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Capitals Insider: April 25, 2010 - May 1, 2010

Theodore: 'It was real frustrating'

Here are some additional quotes from today that didn't make my story for tomorrow's Post: Scott Walker on not getting into the lineup Game 7 "I would have liked to go in. I talked to Bruce and he said, 'I'm happy [with] the way you handled yourself. You were good...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 30, 2010; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (296)
 
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Boswell on the physical pain of hockey

In this series, Cap players were criticized, accurately but facilely, for not going to the net enough to create more vision-obstructing traffic in front of hot goalie Jaroslav Halak. But at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday, the physical pain of hockey was on display. Each player develops his own level...

By Thomas Boswell  |  April 30, 2010; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Scott Walker on Caps' loss: 'It's time to learn to win now'

I'm working on my story for tomorrow's Post. But, in the meantime, I wanted to share some of the best quotes from today's breakup day at KCI. Scott Walker "If you're not learning from disappointments and losses then the experience is worthless. Some people say you have to learn how...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 30, 2010; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Ovechkin, Laich on losing and flat tires

In case you haven't ventured over to the D.C. Sports Bog recently, Dan Steinberg has post-playoff video reactions from Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich. Asked whether it would be fair, as captain, to have to shoulder the blame for the Caps' first-round playoff exit, Ovechkin said: "It's fair. It was...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 30, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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McPhee backs Boudreau, staff

Caps GM George McPhee said moments ago that Coach Bruce Boudreau has his support and is "going to be here a long time." Boudreau has received his share of criticism from fans and the media since the Caps' first-round loss to Montreal. "Everybody has to take their full share of...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 30, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
 
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Tom Poti expected to make full recovery

Tom Poti didn't want to do his final interview of the season on camera. Given the swath of stitches on the right side of his face, his blood-filled eye, and the black-and-blue bruise surrounding it, his request was totally understandable. Poti, the Caps' best defensive defenseman, suffered the gruesome injury...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 30, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Tags: Tom Poti  
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Caps are left to wonder...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 30, 2010; 5:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
 
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Boswell: Time for some tough questions

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) After last night's unceremonious playoff exit, columnist Thomas Boswell writes that the Caps must decide whether the crowd-pleasing offensive system they've built is so at odds with the rugged nature of playoff hockey that it must be changed. You can say the Caps choked. You...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2010; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (188)
 
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Ovechkin named finalist for Hart

No surprise here, but Alex Ovechkin has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, joining Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin. From the Caps' release: Ovechkin - who has won the last two Hart Trophies and could join Wayne Gretzky (1980-87) and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 29, 2010; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
 
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Varlamov: Caps had too many 'almost' moments

Goalie Semyon Varlamov shares his thoughts on the Caps' first-round playoff defeat to the Canadiens, crediting goalie Jaroslav Halak with winning the series for Montreal but adding, "I think we were playing too erratically. And in every game we had like five or six 'almost' moments." Your Browser DoesNot Support...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (227)
 
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Collapse, with a Capital 'C'

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) The most depressing set of morning Caps links the world has ever seen: *Montreal 2, Washington 1: The Capitals are the NHL's first No. 1 seed to blow a 3-1 lead to a No. 8 seed after their stunning loss to the Canadiens in...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 29, 2010; 6:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Caps complete historic collapse

There's going to be plenty of time in the coming days to dissect each minute detail about what happened tonight, and in this series, and what the future holds for this team. But being that it's almost 1 a.m., I'm going to get started on that in the morning. For...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 29, 2010; 12:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (195)
 
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Live: Chat about the Caps' Game 7 loss

Post reporter Gene Wang is online now to discuss the Caps' stunning first-round playoff exit. Join the conversation here....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 28, 2010; 9:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (337)
 
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Caps trail Canadiens after two periods, 1-0

Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov made a huge save early in the period, turning away Brian Gionta on the doorstep after the Montreal forward had gotten hold of a loose puck. But soon following that save, the Capitals went a man down when Jeff Schultz was called for tripping. Washington managed...

By Gene Wang  |  April 28, 2010; 8:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (368)
 
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Caps trail Canadiens after one period, 1-0

Just when it appeared the Capitals and Canadiens were headed for a scoreless first period, Marc-Andre Bergeron quieted the Washington faithful with a power-play goal in the closing 30 seconds, beating Semyon Varlamov with a slap shot. Montreal had gone on the power play after defenseman Mike Green was called...

By Gene Wang  |  April 28, 2010; 7:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (236)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Canadiens at Caps

Semyon Varlamov, as expected, will start in goal for the Caps and is set to face Jaroslav Halak as the Habs attempt to become the ninth No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarters. The rest of the lineup should look...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 28, 2010; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (213)
 
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Scott Walker anxious to get back in the game

It looks as though Scott Walker will get his first playoff start as a Cap tonight in Game 7, playing on the fourth line with Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley. Walker, acquired from Carolina in March for a seventh-round draft pick, will get the start if Tomas Fleischmann is a...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 28, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Boudreau: 'It's an exciting part of hockey lore'

Deciphering lineups in the regular season isn't easy. Figuring them out in the playoffs is even tougher. But there were a few cues at KCI this morning: *Semyon Varlamov came off the ice way before Jose Theodore. So he figures to be tonight's Game 7 starter. *Quintin Laing, David Steckel,...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 28, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
 
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Alzner ready for playoff debut

Karl Alzner was focused on helping the Bears on Tuesday. Then he got a call he didn't expect. "When I did get the call I was like, 'That's kind of strange,'" Alzner after the morning skate at KCI. "Because there were still [other defensemen available] here. But [maybe his history...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 28, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
 
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Varlamov appears set to start

Despite a subpar performance in Game 6, it looks like Coach Bruce Boudreau is giving Semyon Varlamov another chance based on the morning skate. Varlamov came off the ice early, and veteran Jose Theodore, who has not played since getting pulled in Game 2, is putting in extra work with...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 28, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
 
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Game 7: Here they are again

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. A Game-7-again themed collection of morning links: *Thomas Boswell: In the last 25 years, the Capitals have blown a two-game lead in a playoff series six times. This year's stakes, with Washington the best team in the NHL in the regular season, are higher than...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 28, 2010; 5:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Caps call up Alzner

With Tom Poti sidelined with an eye injury, the Caps have recalled Karl Alzner for tomorrow's Game 7 against the Habs at Verizon Center. It's unclear whether Alzner will play -- the Caps have Tyler Sloan and John Erskine available -- but it's possible Alzner will take Poti's place and...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 27, 2010; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (235)
 
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Deal finalized for sale of Wizards to Leonsis

Tom Heath reports that the deal for Capitals owner Ted Leonsis to buy the Wizards and Verizon Center is done: The Abe Pollin family has finalized a deal with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis to sell him the family's share of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center, the family announced...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 27, 2010; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Game 7 experience not necessarily advantage

The Washington Capitals are becoming quite accustomed to playing in Game 7s. They've played in three of them over the past two seasons and are 1-2. Their only win was 2-1 over the New York Rangers in last season's Eastern Conference quarterfinals. "Well we're 1-2 in Game 7, so how...

By Gene Wang  |  April 27, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Poti to miss Game 7

Defenseman Tom Poti will miss Game 7 against Montreal tomorrow night after getting hit in the right eye in last night's 4-1 loss at Bell Centre. Poti flew back with the team last night and was scheduled to have surgery today. Coach Bruce Boudreau estimated Poti would miss two to...

By Gene Wang  |  April 27, 2010; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Ovechkin among those not at practice

Players are on the ice now, and among the notable absences include Alex Ovechkin, Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin and Eric Belanger. Jose Theodore was the first goalie on the ice, followed a few minutes later by Semyon Varlamov. Of course that hardly answers the question who will be in goal...

By Gene Wang  |  April 27, 2010; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
 
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Lights out at KCI

It's half an hour before the start of the Capitals' optional practice at KCI, but the rink is dark. We're thinking this may be a new strategy on the part of the team to beat Jaroslav Halak. What he can't see, he can't stop right? In any case, stay tuned...

By Gene Wang  |  April 27, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Capitals' closeout fail

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) A collection of morning links: *Canadiens 4, Capitals 1: Washington fires 54 shots at Jaroslav Halak and manages only one goal as Montreal knots the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at 3. | Game story » *Mike Wise: "Heading into their fourth elimination night at Verizon...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 27, 2010; 5:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
 
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Halak steals Game 6 from Caps

The question's on everyone's mind, so let's get right to it: Who starts in goal Wednesday? I'm pretty sure No. 41 will be in net for the Habs. But what about the Caps? Semyon Varlamov yielded at least one, maybe two goals, of questionable quality -- and Montreal only scored...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 27, 2010; 12:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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Live: Chat about the Caps' Game 6 loss

Post reporter Gene Wang is chatting now about the Caps' 4-1 loss at Bell Centre, which shifts the first-round series back to Washington for yet another decisive Game 7. If you're keeping track, that's four straight seven-game series for Washington. Join the conversation here....

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 26, 2010; 9:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (139)
 
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Caps trail Canadiens after two periods, 2-0

The Capitals had plenty of chances especially in the first half the period, but goalie Jaroslav Halak was simply too good. First Halak stopped a bid by Alexander Semin, who had all the time he needed to set up a quality shot but instead sent the puck right into the...

By Gene Wang  |  April 26, 2010; 8:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (270)
 
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Canadiens (update)

Seymon Varlamov will be in net for the Caps, who will take their second crack at eliminating the Canadiens tonight in Game 6 of the conference quarters. Jaroslav Halak, meantime, is expected to be in Montreal's net. The Caps' lineup still is not apparent. Coach Bruce Boudreau showed one set...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 26, 2010; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (268)
 
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Caps trail Canadiens after one period, 2-0

Hoping to avoid having to play a Game 7 in their first-round series against Montreal, the Washington Capitals came out firing tonight and tested starting goalie Jaroslav Halak early and often. Halak was up to the challenge, turning away several quality chances in the first two minutes. Buoyed by the...

By Gene Wang  |  April 26, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
 
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Lineup for Game 6 remains a mystery

Two days after ripping into his team for its effort in Game 5, a kinder, gentler Coach Bruce Boudreau reiterated his philosophy on motivating his players this morning. Immediately after Friday's 2-1 Game 5 defeat was the time to give them heck. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, he said, was the...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 26, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (161)
 
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Theodore named a finalist for Masterton

Jose Theodore has been named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." The other finalists are Tampa Bay's Kurtis Foster and San Jose's Jed Ortmeyer, the NHL announced this morning. The...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 26, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (114)
 
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Alexander Semin and the empty net

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Alexander Semin is one of the league's most dangerous offensive players. But through five playoff games, he has no goals and one assist, and his propensity for seemingly drifting in and out has only fueled the story line. "I think mentally it's a good thing...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 26, 2010; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
 
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Tracee Hamilton to discuss the Capitals during First Things First

Join Post columnist Tracee Hamilton for the latest edition of her "First Things First" chat, Monday at 9:30 a.m. Submit your questions, but first, read on to see what's on her mind: Once again, so much to talk about, so little time. We've got Game 6 tonight in Montreal, with...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  April 25, 2010; 9:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Caps practice power play

The Caps spent most of this morning's practice working on -- what else? -- the power play, which is a dismal 1 for 24 through five games in this series. The almost all-out 30-minute session appeared to be a little more intensive than usual, with Coach Bruce Boudreau often interrupting...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 25, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
 
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