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Capitals Insider: October 31, 2010 - November 6, 2010

Caps assign Marcus Johansson to Hershey

The Capitals announced this afternoon that they have assigned rookie center Marcus Johansson to Hershey. Johansson has recovered from a hip flexor injury that he suffered back on Oct. 21 in Boston, but with the Capitals playing well and winning three straight it has been hard to find a place...

By Katie Carrera  | November 6, 2010; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson  
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Caps hope skill is enough against physical Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers have been known for their physical style of play since the early days of the franchise, so the Capitals know what to expect when the Broad Street Bullies visit Verizon Center on Sunday. Several Caps players talked after practice Saturday about matching the Flyers' physicality while not...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 6, 2010; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  D.J. King, Philadelphia Flyers  
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Marcus Johansson: 'It's boring' sitting out

Here are some notes from the Capitals' Saturday morning practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex: -Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin both got the morning off, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said they were both feeling sick. "They're good," Boudreau said. "They're just feeling a little under the weather today so we wanted...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 6, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Mike Green, Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti  
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After fast start, Caps managed to right themselves against Bruins

If you haven't already checked out the game story for Saturday's hard-copy edition of The Post, the Capitals did quite a good job at limiting the Boston Bruins through the first 40 minutes of regulation and held a three-goal advantage while outshooting their opponents, 25-9, over the first two periods....

By Katie Carrera  | November 6, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Boston Bruins, Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Bruins

The Washington Capitals (8-4-0) look to finally steal one tonight from goalie Tim Thomas and Boston Bruins (7-2-0), who dominated the teams' first two meetings. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with beat writer Katie Carrera (@kcarrera). See your tweets here by...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 5, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Tonight's lineup: Bruins at Caps

In order to avoid dropping a third game to the Boston Bruins this season -- something that has not occurred in regulation games since the 1998-99 season -- the Capitals believe they must play a patient, simple style of game that mirrors their opportunistic foes. "Any time you try to...

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Lineups  
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Tom Poti: 'My stubbornness hurt me'

On Thursday, Coach Bruce Boudreau described Tom Poti as going a little stir crazy these days, and it's an accurate assessment. Poti has played just four games this season because of what is believed to be a groin injury that resulted in him being scratched against Ottawa on Oct. 11....

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Injuries, Tom Poti  
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Notes from the Capitals' morning skate

Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice at KCI following today's morning skate so it appears he will get his 12th start of the season against the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center. It looks like Matt Hendricks will be back in the lineup after serving as the healthy...

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth  
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Poll: Are you surprised by Michal Neuvirth's play?

All season, and the past few days in particular, Coach Bruce Boudreau and the Capitals have had a lot of good things to say about goaltender Michal Neuvirth. The team never really imagined that they'd be relying primarily on one of their 22-year-old goaltenders so early in the season, but...

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Morning Roundup, Poll  
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Caps reassign Brian Fahey to Hershey

Per the team, defenseman Brian Fahey has been reassigned to Hershey. This shouldn't be a surprise as Tyler Sloan, who missed the past two games with a hip-flexor injury, said he would be ready to face the Bruins on Friday....

By Katie Carrera  | November 4, 2010; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Brian Fahey  
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Injury updates and Boudreau on Michal Neuvirth

I'm getting ready to watch the Bruins' practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning but there were a few notable updates to come out of Washington's optional practice. --Michal Neuvirth was among those who took the option to rest rather than practice, and Coach Bruce Boudreau noted that the 22-year-old...

By Katie Carrera  | November 4, 2010; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Michal Neuvirth, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan  
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Sports Illustrated nominates Brooks Laich for Sportsman of the Year

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) "Many of the men and women who have earned the award have changed their sports, their communities and sometimes even the world," begins Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber in his nomination for the magazine's Sportsman of the Year. "This year there should be consideration for a...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 4, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Brooks Laich  
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Optional practice for the Caps

With a month of games nearly every other day, it's not too surprising that the Capitals have an optional practice this morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Among those participating are Marcus Johansson and Tyler Sloan, who are both nursing hip flexor injuries. Those not on the ice include Alex Ovechkin,...

By Katie Carrera  | November 4, 2010; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Tyler Sloan  
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Capitals perfect with Boyd Gordon in the lineup

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) If Coach Bruce Boudreau is at all superstitious, he might do well to keep forward Boyd Gordon in the lineup. In a 5-4 shootout victory over Toronto last night before 18,398 at Verizon Center, Gordon played his sixth game of the season. The Capitals are 6-0...

By Gene Wang  | November 4, 2010; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon  
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Capitals rally for a 5-4 shootout win over Maple Leafs

This was a strange game and far from a perfect one from the Capitals, who allowed three goals to Toronto in the third period after giving up just five in that frame through the first 11 games of the season, but they still managed to come away with a 5-4...

By Katie Carrerra  | November 4, 2010; 12:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Jason Chimera, Mike Knuble  
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Alexander Semin shines despite feeling ill

Alexander Semin finished off the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight with a blast from close range during a 5-4 shootout victory, but before that goal, the left wing had played a good portion of the game in unfamiliar territory: planted on the crease. Semin is regarded as among the most skilled...

By Gene Wang  | November 3, 2010; 11:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs

The Washington Capitals (7-4-0) open up a three-game homestand tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs (5-5-1), who are reeling after captain Dion Phaneuf's injury in Tuesday's loss to Ottawa. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter with beat writer Katie Carrera (@kcarrera). See...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 3, 2010; 6:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (135)
Categories:  Toronto Maple Leafs  
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Tonight's lineup: Leafs at Caps

Eric Fehr returns to the Capitals lineup after being a healthy scratch for Washington's most recent outing, a 7-2 win in Calgary. Coach Bruce Boudreau said it was only intended as a one-game wake up call for the right winger. Michal Neuvirth makes his 11th start of the season in...

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Lineups  
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Preparing for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs are hungry for a win after captain Dion Phaneuf, above, cut his leg in a loss to Ottawa last night. (Getty Images) After getting off to a 4-0 start this season, the Leafs have fallen into a 1-5-1 skid heading into their match up against the Capitals at...

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  Toronto Maple Leafs  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against Leafs and other morning skate notes

In what shouldn't come as a surprise at this point, Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice this morning and appears ready to make his 11th start of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, Semyon Varlamov (groin) skated with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish...

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Brian Fahey, Bruce Boudreau, Eric Fehr, Injuries, Tom Poti, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyler Sloan  
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Caps recall Brian Fahey

The Capitals have recalled defenseman Brian Fahey from Hershey for his third stint with the club. Fahey, who is out on the ice at KCI this morning, went on the Capitals' three-game road trip and appeared only against the Calgary Flames, finishing the game with an even plus-minus rating in...

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Brian Fahey, Toronto Maple Leafs  
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First period looms large for Caps

The Capitals understand the kind of opportunity they're presented with in a month where nine of 14 games will be played in the friendly confines of Verizon Center. They are 4-1 at home so far this season and finished with the league's best home record in 2009-10 with a 30-5-6...

By Katie Carrera  | November 3, 2010; 7:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Boudreau ready to see how far Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin combo can go

Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin are shown on the attack against Ottawa in March. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Coach Bruce Boudreau has typically preferred to spread out his most offensively-potent players in order to maximize the Capitals' options and to make it a challenge for opponents to match...

By Katie Carrera  | November 2, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann  
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Mike Knuble: 'I'm extremely frustrated'

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) In his 12 previous NHL seasons (of 50 games or more), Mike Knuble has never experienced a scoring slump quite like the one that he's started the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign with. Despite a plethora of quality scoring chances from his usual wheelhouse close...

By Katie Carrera  | November 2, 2010; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Mike Knuble  
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Michal Neuvirth named NHL's rookie of the month

The NHL named Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth its rookie of the month for October. Neuvirth has started 10 of the Capitals' 11 games this season and boasts a 2.15 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, stopping 252 of the 272 shots he's faced so far this season. Here's one of...

By Katie Carrera  | November 2, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth  
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Boudreau: Semyon Varlamov likely to practice Wednesday

Coach Bruce Boudreau said that he believes Semyon Varlamov, who has missed nine days of practice with a groin injury, will skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday and he's hoping that the 22-year-old goaltender will be ready within a week to 10 days. "He knows his body a lot...

By Katie Carrera  | November 2, 2010; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Injuries, Marcus Johansson, Semyon Varlamov, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan  
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Back at home, Caps seeking stability

The Caps resurfaced for practice in Arlington yesterday after their three-game, three-time zone road trip last week, and the players seemed happy to be back at home after a taxing few days. The team allowed just four goals during the trip, and Coach Bruce Boudreau spoke yesterday about continuing to...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 2, 2010; 6:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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A healthy scratch Saturday, Eric Fehr hopes to be back in Caps' lineup this week

Bruce Boudreau made Eric Fehr a healthy scratch for the Capitals' 7-2 win over Calgary on Saturday, and neither coach nor player was in much of a mood to talk about the decision Monday morning after the Capitals' first practice since. "I haven't talked to anybody," Fehr said. "If I...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 1, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Eric Fehr  
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Tom Poti 'questionable' against Leafs

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said defenseman Tom Poti is "questionable" for Wednesday's game against Toronto, and said the assignment of Brian Fahey to Hershey is not necessarily an indication that Poti or Tyler Sloan will be ready to play. Fahey and center Mathieu Perreault were sent down after Saturday's win...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 1, 2010; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan  
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Practice update: Could Tom Poti be ready to return?

The Caps are back in Arlington, and here are some notes from this morning's practice so far: With the assignment of Brian Fahey back to Hershey, it appears one of the Caps' regular defensemen will be ready to return to action Wednesday against Toronto. Tom Poti was paired with Mike...

By Greg Schimmel  | November 1, 2010; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Tom Poti  
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After mixed-bag road trip, Caps looking for balance

While a confidence-boosting, 7-2 victory in Calgary on Saturday night ended a three-game road trip on a high note, it also highlighted the inconsistency in the Caps' play early this season because it followed a game in which they could barely handle the puck, let alone score. Now that the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 1, 2010; 6:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Statistical analysis: Is Alex Ovechkin giving luck a chance?

Goal scoring is a function of opportunity, skill and luck. There is no denying that playing on the top line with Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom affords Alex Ovechkin every opportunity to score goals, while his mantle full of individual NHL awards and a 52-goal pace this year...

By Neil Greenberg  | October 31, 2010; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Statistical analysis  
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Caps send Fahey, Perreault to Hershey

The Capitals have assigned defenseman Brian Fahey and center Mathieu Perreault to the AHL's Hershey Bears. Perreault was a healthy scratch last night in Calgary, with Coach Bruce Boudreau opting to get Boyd Gordon and D.J. King back in the mix....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 31, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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After some 'soul searching,' Caps get it together

(Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press) Here are some other notes and quotes from the Capitals' 7-2 win over the Flames Saturday night (here are the the full recap of the contest and a breakdown of David Steckel's first-ever penalty shot attempt and goal): For those of you who didn't watch the game,...

By Katie Carrera  | October 31, 2010; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Calgary Flames, David Steckel, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom  
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David Steckel records first penalty-shot tally for finishing touch on Caps' 7-2 win over Flames

With a long game (seven goals by the visitors will do that) and an early start to a long day of flights back to Washington, I'm going to be brief. But if you haven't done so already, check out the full recap of the Capitals' 7-2 win over the Flames....

By Katie Carrera  | October 31, 2010; 2:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Calgary Flames, David Steckel  
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