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Capitals Insider: February 6, 2011 - February 12, 2011

Video: Adaptive hockey with the Washington Capitals

The Capitals joined 70 children with disabilities for an adaptive hockey clinic hosted by Dream For Kids and the Washington Capitals. Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. (Video by Madeline Marshall/The Washington Post)...

By Washington Post editors  | February 12, 2011; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Capitals head west for potentially defining road trip

Losers of two straight and playing some of their least inspired hockey this season, the Washington Capitals embarked on a five-game road trip late this afternoon clearly shaken and vigorously pursuing an exit strategy to their malaise before it's too late. Compounding matters is their first three opponents on this...

By Gene Wang  | February 12, 2011; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Matt Hendricks, Mike Knuble  
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Capitals' players-only meeting underscores urgency

Nothing smacks of desperation quite like the dreaded players-only meeting, so when the Washington Capitals conducted their own immediately following a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles this afternoon, there was no mistaking the dire circumstances in which the team is mired heading into a week-long road trip. Players remained in...

By Gene Wang  | February 12, 2011; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Kings

The Washington Capitals (29-16-10) and Los Angeles Kings (29-22-3) head into this matinee meeting struggling to score goals as they average 2.69 and 2.68 goals per game respectively. Washington looks to capture a win against the Kings before embarking on its longest road trip of the season to date...

By Katie Carrera  | February 12, 2011; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (189)
Categories:  Lineups, Los Angeles Kings  
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Successful stretch against the West can go a long way for Caps

The Capitals' upcoming five-game, nine-day road trip that stretches from Phoenix and California to Buffalo and Pittsburgh will be their longest sojourn away from Verizon Center so far this season. (The longest trip of the year will be six games in March, when the NCAA Tournament takes up residence in...

By Katie Carrera  | February 11, 2011; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
Categories:  Los Angeles Kings  
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Capitals prepare for Kings before hitting the road

Although Saturday's contest against the Los Angeles Kings is one of 11 remaining home games for the Capitals this regular season, it almost feels like part of their upcoming road trip at this point. Washington is in the middle of five consecutive games against Western Conference opponents and will head...

By Katie Carrera  | February 11, 2011; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Los Angeles Kings  
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Capitals expect Mike Green to play against Los Angeles

Both Coach Bruce Boudreau and Mike Green reiterated that they believe the defenseman will be in the lineup for Saturday's matinee contest against the Kings. Green, who was struck in the head by a slap shot on Feb. 6 and missed Tuesday's game against San Jose, is scheduled to undergo...

By Katie Carrera  | February 11, 2011; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Injuries, Mike Green  
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Line change: What trade-deadline moves should the Caps make?

The Feb. 28 NHL trading deadline is quickly approaching, and a flurry of moves in the last few days has perhaps made other general managers around the league feel the heat. The general consensus most of the season has been that the Capitals are in need of a second-line center...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 11, 2011; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  George McPhee  
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Capitals reinforcing their need to go to the net

One of the most common or popular phrases around the Capitals this season could be heard in abundance during the team's practice at KCI Thursday as Coach Bruce Boudreau repeatedly commanded: "Get to the net!" or close variations of it. The practice session was an opportunity for Washington to get...

By Katie Carrera  | February 11, 2011; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
 
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What makes David Steckel so good at faceoffs?

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. Capitals center David Steckel has won 64.5 percent of his faceoffs, the best rate in the NHL. How did he become so dominant? Check out Dan Steinberg's story to learn more -- but not too much, because "If I gave away my techniques then everyone...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 10, 2011; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
Categories:  David Steckel  
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Capitals embrace a tough practice

Given the pace of their schedule the rest of the regular season, the Capitals likely won't have too many stretches of substantial practices like the two days before they face Los Angeles on Saturday, remaining. Washington took advantage of the chance Thursday morning, though, when they practiced for nearly an...

By Katie Carrera  | February 10, 2011; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Tom Poti  
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Mike Green still must undergo testing, but says he 'should be good to go'

Mike Green took part in Capitals' practice this morning except for the lengthy, three-part bag skate at the conclusion of the workout, but the defenseman has not yet undergone the neuropsychological testing that he's been scheduled to take this week. Green was hit in the head by a slap shot...

By Katie Carrera  | February 10, 2011; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Line change: Thoughts on the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin line?

Coach Bruce Boudreau experimented with his forward lines during today's practice, and with the return of Alexander Semin from injury came a familiar combination affectionately known as the S-O-B line. There is still another practice before Saturday's game against the Kings and there's no guarantee that the Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Semin...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 10, 2011; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Alexander Semin skating with Ovechkin, Backstrom

All of the Capitals except for right wing Eric Fehr, who is still out with a shoulder injury, are on the ice for practice at KCI this morning. There is one new wrinkle, though, and that's the re-appearance of Alexander Semin skating alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The ever-changing...

By Katie Carrera  | February 10, 2011; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Statistical analysis: Are more shutouts ahead for Capitals?

Tuesday night's 2-0 loss to San Jose was the eighth time this season the Washington Capitals have been shut out, the most since the 1999 season, when they were kept off the scoresheet 11 times. With the franchise record (12) a possibility, is it time to panic? Goal scoring in...

By Neil Greenberg  | February 10, 2011; 8:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Statistical analysis  
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After loss to San Jose, Caps searching for a spark

In the time between their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday and the start of their game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, the Capitals talked about habits and patterns. Win three in a row and it would be a more definite sign of progress in developing...

By Katie Carrera  | February 9, 2011; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (161)
Categories:  Mike Knuble, Scott Hannan  
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Penguins' Matt Cooke suspended four games for hit from behind

Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended four games for hitting Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind last night in Pittsburgh. The suspension was first reported by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos. Tyutin was uninjured by the hit, but he told the Columbus Dispatch it was "the worst hit I've ever...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 9, 2011; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Line change: Was Boudreau's criticism of Neuvirth unfair?

Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't blame Michal Neuvirth for the Capitals' 2-0 loss to the Sharks last night, but several readers seem to think he may have thrown the young goalie under the bus a little bit. Neuvirth said he "felt pretty good the whole game," stopping 34 shots before allowing...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 9, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth  
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Alexander Semin's return yields mixed results

The Washington Capitals got back one of their most potent scoring threats last night, and although Alexander Semin wasn't able to play at full throttle as he continues to heal from a groin injury, there were at least several encouraging moments. On the ice for the first time since Jan....

By Gene Wang  | February 9, 2011; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Capitals find little to apply toward next game against Sharks

The Washington Capitals play San Jose so rarely that last night's game figured to yield at least a couple of useful nuggets for the next go-around against the Sharks. Problem was, Washington performed so poorly in a 2-0 loss that several players were nearly speechless when asked what could be...

By Gene Wang  | February 9, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  San Jose Sharks  
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Michal Neuvirth was sterling in goal -- for 51 minutes

The Capitals react to a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Verizon Center on Feb. 8, 2011.

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 10:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, San Jose Sharks  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Sharks

The Washington Capitals (29-15-10) and San Jose Sharks (28-19-6) have both struggled at times this year after coasting through the 2009-10 regular season, but both teams are on an upswing heading into tonight's contest. Washington has earned points in eight of its last nine games and San Jose is...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 8, 2011; 6:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Lineups, San Jose Sharks  
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Capitals defenseman Mike Green out against Sharks

Mike Green will not play against the San Jose Sharks, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said, and the defenseman will undergo testing tonight. Boudreau said Green, who was struck in the head by a slap shot in the first period of Washington's 3-0 win over the Penguins Sunday and required several...

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mike Green  
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Got questions for Capitals players? Ask them here.

For the upcoming editions of our "Ask the Caps" video series, we're seeking out answers to your questions for John Carlson, Matt Bradley and Mathieu Perreault. Fill out the form below to ask a question. If you'd like to be credited in the video, feel free to include your name...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 8, 2011; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  John Carlson, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Bradley  
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Capitals rookie Marcus Johansson 'wants to learn everything'

Marcus Johansson, right, celebrates a short-handed goal against Pittsburgh. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) Marcus Johansson should play in his 42nd NHL game tonight against the San Jose Sharks, just three games shy of the most he ever played in a single season in the Swedish Elite League and...

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Bruce Boudreau on Sharks, former roommate Todd McLellan

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Sharks Coach Todd McLellan and Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau were minor league roommates back in the late 1980s, when McLellan was a rookie. Fast forward and they're friends who are both head coaches in the NHL of teams that have been viewed as regular-season overachievers recently....

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, San Jose Sharks  
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Line change: How will Alexander Semin's return impact the Caps?

Alexander Semin is set to return after missing 12 games with a groin muscle injury, marking the Caps winger's first game since signing a one-year, $6.7 million contract extension on Jan. 28. Washington is on a mini-roll after winning two games against its biggest rivals, and Semin's return against the...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 8, 2011; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Alexander Semin to return against Sharks, Mike Green's status uncertain

Mike Green took part in the Capitals' morning skate and said he felt good, but both he and Coach Bruce Boudreau are unsure if the defenseman will be in the lineup against the San Jose Sharks tonight at Verizon Center. Green was struck in the head, near his right ear,...

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Injuries, Jay Beagle, Mike Green, Tom Poti  
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San Jose Sharks visit National Archives

Ever wonder what types of team-building activities an NHL club can do on the road in an unfamiliar city? Well in Washington this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning played street hockey in front of the White House and on Monday the San Jose Sharks opted for a more educational itinerary....

By Katie Carrera  | February 8, 2011; 8:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  San Jose Sharks  
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Mike Green will likely miss Tuesday's game with concussion symptoms

Capitals head trainer Greg Smith assists defenseman Mike Green, who was struck in the head with a slap shot Sunday and did not play the final 40 minutes against Pittsburgh. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) Mike Green will likely miss the Capitals' game against the San Jose Sharks Tuesday...

By Katie Carrera  | February 7, 2011; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Line change: Is Caps' reaction to Cooke's hit on Ovechkin justified?

Asked about Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke's knee-on-knee hit on Alex Ovechkin yesterday, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't hold back. Cooke "knows damn well what he did," Boudreau said. "There's no doubt in my mind that he's good at it and he knows how to do it. He knows how to...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 7, 2011; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, David Steckel, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Capitals erring on the side of caution with Mike Green

Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Capitals are playing it safe with defenseman Mike Green, who did not take part in Monday's practice after being struck in the head by a slap shot Sunday afternoon against the Penguins. Green had several rows of stitches near his right ear and said after...

By Katie Carrera  | February 7, 2011; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Mike Green not on the ice for Capitals' practice

Mike Green is not out on the ice for Caps practice at KCI this morning after being struck in the right side of the head by a Brooks Orpik slap shot in the first period of Washington's 3-0 win over Pittsburgh. I'll have an update on his status when the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 7, 2011; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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On Hockey: Can one weekend turn around the Caps' season?

Introducing a new weekly analysis from former Capitals beat writer Tarik El-Bashir: With 28 games and two months remaining in the NHL's regular season, it's too early to call this weekend a turning point. But if the Capitals finally live up to their immense expectations this spring, we'll look...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | February 7, 2011; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, El-Bashir On Hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Ask the Caps: Karl Alzner answers your questions

Readers sent in questions for Karl Alzner a few weeks ago, and we tracked him down for some answers. Here's the Capitals defenseman on how it feels to see kids wear his jersey, when the Wolverine beard might make a comeback and more. Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 7, 2011; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Karl Alzner  
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Statistical analysis: Is Jason Chimera the solution for the top line?

It took almost 150 line combinations at even strength for Jason Chimera to share time on the top line with the dynamic duo of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and so far the results have been good. They have been on the ice for six even-strength goals in the last...

By Neil Greenberg  | February 7, 2011; 7:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Jason Chimera, Statistical analysis  
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Mike Green says he's 'fine now' after getting hit with puck in Caps' win against Pens

The Capitals played a complete 60-minute game for the second time in three nights and earned a 3-0 victory over arch nemesis Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon to climb to 68 points. Even without the presence of Penguins stars Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (torn ACL and MCL) this contest had...

By Katie Carrera  | February 6, 2011; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Mike Green, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Bruce Boudreau sounds off on Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke

Late in the third period of the Capitals' 3-0 win over the Penguins Sunday, Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke hit Alex Ovechkin knee-on-knee at the top of the right faceoff circle in the Washington zone. Ovechkin got up and both he and Nicklas Backstrom immediately confronted Cooke and began throwing...

By Katie Carrera  | February 6, 2011; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Mike Green questionable to return against Penguins

Late in the first period, a slap shot by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik struck Mike Green in the right side of his head and the Capitals' defenseman has not returned to the ice. The Capitals announced that Green is questionable to return in Sunday's game against the Penguins. Green crumpled to...

By Katie Carrera  | February 6, 2011; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Penguins

Faceoff: 12:30 p.m., Verizon Center; TV: NBC; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText { display: none;} var now = new Date(); var nowSecs = now.getTime(); document.write( ' ' ); Update: 12:08 p.m. Michal Neuvirth led the Capitals out on to the ice at Verizon Center and will make...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 6, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (158)
Categories:  Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Capitals, Steckel not worried about Penguins seeking retribution

In the days following the Winter Classic, many members of the Pittsburgh Penguins spoke out about the collision between the Capitals David Steckel and Sidney Crosby. Defenseman Brooks Orpik called it "definitely dirty" and Mike Rupp said if the Penguins saw the contact when it happen "there would have been...

By Katie Carrera  | February 6, 2011; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  David Steckel, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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