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Capitals Insider: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

Third periods have been troublesome for the Capitals

While it's impossible for any team to be perfect, perhaps the most aggravating aspect about the Capitals' up-and-down season at times has been the way that as soon as they put one part of their game together another aspect goes awry. There was the trouble with the first period and...

By Katie Carrera  | February 19, 2011; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Capitals back East, readying for a 'very pivotal' game against Sabres

Before this road trip began, Mike Knuble described playing on the east coast as "You come out east, it's gritty, it's cold, it feels like hockey here." Nothing less was true Saturday, where after a week of mild if not warm temperatures playing on the road against Pacific Division opponents,...

By Katie Carrera  | February 19, 2011; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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McNeill reassigned to Hershey, other practice notes

There's no internet access in the Hockey Outlet in North Tonawanda, N.Y., where the Capitals are having practice this morning, so Katie Carrera filed some notes via Blackberry: -- The Capitals have reassigned defenseman Patrick McNeill to Hershey. McNeill was called up on Tuesday. -- Mike Green, who has missed...

By Washington Post editors  | February 19, 2011; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Mike Green, Patrick McNeill  
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More on the trade deadline from Caps GM George McPhee

If you haven't already, check out the stories and blog posts from the past few days that discuss what moves the Capitals might make at the rapidly-approaching NHL trade deadline. From the need for a second-line center and which players around the league might fill that void, to what else...

By Katie Carrera  | February 18, 2011; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (218)
Categories:  George McPhee, Trade deadline  
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Capitals GM George McPhee: 'I'm not happy with the results'

In addition to discussing the trade deadline, Capitals General Manager gave his evaluation of the team -- a February report card, if you will -- as it stands with only 23 games remaining in the regular season. "I'm not happy with the team right now. I'm not happy with the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 18, 2011; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  George McPhee, Power play  
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Line change: Do the Caps really need another defenseman?

There has been plenty of talk about the Capitals' need for a second-line center, but the possibility also exists that General Manager George McPhee would try to add another defenseman for insurance. The November trade for Scott Hannan gave Washington another solid veteran presence, but with Tom Poti nursing a...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 18, 2011; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Statistical analysis: Alex Ovechkin on the power play, then and now

To say the Capitals need to improve on the power play is an understatement. After converting a league-high 25 percent last year, they are struggling below the league average in the current campaign, converting on just 16 percent of opportunities. You don't have to look further than the stat sheet...

By Neil Greenberg  | February 18, 2011; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Statistical analysis  
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Is 'old Ovi' back?

Over the past few games and again last night in Washington's 3-2 loss to the Sharks, Alex Ovechkin was a dominant, attention-grabbing presence. From the first shift of the night, when he and San Jose defenseman Douglas Murray got tangled up after both trying to finish a check on the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 18, 2011; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin  
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Quote of the night from Sharks' 3-2 win over the Capitals

Sometimes players and coaches sum up a game so quickly that there's not too much left to say. With the Capitals letting the 3-2 loss to the Sharks sink in as they started to pack up in HP Pavillion, John Carlson had his readers digest version of the game. "I...

By Katie Carrera  | February 18, 2011; 7:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Open thread: Capitals at Sharks

The Washington Capitals (30-18-10) haven't beaten the San Jose Sharks (31-21-6) on the road since 1993, but they're hoping the momentum from last night's offensive breakout in Anaheim will help propel them to a victory. Faceoff: 10:30 p.m., HP Pavillion; TV: CSN; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 17, 2011; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (155)
Categories:  Lineups, San Jose Sharks  
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Capitals try to escape San Jose with a win for the first time in 17 years

The last time the Washington Capitals traveled to San Jose and won was Oct. 30, 1993 -- when the Shark Tank was only three weeks old. They are 0-9-1 here since. That game was a 4-2 win with now Capitals goaltending coach Arturs Irbe in net for the Sharks at...

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  San Jose Sharks  
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Neuvirth to start, Green out against Sharks

Michal Neuvirth, who has played in four of the last five games, will get the start in net for the Capitals tonight at HP Pavillion against the San Jose Sharks. Semyon Varlamov was out on the ice taking shots from Washington's scratches and injured players along with the assistant coaches....

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, San Jose Sharks  
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George McPhee to speak at sports industry conference

Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee is scheduled to be part of a special panel at the Sports Industry Networking and Career (SINC) conference March 4-5 at George Washington University. McPhee, who is in his 13th season as Washington's general manager, will join D.C. United President Kevin Payne on a...

By Gene Wang  | February 17, 2011; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  George McPhee  
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Breaking down the Caps' trade possibilities at second-line center

To go along with the story on the Capitals' need for a second-line center, below is another look at the players who could be possibilities. (Keep in mind that it is difficult to know precisely which players General Manager George McPhee might target for a number of reasons, including whether...

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Trade deadline  
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Line change: Can the Caps put it all together?

Last night's game was a vintage Washington Capitals performance, with an Alexander Semin hat trick highlighting a wild, 7-6 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. But the defensive improvements Coach Bruce Boudreau had installed were nowhere to be seen, and the goaltending wasn't exactly up to par, either....

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 17, 2011; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Numbers alone show Capitals' void at second-line center

When the Capitals entered this season without acquiring a proven center to fill a void on the second line, they were doing so with the understanding that those who might take the spot most often -- particularly Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault after Tomas Fleischman was traded -- would have...

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault, Trade deadline  
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Matt Hendricks, Bruce Boudreau react to Sutton's hit and John Erskine's defense of a teammate

In a scary moment with a little over three minutes remaining in the second period of the Capitals' 7-6 win over the Ducks Wednesday night at Honda Center, Anaheim's Andy Sutton hit Matt Hendricks from behind into the boards. Hendricks' went head first into the boards and fell to...

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, John Erskine, Matt Hendricks  
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Stat of the night from the Capitals' 7-6 win over the Ducks

Two: The number of goals Alexander Semin had on the road this season prior to the three he scored in Washington's 7-6 win over Anaheim last night, when he tallied his fourth hat trick of the season. Semin was in mired in a long, largely injury-induced slump over the past...

By Katie Carrera  | February 17, 2011; 6:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Alexander Semin, Morning Roundup  
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Open thread: Capitals at Ducks

The Washington Capitals (29-18-10) face off against the Anaheim Ducks (32-21-4) tonight for the second time this season. Anaheim won the Dec. 15 contest in overtime, extending the Capitals' season-long slump to seven. This time, Washington is looking to avoid a four-game skid by building upon an encouraging (albeit...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 16, 2011; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (412)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, Lineups  
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Ducks put Jonas Hiller on injured reserve

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller has been placed on injured reserve with dizziness and fatigue, the team announced today. He will miss at least three more games, starting with tonight's contest against the Capitals at 10 p.m. Anaheim has recalled Timo Pielmeier to serve as Curtis McElhinney's backup....

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 16, 2011; 6:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks  
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Semyon Varlamov to start against Anaheim

Semyon Varlamov was the first off the ice after the Capitals' morning skate at Honda Center and he will get the start against the Ducks as Washington tries to snap a three-game losing streak. Both Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, who started in Phoenix on Monday, have played well this season....

By Katie Carrera  | February 16, 2011; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Caps' Mike Green won't play against Ducks

Coach Bruce Boudreau said that Mike Green will not play against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. The team is playing it safe with Green, who missed Monday's game in Phoenix with an inner-ear trauma that resulted from when the defenseman was struck in the head by a slap shot Feb. 6...

By Katie Carrera  | February 16, 2011; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks, Injuries, Mike Green  
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Video: Watch Verizon Center's ice-to-court changeover

The Verizon Center crew typically has the luxury of switching from ice to court overnight, but this past Saturday, the changeover began after the Capitals finished their game against the Kings and ended just in time for the Wizards to play the Spurs. The process of changing the arena floor...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 16, 2011; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Line change: How critical are the next four games for the Capitals?

Post reporter Tarik El-Bashir joined the Post Sports Live crew of LaVar Arrington, Dan Steinberg and Jon Forsythe on Tuesday to discuss the Capitals' recent slide and the importance of righting the ship during their current road trip. Every point these days is critical for Washington, Tarik noted, because if...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 16, 2011; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Caps seeking another complete effort tonight vs. high-scoring Ducks

When the Capitals first saw the Ducks in what turned out to be a 2-1 overtime win for Anaheim and the seventh loss in Washington's December slide, they utilized a checking line against their opponent's top stars. This time, though, the circumstances are a little different as Anaheim is no...

By Katie Carrera  | February 16, 2011; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Anaheim Ducks  
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Scott Hannan steps into a leadership role for Capitals

Scott Hannan didn't come to Washington necessarily expecting to be an off-ice leader, but after 30 games with the Capitals this season, that's the way his teammates see the veteran defenseman. He is arguably the team's most vocal player on the ice and possibly off it as well; when the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 16, 2011; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Scott Hannan  
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Capitals recall Patrick McNeill

The Capitals recalled defenseman Patrick McNeill from the Hershey Bears and if he makes it into the lineup in Wednesday's game against Anaheim it will mark his NHL debut. Recalling McNeill likely is a move that corresponds with the uncertainty of Mike Green's status for the contest against the Ducks....

By Katie Carrera  | February 15, 2011; 8:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Patrick McNeill  
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Mike Green's status for game against Ducks remains uncertain

Mike Green did not take part in the Capitals' optional practice at Honda Center in Anaheim Tuesday afternoon but the defenseman, who missed Monday's game in Phoenix because of an inner-ear trauma, said he was feeling better. Despite that assessment, Green's status for the game against the Ducks on Wednesday...

By Katie Carrera  | February 15, 2011; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Line change: Readers weigh in on how to motivate Caps

Yesterday, we asked readers what it might take to motivate these Capitals, particularly the stars, to get back to playing inspired hockey. Here are a few of the popular responses: 1) Go back to the old system. scmonty1 writes: "IMO, let Coach Boudreau coach his system. Let the players skate...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 15, 2011; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
 
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Caps' power play shows signs of life in Phoenix

Most often lately, the Capitals' power play hasn't offered reason for hope that it might be able to buck the trend of ineffectiveness that began in early December. Against the Coyotes last night, though, Washington's power play created chances, moved the puck well and held possession for lengths of time...

By Katie Carrera  | February 15, 2011; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Power play  
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On the fourth line's up and down night against Phoenix

It was something of an odd night for the rather dependable defensive-oriented trio of Boyd Gordon, David Steckel and Matt Bradley in Washington's 3-2 loss to the Coyotes Monday night. At times they showed what they do best of playing a simple game and creating energy along with the occasional...

By Katie Carrera  | February 15, 2011; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Boyd Gordon, Bruce Boudreau, David Steckel, Matt Bradley  
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Mike Green's injury clarified: 'Inner ear trauma'

Capitals defenseman Mike Green has "inner ear trauma," according to coach.

By Katie Carrera  | February 15, 2011; 12:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green, Phoenix Coyotes  | Tags:  Injury, Mike Green, Phoenix Coyotes  
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Mike Green scratched in Phoenix with undisclosed injury

Defenseman Mike Green is not in the Capitals lineup Feb. 14, 2011 against the Phoenix Coyotes because of an undisclosed injury.

By Katie Carrera  | February 14, 2011; 8:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  | Tags:  Mike Green  
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Open thread: Capitals at Coyotes

The Washington Capitals (29-17-10) visit the Phoenix Coyotes (29-19-9) in need of a win, not only in terms of collecting points but also to establish a good start to a critical five-game, 10 day road trip. "We've got to build a run," veteran Mike Knuble said after the morning...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 14, 2011; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (242)
Categories:  Lineups, Phoenix Coyotes  
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With 25 games left, Capitals keeping an eye on the standings

Different players have different philosophies when it comes to how much to pay attention to the ever-changing standings at this time of the year. Washington is the only Eastern Conference team playing on Monday and as the number of games remaining this year seems to shrink ever so rapidly, the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 14, 2011; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Karl Alzner, Mike Knuble, Phoenix Coyotes  
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Boudreau on Varlamov, Neuvirth: 'They can be the tide-turners'

It's no secret that the Capitals have been inconsistent this season. One thing that has been fairly constant throughout this yo-yo routine of win one game, lose the next, though, has been that -- when healthy -- both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov have played well. There have been few...

By Katie Carrera  | February 14, 2011; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Michal Neuvirth to start against Coyotes

Michal Neuvirth will make his third start in four games tonight in Glendale, Ariz. and it will be his second career outing against Phoenix. He made 28 saves in last season's 4-2 win over the Coyotes at Verizon Center. Some other quick notes from today's skate: --Eric Fehr has been...

By Katie Carrera  | February 14, 2011; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Michal Neuvirth, Phoenix Coyotes  
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Line change: What will motivate the Caps?

Tarik El-Bashir wrote in his latest On Hockey column that the Capitals' best players should shoulder the majority of the blame for the team's recent woes. They're playing uninspired hockey, and El-Bashir writes that Coach Bruce "Boudreau can't make his stars play with the desire they displayed on a much...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 14, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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On Hockey: No excuses for uninspired play from Capitals' stars

There was plenty of talk Saturday afternoon about a "switch" and whether Washington finally was ready to flip it. But after watching the Kings cruise to a way-too-easy, 4-1 victory, I was left wondering if the Capitals are engaged enough to reach for it. I wasn't alone. Coach Bruce...

By Tarik El-Bashir  | February 14, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Bruce Boudreau, El-Bashir On Hockey, Mike Green  
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Capitals kick off road trip against streaking Coyotes

The Capitals face the Coyotes for the only time this regular season Monday night in Glendale, Ariz., in what is an important game for Washington so that it can start the road trip off with some sort of positive momentum. The two clubs don't see each other often so Coach...

By Katie Carrera  | February 14, 2011; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Phoenix Coyotes  
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Time for the Capitals to 'ramp it up'

Coach Bruce Boudreau rounded up the players one final time at the conclusion of practice at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., to address them as a group one more time on Sunday. One of his points that echoed off the empty arena's glass was that it is "time to ramp...

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Knuble skating with Ovechkin and Backstrom in Capitals' practice

The Capitals practice at Jobing.com Arena here in Glendale, Ariz. just got underway and the first part of the workout didn't include any pucks as Coach Bruce Boudreau put the players through an abbreviated bag skate. Some quick notes: --Eric Fehr (shoulder) made the trip and is on the ice...

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Capitals still searching for answers on the power play

Saturday afternoon the Washington Capitals' best chances on the power play came with the line of D.J. King, David Steckel and Matt Bradley on the ice - all role players who might be the least likely to ever skate with the extra man for the Capitals. They played with an...

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Power play  
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NHL suspends three players, fines Islanders after brawl-filled game against Penguins

Saturday night the NHL handed down its discipline for the various brawls and altercations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders Friday night that featured 346 penalty minutes including 21 misconducts, both game and 10-minute. Three players have been suspended, Trevor Gilles and Matt Martin from New York and...

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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