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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Bruce Boudreau on Eric Fehr, scratching players

By Katie Carrera

Tonight's tilt against the Florida Panthers marks the Washington Capitals' 30th game of the season, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said that as long as he has extra healthy forwards, he will no longer be sitting players on a semi-regular basis to keep everyone fresh. Instead, the lineup will be based on individual successes and failures.

On any given night right now, at least two forwards will be healthy scratches, presuming nothing changes on the injury front. Against Florida, it appears those players will be Matt Bradley and D.J. King, but on Monday it was Eric Fehr, who has scored just two goals and recorded five points in his past 15 games.

"Right now it's not going to be... where I sit out guys because we've got extra guys," Boudreau said. "Now it will be sitting out on merit. You might find guys sitting out four, five games in a row but it's down to that part of the season where we've got to make them understand that sitting out -- there's always a reason for it."

Fehr has been a healthy scratch twice this season, on Oct. 30 in Calgary and against Toronto earlier this week. The right wing has struggled to score this season and has just 10 points in 27 games, but lately he's had his fair share of chances. On Dec. 4 against Atlanta in particular, Fehr took multiple shots on Ondrej Pavelec in the first period but couldn't find the desired result.

Boudreau has spoken of Fehr holding the stick too tight, over-thinking his opportunities to score in order to try to get out of this slump. Back in the mix against Florida, Fehr will try to get himself back on the scoresheet while playing on a line with Jason Chimera and Marcus Johansson.

"Going to try to bear down a little bit more," Fehr said. "I think I've had a lot of opportunities the last couple of games and unfortunately I haven't been able to put them in. Tonight I'm going to try to be a little more selective and try to make some good shots."

Said Boudreau: "For a guy like Eric, getting chances is one thing but he's got to put them in. If goal scorers that are primarily goal scorers don't put in their chances in; there's a lot of guys on this team that work hard and can do that job so he's got to put the chances in when he gets an opportunity."

By Katie Carrera  | December 9, 2010; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Eric Fehr, Florida Panthers  
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Next: Video: Coaches Bruce Boudreau and Dan Bylsma on the HBO series

Comments

SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT FEHR!

YOURE PISSIN ME OFF!!!!

W
T
F
?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

He needs to play to his size. When he ain't scoring, you have know idea he is even playing. There's more to hockey then scoring, but under Bruce and GMGM that's all that matters.

Fehr shys away from contact, loses battles along the boards and can't get back in time on defense. To may finesse players on this team. Not enough grit

Posted by: themightyzep2000 | December 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Eric Fehr = Viktor Kozlov...lot of size and potential. Rarely uses his size. Has a great shot. If given top 2 line minutes can pot 20-25 goals. If he isnt given top ice time he just looks like an average player.

Posted by: ThePat | December 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

So why isn't Fehr sitting four or five games since he has done next to nothing in the last fifteen? Isn't that what sitting a player based on merit is all about??!! DJK stood up for his teammate last game and gets sat, opposite of getting playing time on merit in my eyes. BB is full of hot air as usual, he is probably running off to do another stupid a$$ commercial right now!

Posted by: PhilR | December 9, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau should say the same thing except replace the name Fehr with Knuble. Knuble needs to be a healthy scratch or at least be OFF of the 1st line. Why is coach so committed to him????

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | December 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Trade/Package him for a second line center,

GETZLAF!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

deal Fehr to Canucks for Bieksa

Posted by: doughless | December 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov is a great comparison. Very good skill and terrific hands, but just too damn slow for today's game. And unlike Knuble, he doesn't seem to use his size very effectively [not that Knubes has been anything special on that front lately either].

Still not sure why GMGM felt compelled to use a 1st on him, but them's the breaks I s'pose. I still believe Fehr can be effective in spots - ie., if both linemates can really move - and matched against the other teams' 5-6 d-men, and obviously on the right PP. But he'll always be a liability in his own zone and against quick d-men, IMO.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Knuble needs to be a healthy scratch or at least be OFF of the 1st line.
----------

Totally. How many golden chances has he whiffed on off nice feeds from Backs already this year [and Ovie, for that matter!].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 9, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

PhilR

I couldn't agree more...

How is DJ King ever going to get his mojo back being scrathed 9 out of 10 games? The Caps overall marshmellow soft compared to teams that are competing for the Cup.

As you mentioned in the last thread the Pens have managed to win consistantly with a tough line up. I really think BB needs to go. The team may be winning but not in a style that is conducive to winning in a playoff atmosphere. A new coach would have much more perspective and not favor players from Hershey based on prior relationships. Erskine and King should be in the lineup EVERY game regardless of the opponent. Based on 'merit' they bring it EVERY game.

I'm also sick of BB's celebrity status and all the commecials. He's become a media wh**e. With his teams inconsistant play he needs to concentrate on coaching instead of mugging it up for pocket change.

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

PhilR

I couldn't agree more...

How is DJ King ever going to get his mojo back being scrathed 9 out of 10 games? The Caps overall marshmellow soft compared to teams that are competing for the Cup.

As you mentioned in the last thread the Pens have managed to win consistantly with a tough line up. I really think BB needs to go. The team may be winning but not in a style that is conducive to winning in a playoff atmosphere. A new coach would have much more perspective and not favor players from Hershey based on prior relationships. Erskine and King should be in the lineup EVERY game regardless of the opponent. Based on 'merit' they bring it EVERY game.

I'm also sick of BB's celebrity status and all the commecials. He's become a media wh**e. With his teams inconsistant play he needs to concentrate on coaching instead of mugging it up for pocket change.

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

PhilR

I couldn't agree more...

How is DJ King ever going to get his mojo back being scrathed 9 out of 10 games? The Caps overall marshmellow soft compared to teams that are competing for the Cup.

As you mentioned in the last thread the Pens have managed to win consistantly with a tough line up. I really think BB needs to go. The team may be winning but not in a style that is conducive to winning in a playoff atmosphere. A new coach would have much more perspective and not favor players from Hershey based on prior relationships. Erskine and King should be in the lineup EVERY game regardless of the opponent. Based on 'merit' they bring it EVERY game.

I'm also sick of BB's celebrity status and all the commecials. He's become a media wh**e. With his teams inconsistant play he needs to concentrate on coaching instead of mugging it up for pocket change.

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow, sorry about the TRIPLE post

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

an unassisted triple post, a rare feat indeed

i am honored to have witnessed it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I have blinders on as a longtime huge Brads fan, but I don't get why he is sitting out if the decision is based on merit. Surely he contributes more in every game than David Steckel, who is not much other than a faceoff specialist.

Posted by: JillC | December 9, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Going to try to bear down a little bit more," Fehr said. "I think I've had a lot of opportunities the last couple of games and unfortunately I haven't been able to put them in. Tonight I'm going to try to be a little more selective and try to make some good shots."

I hope good shots qualify as hitting the net instead of shooting from the boards-missing the net by 3 feet and making your Dmen chase the puck all the way down the ice. This dude sucks. He has been given more than ample opportunities. Trade the bum.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau said. "Now it will be sitting out on merit. You might find guys sitting out four, five games in a row but it's down to that part of the season where we've got to make them understand that sitting out -- there's always a reason for it."

Does this mean when OV blows defenive zone responsibilities and has more giveaways then shots that #8 will be fetching nachos for GMGM?

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with many posters above - ryan g or bieska would be wild good trades. but we'd have to give up more then fehr.

Posted by: blur991 | December 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Fehr has had a bunch of chances, I mean POINT BLANK stuff, his bread and butter.

He just needs to cash in, and if he doesnt, he is toast.

Heck he might be toast even if he does start scoring, if the deal is right. You just can't show this kind of inconsistency.

Your just asking for it!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@Blur

I mention Getlaf because we picked Fehr over Getzlaf in the draft. Totally sucks.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 9, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@ an unassisted triple post, a rare feat indeed

i am honored to have witnessed it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 1:13 PM

I believe the term is a "Natural triple post"

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I wish you guys were the GM's for the other teams! Do you really think the Canucks would trade Bieksa for Fehr? Do you think the Ducks will trade Getzlaf? He is 25 signed for 3 yrs @ 5.3 per. I don't think they are going to move him. Why don't we package Fehr, (add two other stupid names here) to PIT for Crosby? That way Backstrom becomes the 2C and all problems are solved.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 9, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, yes Sid the Kid is the best player in hockey right now. I'm not sure if Ovie breaks the top 5 at this point.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The Caps seem to be playing as badly as the Pens were for Michel Therrien in 2009, before he was fired. A coaching change worked for Cindy and his team and maybe it would work for the Caps.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

an unassisted triple post, a rare feat indeed

i am honored to have witnessed it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr

And it was a "natural". :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@chriscaps

no i dont think Van would take Fehr for Bieksa. They want a prospect back or a pick bc they dont want salary off the books if they trade him. If they had space then yes I think they make that deal in a heartbeat

Posted by: ThePat | December 9, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

How about "Unassisted Natural Triple Post".

I'm pretty sure he/she didn't have any help?

I mean, we are talking about a very rare occurence.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! BB's putting his foot down, now playing time will be based on merit. Do you hear this players? Oh,I forgot, you all stopped listening to him some time ago.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I think as fans, we need to realize that BB isn't going anywhere. He won the Prez trophy, and his team is in the hunt for home ice. When the Flyers/Pens made their changes, their teams were not in a playoff spot. No way do we fire BB, it's just too hard to justify.

Would we be better off with a different coach? Maybe, but's it's not gonna happen.

IMO, we need to get rid of some of these players. Fehr is a great example. If we could get a pick for him, that would be great. Get rid of his salary. We coul the use that money to get a veteran winger. A PERFECT fit would be Langenbruner. He is a Captain, on a terrible team that needs cap relief. Though he wouldn't wear the "C" here, he could still give us the leadeship we desperately need. He would probably be rather cheap as well, the Devils will not want a roster player. Middle of the rod prospect would do it. Maybe a mid level pick to boot.

These are the only changes we are gonna see this year, but they may be enough.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 9, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

FLDave: That's a natural post hattrick. Well done.

And, honestly, what are the odds that BB would sit OV or Semin when they have a couple disappearing games in a row. BB needs to have his interviews edited to say what he actually means, which is that you will be given ice time based on merit unless your name is OV, Semin, Knuble, Backstrom, Green, Poti.....

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

deal Fehr to Canucks for Bieksa

Posted by: doughless | December 9, 2010 12:41 PM

FTR, I normally don't agree with doughless (to put it mildly), but I have to say I am halfway there regarding the above post: Yes, the Caps should acquire Bieksa...I'm just not sure that Fehr should be the guy traded to VAN to get him.

Of course (as everyone here knows), I'm not down on Hannan by any means, but I felt that the trade which sent Tomas Fleischmann away should have brought us Kevin Bieksa instead.

Also, Matt Bradley may not have a lot of goals (fourth-liners shouldn't be expected to score a lot of goals anyway), but he plays his @$$ off every damn night...

So (based on the above article) why is he now scratched? Seems kind of contradictory to me.

On a lighter note, check out the latest on

http://www.downgoesbrown.com

It's hilarious...even for non-Leafs fans.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a he. FLDave stands for Dave who happens to be in Florida.

I'm not much for bragging. However the triple natural unassisted had nothing to do with luck or the error messages and retrying 3 times. Oh no.... it was pure skill that has taken years to hone.

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually kinda hopin' that Eakin doesn't make the Canadian team, for his own sake.

I wouldn't want to see one of our future stars taste the AGONY OF DEFEAT at the hands of that POWERFUL, AMERICAN GOLD MEDALY WINNING TEAM!

...its just too much for him at this stage...

hehehe

GO CAPT. AMERICA AKA THE AMERICAN HERO!
GO CAPS!
GO USA!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

MEDALY = MEDAL

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Now it will be sitting out on merit."

So if this is what determines who will be a scratch from now on, what determined the scratches before?

And furthermore, if this is the way its done now, then why is Matt Bradley the scratch?

Posted by: LesGrossman | December 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40,
That was hilarious!!!!!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | December 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Every coach reaches a point when their players start tuning them out. BB was an offensively gifted player that couldn't cut it as a NHL regular. His coaching has always favored the offensively gifted players and IMO he tends to give offensively talented players a very long leash to make up for his own disappointment. He was the perfect coach when he took over the Caps to help all of the "o" talented young players we'd acquired reach their potential, but his bias for such players has become a problem. I'm not convinced BB understands the other aspects of the game well enough to get this( or any other ) team to a championship at this level. I'm not saying we CAN'T or WILL NOT win a cup with BB at the helm, but I think our chances are reduced with him at this point.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 9, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@Underpants2:

Isn't Langenbrunner, like, 1000 years old?

I'm just saying...

I can just see it now: The Proven, Veteran Cup Champion getting hammered all over these boards for being "too old", "too slow", "too expensive" and "a waste of cap space"...

...by the very same @$$#@+$ who demanded that we acquire him in the first place!!!

Of course, all that caterwauling will inevitably be accompanied by the usual calls for GMGM's and/or BB's dismisal and the vile Orcish grumbling that the Caps will "never win a Cup as long as (fill in the blank)"...

Whatever.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 9, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@MReilly...MATH isn't my strong suit, so please help me understand your statement. Therrien was 27-25-5 when he was fired by the Pens and the Caps are 18-8-3 right now. How do the winning percentages match up?

Posted by: boomer44 | December 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

PIcking up on earlier thoughts on Knuble and Fehr. For all of Fehr's troubles, it is Knuble that looks least like his old self of all the forwards on the team. Ovi isn't scoring but for the most part he LOOKS like he's trying the same tired old moves and being mostly the same player. Fehr is still the same won't-use-his-size player he was last year. It is KNUBLE that has changed more than anybody else. Who can name the last time they spotted Knuble posted in front of the net? That was his bread and butter last year, and that contributed to Ovi's success. He's not there anymore. I almost jump out of my seat all season long anytime he's shockingly posted up in front of the goalie.

As this relates to Fehr and BB's new "policy," I think what BB is saying is that the "merit system" starts now. Thus, he's giving Fehr and all other players a clean slate. If BB can man up and be true to his word, then I'm fine with the current line combos for now until somebody plays poorly. But I have my doubts about Knuble taking BB's threat seriously and getting back to his old self. If he can't do that, what I'd really like to see is Fehr on the top line doing what Knuble USED to do. Give him four or five games there and see if he can fill the bill. If he can't, fine, but sometimes players need a real juicy carrot dangled in front of them to get the best out of them.

Posted by: struggler | December 9, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I like Bieksa but, this trade would make the top 6 d: 52,55,74,27,23,Bieksa. 4,3 as the extras. Shouldn't the Caps look for a 2C we the remaining cap space? Fehr (25) is signed for 2 more years @ 2.2 per. His age and contract would make him good trade bait for a team that wants him. I thought Fehr would continue to improve and be pushing for a top 6 spot this year. That doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe the GO-GO Caps of last year inflated his numbers. Maybe it's time to give Andrew Gordon a try.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Rhino40, for the link. My fav:
Problem: My TV is stuck on an image of Sidney Crosby, and the Penguins aren't even playing in this game.
Solution: You have accidentally switched over to an NBC broadcast.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave

BECAUSE OF YOUR GREAT POST, the Hockey Gods have blessed you, too, with the rarest of feats....nice "triple natural unassisted"!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

and thinking about it Dave, if fans in DC/surrounding area can just meet us in the middle.....a little geography joke to lighten up :)

go caps, kick Atlanta's a@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 9, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Said it before,will say it again....Eric Fehr(#18) over Ryan Getzlaf(#19) is the reason we haven't made it to the finals(Getzlaf already has a ring).Once he's gone,I won't be able to use that as an excuse(and the sooner he's gone,the better)

Posted by: roccky | December 9, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@nicety251:

Thanks for the kudos!

New thread...

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

LesGrossman

That's simple. Whoever brown nosed enough in regards to his TV commercials got a jersey. "Coach, kinda choking up here, but those bird calls... The way you connected to the audience by speaking the language of the birds, touching, just touching."

I'm sure the Coo Coo call comes to him naturally based on his scratches, constant line juggling and effectiveness when challenged by a 'real' coach. When you have as much talent as the Capitals they can make my 10 yr old look like a genius behind the bench.

Posted by: FLDave | December 9, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Guys correct me if I am wrong....

Something just doesn't feel right with this team right now. Since last year's playoff failure I have monitored way more closely the quality of wins we have during the regular season, and very FEW have translated into feeling good about our chances of hoisting the Cup.

An example would be getting manhandled twice in one week by Boston.

Another QUESTION.....do you guys think there is any chance, that given our playoff flop of last season, and given how everyone in the lockeroom knows the only thing that matters is in april, may and hopefully june.....do you think tehre is any chance that guys are a little bored with the regular season?????

any thoughts would be welcome.

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | December 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I think as fans, we need to realize that BB isn't going anywhere. He won the Prez trophy, and his team is in the hunt for home ice. When the Flyers/Pens made their changes, their teams were not in a playoff spot. No way do we fire BB, it's just too hard to justify.

Would we be better off with a different coach? Maybe, but's it's not gonna happen


Posted by: underpants2 | December 9, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

huh? too hard to justify that his dump and chase hockey system doesn't work. Don't need any justification, WE lost to Philly, to Pens and Habs.. Mr.Fedorov won a series against Rangers, not BB

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | December 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not worried about the Caps at all at this point. Let's wait until March to see how they play. I have a feeling they will pick it up by then. Ovie will start playing like a beast and the rest of the team will follow.

With that said, we do need to have either Fehr or Knuble step up or step out in the next couple of months.

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | December 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Yes most of the brands do give out samples of their products. Look for "123 Get Samples" online and get the samples. They are the best. You wont need CC.

Posted by: rachelharold | December 10, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Nothing has changed between this year and last year. Unless and until it does, expect the same result. If you want to find out if they're really playing based on merit watch the goaltending and see if Neuvy gets his fair share. Varly was in during the last loss, right? Speculation is he'll be in again tonight. You want to complain about Fehr? It is hard to imagine anyone having a good game not knwing who they are going to play with on any given night let alone during the same game. And, oh, what IS the defensive strategy for this team? Anyone?

Posted by: grjacquie | December 11, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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