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Capitals Insider: December 12, 2010 - December 18, 2010

Open thread: Capitals at Bruins

The Washington Capitals (18-11-4) hope to avoid extending a seven-game skid tonight when they face the Boston Bruins (16-10-4), who are trying to end their own three-game slide. Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #caps....

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | December 18, 2010; 6:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (201)
Categories:  Boston Bruins  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Bruins

The Capitals face the Bruins looking to finally snap their seven-game losing streak. Entering Saturday night's NHL schedule, Washington holds a one-point edge over Atlanta and a two-point lead over Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Southeast Division and both teams play tonight. The Thrashers and Lightning host...

By Katie Carrera  | December 18, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Lineups  
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Both Caps and Bruins look to break out of slumps

While the Bruins' current three-game skid pales in comparison to the Capitals' seven-game slide, both teams will take the ice tonight looking to vanquish their ongoing struggles. Boston hasn't been able to get off to a strong start in recent contests, and most recently fell behind 3-1 to Montreal on...

By Katie Carrera  | December 18, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Bruce Boudreau, Jason Chimera  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against Bruins

In the final regular season meeting against the Bruins this year, Michal Neuvirth will get the start at TD Garden and be opposed by Tim Thomas, who has already caused the Capitals problems several times this season. Among the forwards, Eric Fehr and D.J. King were taking part in extra...

By Katie Carrera  | December 18, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Boston Bruins, Eric Fehr, Michal Neuvirth  
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Caps owner Ted Leonsis likes to leave hockey decisions 'to the professionals'

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis found out about John Erskine's contract extension the same way just about everyone else did: by reading about it online. In an interview today on Bill Simmons's "B.S. Report," Leonsis talked about setting a business strategy -- one like blowing everything up and starting over --...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | December 17, 2010; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Semin won't travel to Boston; Hannan and Sloan both sick

Scott Hannan and Tyler Sloan are the latest Capitals to succumb to the flu-like illness that has made its way around the locker room. Neither defenseman took part in practice at KCI this morning and Coach Bruce Boudreau said they are game-time decisions for tomorrow's game against the Bruins. Boudreau...

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Scott Hannan, Tyler Sloan  
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Caps sign John Erskine to a two-year contract extension

The Capitals have announced that they've signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year contract extension. Erskine is in the final year of a two-year, $2.5 million contract. More to come. UPDATE Erskine's extension, which will carry him through the 2012-13 season, will pay the rugged defenseman a total of $3...

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  John Erskine  
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Caps breaking in Winter Classic equipment in practice

At KCI this morning the Capitals will be breaking in their new, retro-look, equipment for the Winter Classic including the red pants, red helmets and new gloves. Both Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth had new masks made for the Winter Classic as well and you can check out a video...

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Winter Classic  
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George McPhee's take on the first episode of HBO's '24/7'

Before each episode of HBO's "24/7" airs, both the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are shown a rough version of their team's footage in upcoming show. They don't have editing powers, but if they object to certain strategy or injury information being aired, they can voice concerns to the producers....

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  George McPhee, HBO 24/7, Morning Roundup  
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Capitals acclimating to HBO presence

Even though Capitals have gone through more than 10 days with the constant presence of HBO cameras and boom microphones documenting their every move and comment, the reviews are mixed as to how accustomed they are to having them there. For some players, the cameras have faded into the background...

By Katie Carrera  | December 16, 2010; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  HBO 24/7  
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Bruce Boudreau's mom not happy with his cursing on HBO's '24/7'

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he opted to not watch HBO's "24/7" series on the Capitals and Penguins last night -- "It's probably one of those things that you'd watch if you're on a 10-game winning streak, but we aren't," he said -- but there was a clip of one of...

By Katie Carrera  | December 16, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, HBO 24/7  
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Alexander Semin out with lower-body injury

Coach Bruce Boudreau said winger Alexander Semin, who did not skate today, is out with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Semin's status for the Capitals' games this weekend -- Saturday in Boston and Sunday in Ottawa -- is uncertain, Boudreau said. Defenseman Mike Green was shown in last night's first episode...

By Washington Post sports editors  | December 16, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Mike Green  
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HBO's '24/7' lets the Capitals see themselves from another perspective

Not all of the Capitals players and staff members watched the first episode of HBO's "24/7" last night -- owner Ted Leonsis and Coach Bruce Boudreau both said they hadn't seen the show -- but for those who did, the sting of seeing some of the worst parts of this...

By Katie Carrera  | December 16, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Here's what the Internet is saying about HBO's '24/7' Caps and Penguins series

Based on the text of reviews and recaps of HBO's "24/7" special on the Caps and Penguins, here's a very unscientific look at what people are talking about: Created using Wordle "Bleeping" and "Boudreau" win out. Stay tuned for reactions from the players and coaches, coming soon. For some of...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | December 16, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  HBO 24/7  
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Alexander Semin not out for Caps' practice

Alexander Semin is not out on the ice with the Capitals for practice this morning at KCI, marking the third straight session he's missed this week. It's unclear if Semin is still suffering from the flu-like symptoms that have swept through the Washington dressing room, which Coach Bruce Boudreau attributed...

By Katie Carrera  | December 16, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Complete game for Brooks Laich

The result was anything but satisfying for Brooks Laich, yet out of Washington's 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim came a resurgent performance from the left wing whose passion and professionalism have made him among the most respected members of the team and often its spokesman in times of distress. Laich...

By Gene Wang  | December 16, 2010; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Brooks Laich  
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The importance of continuing defensive intensity

With a six-game losing streak burdening the Capitals entering last night's game against Anaheim, Coach Bruce Boudreau used Tuesday's practice in part to install a game plan that paid much attention to defense. The challenge then became if his players would carry it out to a level that would yield...

By Gene Wang  | December 16, 2010; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Morning Roundup  
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Anaheim prevails, 2-1 in OT, hands Caps seventh straight loss

It's hard to discount the strong defensive game that the Capitals played Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks. How they stuck to their system, checked well and for the vast majority of the game the support in the defensive zone was apparent on every shift. But after several missed scoring...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 11:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, Bruce Boudreau, David Steckel, Mike Knuble  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Ducks

The Washington Capitals (18-11-3) look to get back their scoring touch and end a six-game skid tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (16-13-4). Chat about the game in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter and see your tweets here by using #caps. Faceoff: 7 p.m., Verizon Center; TV:...

By Washington Post sports editors  | December 15, 2010; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (175)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks  
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Tonight's lineup: Ducks at Caps

If the Capitals are to snap their six-game losing streak tonight against Anaheim they'll need to find a way to at least contain the Ducks' top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't divulge too much of the plan to keep that trio in...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, Lineups  
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Leonsis: Caps 'working hard; staying together; and trying to get healthy'

Earlier this afternoon on his blog, Ted's Take, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said that the Capitals are "working hard; staying together; and trying to get healthy" while remaining positive about breaking their six-game losing streak. He also thanked fans who have sent emails with opinions regarding the team's current struggles...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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HBO's '24/7' catches Caps at a low point

If you haven't been reminded enough, the first episode of HBO's "24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road to the NHL Winter Classic" will air tonight at 10 p.m. and be replayed immediately after at 11 p.m. So you can watch the Caps-Ducks contest and then settle in for the opening installment of this...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, HBO 24/7  
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Varlamov to start, Semin questionable against Ducks

Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice for the Capitals this morning and will get the start tonight at Verizon Center against the Anaheim Ducks. Coach Bruce Boudreau wants to give Varlamov a chance to regain some of his confidence and get back on the horse, so to...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Anaheim Ducks, Semyon Varlamov  
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LaVar Arrington still loves the Caps

Hockey fan extraordinaire LaVar Arrington has some encouraging words for the Capitals and their fans over on his Hard Hits blog, and draws an interesting comparison between this season and last. Have a look-see if you're interested....

By Washington Post Sports  | December 15, 2010; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Caps recall Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle from Hershey

The Caps recalled forwards Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle from the minor league Hershey Bears this morning while demoting defenseman Brian Fahey. Washington, which has lost six straight, hosts the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Verizon Center. More to come soon from Kettler Capitals Iceplex....

By Lindsay Applebaum  | December 15, 2010; 9:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon, Brian Fahey, Jay Beagle  
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On the Capitals' quest for balance

The Capitals entered this season determined to win the right way, to learn how to shut teams down, to not be the team that wins games by a score of 6-4 all the time but to do all that without sacrificing their potent offense. To fully complete that transition and...

By Katie Carrera  | December 15, 2010; 7:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Mike Green, Morning Roundup  
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Capitals' tenor during practice is all business

There are days for lighthearted practices, when players joke and often fool around on the ice. This morning's wasn't one of them. Not even close. With the specter of a season-long six-game losing streak weighing on the team, Coach Bruce Boudreau conducted an approximately hour and a half practice that...

By Gene Wang  | December 14, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Marcus Johansson, Mike Green, Tom Poti  
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Bruce Boudreau on goaltending: 'We're not going after anybody else'

There may be a variety of reasons for the Washington Capitals' six-game losing streak, but goaltending is not chief among them, at least not according to Coach Bruce Boudreau, who vigorously defended Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov today after practice when questioned about local and national media reports suggesting an...

By Gene Wang  | December 14, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Semin, Gordon and Johansson not practicing for Caps

Practice is underway at KCI as the Capitals work out the kinks that have developed over this six-game losing streak. Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon and Marcus Johansson aren't on the ice this morning, while everyone else is-- including Mike Green, D.J. King, Tyler Sloan and Brian Fahey. A team spokesman...

By Katie Carrera  | December 14, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon, Injuries, Marcus Johansson  
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Could Ovechkin's fight be a lasting spark?

It's not a common scene to see the NHL's most skilled players, and captains, dropping the gloves in a fight. When they do, there's usually good reason. When Alex Ovechkin fought Brandon Dubinsky at center ice on Sunday it was a combination of frustration boiling over and trying to spark...

By Katie Carrera  | December 14, 2010; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Morning Roundup  
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Feinstein: it's too early to panic

Columnist John Feinstein has chimed in on the Capitals recent losing streak. You can read the column here. Feinstein offers a little perspective on this slump and, while acknowledging that the pressure to succeed is greater on this Capitals team than any in franchise history, he concludes that it is...

By Washington Post Sports  | December 13, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (194)
 
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Capitals assign Andrew Gordon to Hershey

Right wing Andrew Gordon has been reassigned to the AHL's Hershey Bears, the Capitals announced this afternoon. Gordon is one of the top scorers in the AHL and saw 12:10 of ice time on Sunday in Washington's 7-0 loss to the Rangers. The Capitals will be back on the ice...

By Katie Carrera  | December 13, 2010; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon  
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Poll: What should the Caps do now?

When the losing streak was at four games, we asked whether it was time to panic. Forty-eight percent of you said no, it is just a slump. Fair enough. Now that the skid has hit six, and in the aftermath of last night's shellacking at the hands of the Rangers,...

By Washington Post Sports  | December 13, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (212)
Tags:  Capitals losing streak, Caps vs. Rangers, Washington Capitals  
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Big Chill at the Big House: Lessons learned for Winter Classic

To whet the appetite of Capitals fans looking forward to the Winter Classic, I visited the Big Chill at the Big House college hockey game Saturday in Ann Arbor, and if the New Year's Day game in Pittsburgh goes even nearly as well, fans are in for a treat....

By Matthew Rennie  | December 13, 2010; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Winter Classic  
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How the losing streak has impacted the Caps' place in the standings

In 13 games since Nov. 19 the Capitals have earned just 10 points. Washington still stands in first place in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the NHL. But the cushion the Capitals had built for themselves in the standings has largely disappeared. The Capitals...

By Katie Carrera  | December 13, 2010; 7:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Caps blanked by Rangers, 7-0, drop sixth straight game

If there was a moment in the second period where the Capitals seemed most able to claw their way back from a large deficit, it was after Alex Ovechkin fought Brandon Dubinsky. Little more galvanizes a team as much as seeing its captain and most valuable player frustrated and emotional...

By Katie Carrera  | December 13, 2010; 12:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers  
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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Rangers

Andrew Gordon will make his 2010-11 NHL debut tonight at Madison Square Garden and it appears that D.J. King has been placed on injured reserve to make room for Gordon on the 23-man roster. King wouldn't be eligible to return to the lineup until next Saturday against the Boston Bruins....

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (343)
Categories:  Lineups, New York Rangers  
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Andrew Gordon to play against Rangers, Boudreau calls Semin's cross check "selfish"

In his pre-game comments to reporters at Madison Square Garden, Coach Bruce Boudreau said that right wing call up Andrew Gordon will be in the lineup against the New York Rangers but that he's not sure who will be out. "We've got a few guys hurt and still under the...

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Andrew Gordon, Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Mike Green, New York Rangers  
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Capitals recall Andrew Gordon

Washington announced that it has recalled right wing Andrew Gordon, who will be making his first appearance with the Capitals in the 2010-11 season. Gordon is tied for the American Hockey League's lead in goals with 16 and has 31 points in 26 games. The Capitals were at 23 players...

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Andrew Gordon, New York Rangers  
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Alexander Semin fined for cross check

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that Capitals forward Alexander Semin has been fined by the NHL but will not be suspended for his cross check to the back of Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles' head. In the second period of Washington's eventual 3-2 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday night, Semin cross-checked...

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, New York Rangers  
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Caps show 'a lot of work ethic,' but slide hits five

Washington's 3-2 loss to Colorado tonight marked the first time under Coach Bruce Boudreau the Capitals have lost five straight games. They've now lost four games in regulation at Verizon Center (12-4-2 overall at home); in the 2009-10 campaign they only lost five times in regulation at home. Regardless of...

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 12:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Colorado Avalanche, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Knuble  
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