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Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 01/25/2011

Capitals' Alex Ovechkin may be regaining his form

By Katie Carrera

At times over roughly the last week, Alex Ovechkin has looked exactly like the dominant, energetic force that his reputation as a player is built on. Against the Rangers on Monday night, he created scoring chances off rushes, crashed the net (even sparking a bit of a shoving match with Martin Biron) and had the electrifying presence that, well, hasn't always been out on the ice this season.

Only time will tell if this is the sign of a larger breakout by the Capitals' star left wing, as we've seen slumps end at various points throughout the year, but there may be a different feel to Ovechkin's play in recent games. There's a little more movement, a little more oomph, a little more of the qualities that have made Ovechkin fun to watch during his career.

"To me his speed has increased recently," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "His puck handling has increased, he's gotten a little bit better. Again [Monday] he had, I thought, two really good chances to score. Sometimes you get them, some years they're all going in and some years they're not going in. He's fighting for every goal he can get this year."

Asked to explain what he meant by Ovechkin's speed increasing, Boudreau brought up some of the main qualities evident on the ice when Ovechkin is at his best.

"He looks quicker. He was making moves while he was skating, where as before he'd get stiff-legged and would try to make moves around guys by not moving his legs," Boudreau said. "You saw in the second period he got a puck at the blue line and he was going full speed, made one move, took a great shot and I think he missed the net with it but it was a great opportunity. That's what you're used to seeing when you're talking about Alex."

For his part, after the game, Ovechkin joked when asked if he was his old self.

"What, am old Ovie?" Ovechkin asked back. "You guys said I'm back and like old Ovie. I feel like normal."

He might not have scored against the Rangers, but Ovechkin was a threat offensively more often than not when he was on the ice Monday. He rattled off six shots, two hits and three takeaways and while points would have perhaps helped Washington avoid a 2-1 loss in the shootout, it might be more important to see Ovechkin being a consistent presence in games.

By Katie Carrera  | January 25, 2011; 10:24 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Goalie Braden Holtby the victim of unlucky bounce
Next: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom among those absent

Comments

Copied from last thread.

@ThePat yes since Novemeber we are 2-7-5 against the playoff teams but it is all about framing the time to the argument you want and that is what the negative people want to look at. For instance if we look at since the losing streak we are 2-2-3 against the playoff teams. If we switch Carolina (one point out two games in hand) and Atlanta it goes to 3-6-5 since November and 3-2-3 since the losing streak. It is also intersting that the many of the same people who are counting the losing streak in their stats this year were the ones taking out the winning streak last season.

By the way two of the OTL in each of those segments I talked about were SOL which are nothing more then coin flips especially when they go to extra shooters like both did. If they went the other way and the record was 4-2-1 (record since the streak) or 5-6-3 (record since Nov with Atl/Car switch) or 5-2-1 (recocord since streak with switch) anyone would be as critical as they are now. Little things that don't apply in the playoffs like shootouts can make a big change to how the standings and records look in the regular season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else see ESPN's rumor department has a goalie we might look at in NJ and it is Johan Hedberg?!?! Really ESPN Hedberg? IF the Caps get a goalie it would have to be someone who is either an elite goalie like Vokoun or a Cup winner like Giggy (but I don't think they will) it won't be a career backup who wasn't even a good one of those. Once again ESPN showing they have no hockey knowledge of hockey other then Crosby.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer

you can call it the negative people, but people that work for the Caps are the ones that have brought it up and pointed it out. So either some of us are negative(or we deal in REALITY) and some people are optimistic(spin the heck out of the numbers). Bottom line is when you have club officials brining up the stat, people aren't happy with the way they are playing.

Posted by: ThePat | January 25, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer.

Agree...Hedberg would give us four average playoff goalies...makes no sense. Vokoun makes sense. Arnott makes a lot more sense. We really need a second line center. MJ is good, but MP is not ready for the NHL...he looked terrible last night and is way too small.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hedberg is probably a pretty accurate TYPE of goalie acquisition that will get made, if there's one at all. elite goalies would most likely cost too much, whereas serviceable veteran backups can usually be had for a pick.

The Caps have two starters, they'd need a capable backup who can fill in decently for the second half of the season, to push Holtby down the depth chart in case of injury.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 25, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon I think the problem with Arnott is that people are thinking of the player he used to be and not the player he is today (think Knuble). He has lost at least a step and sometimes it looks like 2 this season. He is TOI wise their 3rd center this year behind Zajac and Zubrus. He only has 2 PPGs and 3PPAs in just over 2 minutes of PP time a game so I don't think he will help our PP much if at all. If we could get him really cheap and we can't get anything else then he might help but as a first choice he is not a great choice.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious to see how this team will look and play once they get a healthy Semin and Fehr back.

IMO, the lack of any real scoring threat from the 2nd line has been the Caps biggest problem(well, except for the PP). When Semin is on the line, it is at least a threat to score goals. Now there is no expectation that the 2nd line will ever score. That is not a good quality to have on a team.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

If you could go back 2 yrs, that version of Ovechkin would have had probably 8 to 10 big hits in last night's game. He's playing in that regard worse than he has in the past and better than he has since earlier in the year. He passed up quite a few chances to lay someone out in yesterday's game including some clear shots on dmen who were coming around the net with the puck where if he'd hit them it should have helped create an offensive opportunity.

And i sure wish Boudreau would address the physical part of Ovy's game at least once instead of constantly dwelling on his "speed" and scoring chances. He misses the overall picture.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I know, I know, these are Eklund trade rumors but I thought I'd share them:

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=33074&blogger_id=1

The Latest Rumors...

On Regehr...
The Capitals are also interested...as are Montreal.

On Semin....
Still a longshot that the Caps trade him, but if they do the Kings want dibs.

On Phillips...
The Sharks and Bruins gaining momentum. Phillips will bring some serious value to the Sens.

On Madden...
The Flyers failed to land the most recent Devils Captain, but maybe they can grab the former one...

On Higgins...
It was amazing to see the reaction Habs fans had for Koivu tonight. I wish the habs could snag Saku, but it's this former Hab who is coming up often tonight.

On Arnott...
The Leafs and Devils always seem to be talking, but the Preds are also rumored to have interest in their former captain...and Carolina as well.

New to the Chart tonight..

On Miettinen...
If the Flyers can't land Madden they may go after Antii...He brings a very Sami Kapanen type of game to a team. Can be a shifty and streaky scorer.

On Handzus...
Added because I am hearing the Sabres have interest, and I can only assume this would be a cap move for them. The Caps also have interest. When Zus is on his game he is about as versatile as a player can get.

Another one...http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?blogger_id=1

Erik Johnson

This next week will be slow NHL news except for the NHL all-star game so I thought I'd throw some raw meat into the pack of dogs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 25, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Eklund is no better than the tabloids that headline alien abductions.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious to see how this team will look and play once they get a healthy Semin and Fehr back.

---------------

all depends on who gets scratched. And unfortunately instead of listening to certain fans, its Bruce who gets to make that decision. And he's only got a 50/50 shot of getting it right.

Once Fehr, Semin, Brads come into the lineup, the potential scratches include King, Beagle, Steckel, MP and Gordo

Beagle has been playing very well and is a better player for the Caps than is Gordo.
Steckel has been using his big frame more effectively lately and we need his size and faceoff skills. So my choice would be scratching MP, Gordo, and King. I also would want to find a way to keep the Hendricks-Majo-Beags line together. They have really good chemistry and play both ends of the ice. But that may not be possible if both MP and Gordo get scratched and McPhee sits on his butt not making a trade for a quality 2 way center.

Sop your lineup could be

Ovi-Backs-Chimera (for now)
Semin-Majo-Knuble
Hendricks-Beagle-Laich
Brads-Steckel-Fehr

---------------

will that happen? no. BB can't see Fehr on a 4th line and he's in love with Gordo.

So i expect him to weaken our lineup.

Even my lineup isn't ideal. But I'd give it a B given the personnel I have to work with.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Handzus would be interesting. But I don't believe the Kings would give away their offensive forwards right now. They are trying to make the playoffs and need to to help rebuild their fan base. I can't see them selling for picks or prospects.

So it would have to be a hockey trade and I'm not sure who the Caps could give up to get Handzus(maybe Fehr, but I'm not sure I would like that trade in the long-run).

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hedberg does come with some great intangibles though. He has always been extremely well liked in the locker room and is a great mentor.

Posted by: jakopz | January 25, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Semin to the Kings would be great. They have some very nice young players on that team. I just hope we're not only targeting a Ryan Smyth. I like Smyth but he's getting up there in yrs and abuse on his body and is one hit away from being back on the injured list.

Semin for Stoll and Matt Greene. Or Semin and Schultz for Stoll, Simmonds/Clifford and Greene.

I don't see this happening either only because we'll likely target a pure scorer in any Semin trade and both Clifford or Simmonds would be targeted for a bottom 6 position. And please..Stoll over Handzus.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Eklund is terrible. I'd put more faith into the crappy trade proposals people throw out here.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 25, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

its funny in a sad way though. Every year Caps fans talk about quality players that we can sign or acquire, and every year we get stuck with utter sh_t. None of the big players we discuss ever end up being acquired. Its always the 4th or 5th options. If McPhee wants to give his team a boost like other GMs do, he better come up with a better plan than Belanger and Corvo

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

My main problem with your lines is that Beagle is much better on the wing then at center. Putting Beagle at center is like putting Flash at center(the same goes for Hendricks also).

I think they would need to either play BGordon or MP because they need another center.

However, that could easily be remedied by acquring a 2nd line center(Fisher anyone), move MJ to the 3rd line winged by Beagle and Fehr(really a 4th line but whatever) and have Steckel center the checking line with Hendricks and Knuble.

The 2nd line would be Laich/(acquired 2nd line center)/Semin.

Unfortnuately Bradley would have to sit, but I think Beagle and Hendricks are better players than he is right now.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 25, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@jakopz. That may be true but that means he would have been great LAST YEAR instead of Theo (who I am not saying wasn't good for us last year). This year we need players who can play and the mentoring time is over especially for the goalies. If we were talking Brouder or even Giggy then maybe as they could mentor the whole team about the playoffs even if their play has gone down this season but Hedberg does not have that Cup experience to give.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 25, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

IMO goaltending has not been an issue. If they let in 2 goals per game than there is a scoring issue. 2nd line center.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97
Not saying I like the idea but there are some positives. He's got 40 plus play-off games under his belt..20 something in the NHL and the remaining for Sweden in the World Cup and few AHL play offs. By no means a very strong resume.

Posted by: jakopz | January 25, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3, @cstanton01 (and others of course)

The nice thing about Semin's absence is that 1) perhaps he can be a little more fresh for the last few months

2) Majo has gotten more ice time and has thrived. He's taken up that offensive slack, scoring some and also giving other players great chances. He looks like a natural fit for the 2C, at least until trade time

who to sit is of course the big question: Where does Fehr go? Looks like Chimera has made a claim to the top line. Honestly, it looks like Knuble has lost a step and may sit more often - not a bad thing as it might keep him fresher.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 25, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Beagle's natural position is at center so how anyone can say it would be like having Flash there is beyond me. Plus, the third line that cstanton put together actually has three guys that can play center so if faceoffs are your argument that would be a non factor as well.

Posted by: PhilR | January 25, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

My main problem with your lines is that Beagle is much better on the wing then at center. Putting Beagle at center is like putting Flash at center(the same goes for Hendricks also).

------------

agreed.
But, you gotta keep Beags in the lineup somehow. If that means having Gordo stay in to play center, no thanks. The lineup we had last night was able to match the Rangers hit for hit, grit for grit. But the Rags were also playing on the road, and were missing Dubinsky and Callahan, both of whom add a lot to their lineup. We were missing Brads, Fehr, and Semin. I'll take the former over the latter.

The lineup we had last night needs to be improved upon, not diminished. Ideally, we'd be able to move Fehr and Schultz for a GOOD center and a physical capable dman (but by no means an upper echelon guy of course). And dump Poti, MP, and Gordo from the lineup. King at this point can come in and out of the lineup sporadically. He's an afterthought. I'd rather go with 6 guys on the bottom 2 lines who can skate and hit effectively along with their other responsibilities.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Beagle's natural position is at center so how anyone can say it would be like having Flash there is beyond me.
---------------------------

that's also true. But when I watch Beagle play the wing at Hershey or up with the Caps, he does look better at wing.

I still think he can play center and be decent at it but I do agree with sgm that he looks better at wing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

A bigger question - the view from 20,000 feet as it were - is whether or not this team is close enough to contention this year to warrant a major deal. I don't think it is. Some of our better assets are still maturing and, outside of our top five players, what do we really have that will bring a top player? Trades do not seem to be McPhee's strong suit, but he's been doing well in building the scouting and development end. We may be able to get a decent rental and, with some luck, make a good run: getting out of the 2nd round would be very unexpected and a great success this year. But it would be foolish to trade Kuznetsov, Orlov, Green, or one of the goalies just to make the same kind of run.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 25, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Ovie is completely back. Dishing the puck off when in prime scoring spots like the slot are not my idea of being "back".

But this team needs a #2 Center in the worst way. I'll take Arnott and his stanley cup LEADERSHIP/experience/size (6'5", 220). His numbers are down (12-10), but still is better than the numbers Perrault (5-3) is providing. Only 3 ASSISTS!!! MoJo on the 3rd line makes sense and he's slowly getting better. Watching Perrault get overpowered is painful to watch. He's better suited for 3rd line duty with less ice time to keep him fresh starting next season.

At least one goalie will get dealt for help this team needs. My guess (only a guess) Neuvy.

Posted by: jimc93 | January 25, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3, @cstanton01 (and others of course)

The nice thing about Semin's absence is that 1) perhaps he can be a little more fresh for the last few months
------------------------------

Toss a coin. That's about as predictable as Semin's effort will be from game to game. I don't like entering the playoffs with an unknown commodity, esp one who I need to rely on heavily.

"Majo has gotten more ice time and has thrived. He's taken up that offensive slack, scoring some and also giving other players great chances. He looks like a natural fit for the 2C, at least until trade time"

I'm a fan. But I think he has better chemistry with 2 wingers who can skate and grind the corners like Hendricks and Beagle then if he got stuck with Fehr and Semin.

"who to sit is of course the big question: Where does Fehr go? Looks like Chimera has made a claim to the top line. Honestly, it looks like Knuble has lost a step and may sit more often - not a bad thing as it might keep him fresher."

Knuble made one decent play all night long last night. He got in front of Avery in the crease and boxed him out on that Rags goal. Aside from that, he was useless. So I agree that he doesn't deserve to play top minutes. In fact, why not scratch him for a few games? It'll keep him fresh for the playoffs AND send him a huge msg. I think you'd see a totally different player when he came back into the lineup.

Fehr isn't quick enough to get on the puck as often as I'd like. He's good in close to the net. But he really needs to play on a specific line with specific types of linemates.

Glad to see Laich back to his old form. He played a great game last night.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As further proof that I don't see the game the same way as virtually everyone else, I thought DJK played a strong, responsible game. I agree that he can do more in his role, but I bet BB hasn't once met with him to define his role and lay-out specific expectations. If DJK played the way cstanton wants (and I should add myself), DJK's going to find himself right back on the bench. He's getting better with each game, and he's now up to a dozen games in 3+ months of hockey.

The good news? Big John. During the first period, I noticed him pinching in a lot and once he almost get caught too low. As he hustled to get back, he stumbled and fell. I loved it!! I thought at the time "Why is Johnny jumping-up into the offense so frequently these days?" and it dawned on me that he OBVIOUSLY FEELS RESPONSIBLE for providing the offense when he's paired with Hannan. Who would've ever thunk that??

Well, his pinching paid dividends in the second when he stepped up and prevented a clear, Hendricks got the puck and passed to Hannan, who dropped it to Majo who passed it to Hendricks for the goal. Not one poster on the game-thread (or since), or the announcers, credited #4 with keeping that play alive. No respect, but hey...it comes w/the territory when guys like #4 and 17 are concerned.

Going forward, I think what when Semin/Fehr return they should relieve Laich and Knuble for awhile. Laich needs to cherry-pick an opponent and beat the snot out of him to jumpstart his game and stature. Brads should take B.Gordons spot on the 4th, and Poti can fill-in for whoever needs a rest.

SAME LINEUP TOMORROW AND WE THRASH THE THRASHERS!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 25, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Laich back to his old form. He played a great game last night.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Who would've ever thought that I'm with sgm3 on this one?? Laich needs to get his game in order....funny how we can watch the same game and differ greatly on the play of #21 and 17

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 25, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

But it would be foolish to trade Kuznetsov, Orlov, Green, or one of the goalies just to make the same kind of run.

Posted by: RedLitYogi

Green's part of the solution. Short and long term. So he should never be mentioned in trade talks. Frankly, this is the first time in a long while I like most of our defense. You have Carlson and Alzner playing well and Green's back to being a physical tenacious defensive player with the odd turnover I can live with. Sarge is playing decently on some nights, not well on others. I'd still like to move him for another strong hard hitting defensive player. Erskine flourishes against grinding teams like the Rags. He was a hitting machine out there last night. And Hannan is capable enough.

so the only way BB or GM can screw this up is by crowbarring Poti into this lineup. And i will effin flip my lid if that happens again. I'm sick of it.

Maybe some team will take Galiev in a trade. They'll probably ask for Eakin though.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Laich was awful last night. DJ King is invisible...he is taking a roster spot of someone worthy. A. Gordon was 100% better.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 25, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Caps heading for 1 and done in April at this rate. Can barely hold their own in 5 on 5. Slow (that shows in poor production during 4 on 4), and have lost the PP touch. Who's the conditioning coach? They all look slow and lacking physical stamina (which is why they are now losing 3rd period leads and have such a poor recent record in OT/SO). Green is useless now that he can't score. We're becoming Hershey South- maybe we'll win the Calder cup this year... LOL

Posted by: commonsenseaboutbrac | January 25, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Who would've ever thought that I'm with sgm3 on this one?? Laich needs to get his game in order
--vcaps--

Laich, on every shift, starting in the 2nd pd was hustling and hitting. His work ethic last night was very very good. I don't see what else he could have done. He didn't show up in the 1st pd notably but definitely in the 2nd and 3rd he added a lot to his line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Semin for Stoll and Greene would be AWESOME.

Stoll is exactly what this Caps team needs, he's a better Brooks Laich. I love that guy. Greene would give us that tough dman that Hannan isn't.

I've been on the Semin train for a long time, but I hope this guy gets healthy and starts producing so that he can be traded from some quality parts.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | January 25, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that it's been pretty obvious what Ovie is doing. Unlike football, the hockey season is a long one. You can go full speed for the entire season, and run out of steam for the playoffs (perhaps last year as an example). Look no further than the Celtics last year. Doc Rivers said it himself. These veterans have been around for a while and know that as it gets closer to playoff time, they start to turn it on more. I think Ovie is starting to do that. Otherwise, you can only run full speed like he has been doing for so long. Ovie, turn it on and bring us a championship!

Posted by: rfrfrf | January 25, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

A. Gordon was 100% better.

Posted by: lylewimbledon

AG got a bit better as time went on. But he still didn't do enough to solidify his spot in the lineup imo

Would like to see Pinner get a shot in this lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

You may as well flip your lid now cstanton1. As soon as Poti is healthy he'll be back in the line-up. Now that it appears Green and Schultz have been reunited, if there are not any trades on D, our last pairing will be Poti and Hannan. I'm just putting the truth out there. Not saying it's right, just saying it's gonna happen.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 25, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

assuming no trades and trying to balance offense and defense...

Ovi-Backstrom-Chimera
Semin-MJ-Fehr
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Hendricks-Beagle-Knuble

Posted by: butcherbaker | January 25, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

We all love Ovie, but I'm pretty sure the first two words he learned in English were:

"score"

and

"goals"

and

"team"

and

"win"

...followed shortly thereafter by

"more"

and

"StenliyCop" (sic.)

...and then

"sick"

and

"BOOM!"


Put them all together and you get:

Если команда оценки больше голов, что древесина быть больным и БУМ!, Мы выиграем Кубок Стэнли

OR:

"If team score more goals, that will be sick and BOOM! we win StenliyCop"

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 25, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You can go full speed for the entire season, and run out of steam for the playoffs

----------------------

except, last yr v Montreal he didn't display his full arsenal of tools. So I'd be hesitant to assume he would suddenly turn it on full bore this yr in the playoffs. I'd be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt but its far from a certainty that he'll just flip a switch and become a wrecking scoring ball out on the ice.

The other thought is, you don't see guys like Matt Cooke or Kunitz ratchet their game down in the reg season. Or even Ryan Callahan or a Hartnell. They do go all out in almost every game and still find a way to give that effort in the playoffs without being burned out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Ovi-Backstrom-Chimera
Semin-MJ-Fehr
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Hendricks-Beagle-Knuble


Posted by: butcherbaker


I could live with that too. But Hendricks is better on a 3rd line. And the 2nd line chemistry again is an unknown. That 2nd line is a very elusive situation and has been for a while. And if Bruce gets Semin back, he'll probably put Semin on the top line and move Chimera back down. Which hoses it all up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 25, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Even with a healthy Semin and Fehr back in the lineup, the Caps still lack a true 2nd line center who can create and is strong defensively as well. MoJo could be that guy in a couple of years, but to make a run this year, an upgrade in needed. We've seen that Perrault is simply not a 2nd or 3rd line center who can be effective against physical teams and likely won't even be on the playoff roster. Last night exposed a lot of his weaknesses including the careless passing.

GMGM needs to pull the trigger on a trade in the 2nd half and keeping Semin at the same time. The Caps lack of consistent 2nd line center really shows against the better teams like NY and Philly who are strong up the middle. This is something that needs to be addresssed by the trade deadline.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 25, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm still on the Trade Semin bus. You can't go into the playoffs without confidence in your main weapons. When you're under attack, you can't look over and see your buddy asleep in the foxhole. This team doesn't need skill, it needs guts. Semin's undisclosed lower-body injury: No Balls.

Posted by: McLobo | January 25, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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