about 10 minutes yesterday regarding his visits with Douglas Owen Nagel, the Reston chiropractor arrested at his home in Reston and charged with obtaining steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The video is above, and here's an abbreviated transcript:...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags:  Eric Fehr  
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Jose Theodore set to start against Pens

Here's a quick update from KCI: *Jose Theodore came off the ice first this morning, which means he'll start in goal tonight against the Penguins. The veteran is 16-0-2 since Jan. 13 with a 2.40 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. *With Brooks Laich (face), Boyd Gordon (back)...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 24, 2010; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Boudreau: Laich to miss at least two games

Winger Brooks Laich will miss at least the next two games with facial injuries he suffered yesterday in practice when he was struck by a puck, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau would not get specific about the extent of the injuries. "Hopefully we'll get him back for Sunday's game,"...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 24, 2010; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Morning roundup: Pens and Caps meet again

Some morning links to get the day started:: *Investigators interview Caps players Matt Bradley, Eric Fehr and Shaone Morrisonn after a chiropractor with ties to the team is charged with obtaining steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs | Video » *Brooks Laich gets struck in the face by a puck...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 24, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Laich to be reevaluated tomorrow

The team has not provided an official update on Brooks Laich, who was struck in the face by a puck this morning. I do not know the extent of his injuries, but I'm hearing that he's expected to be okay and will be reevaluated tomorrow morning before the team decides...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Capitals' statement regarding steroids probe

The Capitals have just released the following statement regarding the steroids investigation of a Reston chiropractor with ties to the team: Florida law enforcement authorities have continued their steroid investigation following the arrest of Florida resident Richard Thomas in May 2009. The Washington Capitals are not the target of this...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | March 23, 2010; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Investigators leave KCI

Two Polk County (Fla.) detectives left KCI around 3:20 p.m., which means they were in the Caps' front office for about four hours.They referred all comment to the department's public information officer. The two officers also did not appear to be carrying much, if any, evidence. One of the detectives...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Law enforcement officials visit KCI in steroids probe of Reston chiropractor

A Polk County (Fla.) sheriff's department spokeswoman says two detectives came to Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning and were accompanied by at least one member of the U.S. Marshal's office. The visit is in connection with the arrest today of a Reston chiropractor who has ties to the Capitals and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Updates on Walker, Gordon and last year's steroids case (updated)

Here's the latest on a busy day out here at KCI: *Brooks Laich is off to the hospital to get the left side of his face checked out. He's got a cut underneath his left eye after being struck by a puck off the crossbar. Hopefully we'll know more this...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
 
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Laich suffers injury to face (updated)

I did not see how exactly Brooks Laich was hurt moments ago, but he came off the ice in obvious pain, covering his left eye/side of his face. He walked into an area that is off limits to media, called for head athletic trainer Greg Smith and then dropped to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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Gordon, Walker missing from practice

Practice is underway here at KCI and Scott Walker (knee) and Boyd Gordon (back) are not on the ice. Coach Bruce Boudreau, meantime, has introduced a new wrinkle: All of the top six forwards are in red, while the bottom six forwards are in green. The defense, meantime, is in...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 23, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Laich on Penguins: 'Just another hockey game'

Coach Bruce Boudreau put the Capitals through a demanding practice this morning at KCI, an indication he wants the team to be prepared to dig in for the final 10 games of the regular season. Boudreau cited the Capitals' finish over the last 10 games of the 2008-09 season as...

By Gene Wang  | March 22, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (126)
 
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Theodore continues to cement status

Jose Theodore has been playing so well of late that he's making Coach Bruce Boudreau's decision as to whether he would be the team's No. 1 goaltender all but a foregone conclusion. After practice today at KCI, Boudreau didn't confirm Theodore would be his top goalie as the Caps get...

By Gene Wang  | March 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Caps get ready for stretch run

As his players were filing onto the ice for their first practice at KCI since coming back from an extended road trip, Coach Bruce Boudreau stopped by the media work area just to say hello. A rare treat for us working stiffs, but apparently a good sign the team is...

By Gene Wang  | March 22, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Poll: Is this Alex Ovechkin's best season?

While writing my story for today's Post, I spent a lot of time looking at Alex Ovechkin's career statistics. And that got me thinking: which season really has been his best? If you read what I wrote, then you probably already know that I feel this is it, not only...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | March 22, 2010; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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