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Posted at 3:27 PM ET, 02/13/2011

Knuble skating with Ovechkin and Backstrom in Capitals' practice

By Katie Carrera

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 in a yellow, no-contact sweater but defenseman Tom Poti (groin) did not travel with the team.

--Lines this morning are as follows and are back to some familiar combinations that Boudreau has used often throughout the season.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Johansson-Semin
Chimera-Perreault-Hendricks
Gordon-Steckel-Bradley-King

--All seven defensemen that made the trip are taking part in practice as are both goaltenders.

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau  
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Next: Time for the Capitals to 'ramp it up'

Comments

Yawn

Posted by: AADCDERM | February 13, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Perreault = useless.

Split up Gordo and Stecks, it's not like Chimmer and Hendricks are star wingers that need to be set up, or anything. If the only lines that execute "The System" are the 3rd and 4th, then why not make them both 3 1/2rd lines.

Posted by: drewsie | February 13, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Get pucks deep! Win the battles! Shoot! Go to the front of the net!

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | February 13, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Keep the puck more like in the PIT and TB games and make the other team work to get it.

Yesterday the Kings had 41 chances on net/ many were blocked/ after 2 periods!

Can you say they had they puck too much?

Enjoy your day in the desert Katie!

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 13, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@Wahoo-mike

Why can't we play with the same passion as the Pens and Isles ?

Isles are going nowhere, but they're fighten' like hungry dogs !

When is some one on our team going to care enough to get a supension trying to defend a team mate (other than Brads and Hendricks)?

You said it - Go to the net !

Any one notice Semin and Brooks did not play near the end of the game. If I were BB and I wanted to keep my job, I would start "calling out" guys that are playing like pansies: Laich and Semin. Tell the truth. Tell the media that you benched them. Instead of the usual goofy Bruce post game "I don't know what's wrong, but I'm pissed !!"

GMGM is a Glacier !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am shocked they don't have a new coach for this practice.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 13, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Will there EVER be consistent line combinations? Although line juggling must be fun for BB, I'm questioning how effective it will be come playoff time and players are not familiar with how their linemates play. Put SOB line back!

Posted by: redskinsux | February 13, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

So here is what I think...

Caps win game 1 and 3...which keeps the current roster and the current coach.

Maybe 1 small trade.

Out in 5 vs Pens in the playoffs.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 13, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

To other news around the league, check out Lemieux's comments about the Pens/Isles fallout: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy

Posted by: nicety251 | February 13, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

And we wonder why Cindy whines so much..

Cooke started the whole thing when he ran DiPietro...

Well, the Isles FINISHED it!

Live with it Mary Lemieux...come out next time when Cooke does something and I will respect you.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 13, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

haha...pit losing after two...

a bunch of softies...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 13, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"It's a magical question. I wish I knew," Boudreau said. "We practiced it more in the last month than we did all of last year. It's the same guys but the number one thing you have to do is win battles. Every loose puck -- they got. Every time there was a one-on-one situation - they got it.

-- From previous PP post.

Therein lies the fundamental problem with Bruces PP. Why are their so many one on one battles to be lost on the power play?? Isn't the whole point of a PP in having MORE players on the opponent to win the puck?? The Caps should ALWAYS have an extra man battling for the puck on the power play! If the opposing penalty killers have one man on it, Caps have 2, they have 2, Caps have 3, they have 3 Caps have 4... whatever it is. If an opposing player gains possesion of the puck on a CAPS PP, which shouldn't even happen THAT often; their should immediately be 2 Caps all over them getting the effen puck back!! Come on!! You have an extra man!! USE HIM! The Power Play should be just as aggressive as the PK. It isn't a 2 minute coffee break! Somebody get the memo to BB! Thanks. Am I right?

Posted by: edmontoncapsfan | February 13, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So I'm wondering when we are going to have a new coach. According to GMGM, about critics, "if they knew anything about hockey, they'd be in the game."

Well, I guess I don't know anything about hockey, but I do know that when the team stinks, there are basically 4 options:

1. Change the system (not working)
2. Fire the players (while we can trade a number of them, lack of talent doesn't appear to be the problem as more or less the same team won 50+ games last year. Besides, are 1 or 2 new guys going to make a difference?)
3. Fire the GM (just simply not going to happen with Ted in charge and his love of GMGM's rebuilding job)
4. Fire the Coach.

Option 4 is the only real option left. It seems like BB has no idea what has gone wrong and no idea on how to fix it. I have no idea who should replace him.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | February 13, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the PP is the same as the problem with the team at-large - no effort. No hustling to loose pucks, no battle, no attempts to get in front of the net. Passing instead of shooting. There's no mystery here.

Only mystery is why Ted lets consistent failure go unpunished in his GM, why the GM does the same with the coach, coach does the same for the players. A culture of failure is about to become ingrained in this team because the individual failures are permitted. This organization needs to start holding itself accountable.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | February 13, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should move Johansson to line 1 wing. We need to figure something out there as well.

We have two glaring holes on our top 2 lines.

8-19-90
28-21-22
83-85-53
10-39-26

Worth a shot. Chimera is horrible. No reason he needs a jersey every night.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

If the blues are shopping Erik Johnson, we should definately go after him.
Go after Backes while we're at it.

Semin + Schultz + 1st pick for Johnson + Backes

Posted by: Walle | February 13, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

83-85-53

Worth a shot. Chimera is horrible. No reason he needs a jersey every night.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 5:43 PM

if you are bringing laing back - i'm on board with it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 13, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

if you are bringing laing back - i'm on board with it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Actually, I meant A. Gordon, my mistake. I just think we need more offensive upside.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Only mystery is why Ted lets consistent failure go unpunished in his GM, why the GM does the same with the coach, coach does the same for the players. A culture of failure is about to become ingrained in this team because the individual failures are permitted. This organization needs to start holding itself accountable.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra

Well said.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

i figured it was a typo - but wasn't sure who you meant

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 13, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Only mystery is why Ted lets consistent failure go unpunished in his GM, why the GM does the same with the coach, coach does the same for the players.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because all he sees is the arena full of 18K plus kool-aid drinkers every night.

Why serve champaign when they're just fine with kool-aid???

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

What they need right now is Green/Walter for Langway/Jarvis/Engblom/Locker 2.0.

But we all know GMGM doesn't have the onions to pull off that kinda trade.

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Because all he sees is the arena full of 18K plus kool-aid drinkers every night.

Why serve champaign when they're just fine with kool-aid???

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2011 6:17 PM

if there are 18k kool-aiders every night - why would he give a sh*t about goats blood drinkers?
the only way ted will act - is if there are less than 10k willing to show up for the games.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 13, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@captKirk

there have been empty seats the last few games. Yeah they are sold out, but plenty of season ticket holders haven't attended the last few.

Ted doesnt care if people show up, as long as the people renews the season tickets. And more importantly corporations renew sponsorships and continue to lease their suites.

Posted by: ThePat | February 13, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

hm. The Chimera experiment is over? Never saw that coming.

Also, Mario is a joke. For him to complain like he does after employing Cooke (who i love) is just nauseatingly hypocritical

you live by the sword, you die by it. Suk it up and move on.

No problem with how the Isles handled business. You can only get sh_t on for so long before you snap, and they snapped. The fines and suspensions are fair and that's that. Too bad Tangradi got caught up in it but lots of "innocents" get caught in this kind of stuff. It happens, and the Pens put a big target on some of their players with the way they play hockey (which i love).

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 13, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau was whining about the lack of effort in winning battles on the PP right? Does he even realize that his PP units have already won more board battles for the puck and done more crease crashing this year than all of last yr combined? They just were more skilled in their execution last year. Now opponents have figured em out and are choking up their passing lanes a lot more and putting more pressure on the halfwall and the point.

For Boudreau to pretend that they need to win more puck battles because thats how they'll get back to last yr's successes is stupid. They were a fancy pants PP last yr and the league caught upto em. They certainly werent' a gritty PP unit and this year they've made some strides in that area. I don't mind BB imploring his guys to work even harder and win more battles, but he makes it sound like thats how they used to be. They were never like that unless you want to count the effort of only 2 guys (Knuble and Laich)

Prior to that the last time the Caps had a real gritty PP unit was with Chris Clark on it and a different style of play from Ovechkin.

But our PP units this year have definitely been more gritty. They've battled harder for pucks and they've finished more checks in the off zone on the PP. Something they should have been doing all along.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 13, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Why can't we play with the same passion as the Pens and Isles ?

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

because we don't have enough guys like Matt Martin or Micheal Haley or Travis Hamonic or Asham/Kennedy/Letang/Talbot/Rupp/Kunitz/Cooke

We just don't have the same type of players. We got one guy in Hendricks who will willingly battle but he's a terrible fighter for the kind of role he tries to play for our team. Brads is an aging beat up grinder who doesn't have the stomach or desire to play a physically involved game. He does a little for us but not enough. And that's it for our forwards? Who else do we have that is both willing, able, and gets ice time to play that way? Laich and Chimera were never rugged players, so you won't get more mileage out of them than you currently do. Gordo hates physical play and would prefer to skate around in a non-intense contest. He's never even come close to any type of altercation on the ice. How you do that in a 4th line checking role is beyond me. Its unheard of.


oops i just realized, that was a rhetorical ? you posed, huh!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 13, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Because all he sees is the arena full of 18K plus kool-aid drinkers every night.

Why serve champaign when they're just fine with kool-aid???

________________

No, Ted wants the cup. Every owner of every team in every sport wants their team to bring home their respective league's championship. Even an assclown like Snyder wants the Skins to win a Super Bowl.

Difference is between wanting and earning. Earning, for an owner, means making some tough management and leadership decisions. Our owners appear to always be looking for the easy way to win, which doesn't exist in the post-season, anywhere. Ted can "want" a cup to come to DC until the cows come home.

Right now he has to make some hard decisions about who will help him lead his franchise (i.e. GM, coach, team captain). Top to bottom I see a dearth of leadership qualities.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | February 13, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Asham/Kenedy/Letang/Talbot/Rupp/Kunitz/
Cooke

To bad they lost Malkin, because that is a group of play off "bad asses".

Boy,compare those names to who we've got on our wings, and no wonder we piss our pants in the play offs.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Walle

Backes would be a great addition, but McPhee doesn't value guys like that. He's probably fine with a goof like Chimy at this point. The entire Cental Div. fears Backes.
Crazy dude ! Would love to have him here.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Walle

Backes would be a great addition, but McPhee doesn't value guys like that. He's probably fine with a goof like Chimy at this point. The entire Cental Div. fears Backes.
Crazy dude ! Would love to have him here.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@seth

Ted also doesn't care for the type of "smash mouth" hockey that wins Cups. Which long term is going to be a huge problem. GMGM will go to Jersey. Ted's a Georgetown nerd who doesn't understand what it takes to win the Big ugly Bowl.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@edmonton

Weren't you one of the goofs busten' on the goats blooders when we were sounding the alarm about this roster, GM, and coach.

I remember that your were pretty "mouthy".

What's your take on the Caps now, Messier !

Were you not comparing our boys to the old Oilers ? (Bustin' a gut laughing)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

What is up with the Hawks? They got rid of all there tough character/balanced talent guys and now look at them. Falling apart.

Posted by: pkme | February 13, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Lack of accountability starts at the top which is why things have spiraled downhill since last year's playoffs. The GM would have been expected to make moves to strengthen the roster, the coach to change the system, and the player's to be more dedicated. It appears that as long as Verizon is sold out every night that Leonsis is satisfied OR at least hasn't put any pressure on his front office to make moves. It isn't as if the Caps haven't paid market value for talent.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 13, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@wiz fan

I sat through those cold Wednesday nights with no one in the arena. Those cold lonely nights will return very quickly if they keep gettin' outhustled at home. This is not Toronto. The Skins and Wizards could steal most of this fan base very quickly (one season). Caps are time consuming and costly to watch at the booth.

I'm starting to think that Ted is a fool. The Butch Cassidy hire should have sunk GMGM. Look at the Pens/Isles war, and then think of our "pansie patrol". It's a crack up !!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@kirk
@edmonton

Kirk, did you watch those two games ? Still think there is no problems with this club !

Ed, Where's the Jari Kurri comparison with
Eric "take no prisoners" Fehr ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

@edmonton
Weren't you one of the goofs busten' on the goats blooders when we were sounding the alarm about this roster, GM, and coach.
I remember that your were pretty "mouthy".
What's your take on the Caps now, Messier !
Were you not comparing our boys to the old Oilers ? (Bustin' a gut laughing)
Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm the goof? What an intellect. Using terminology like 'goofs' and 'goatsblooders' I would think we both know who's who in this conversation. --(Bustin' a gut laughing)Very clever.
But no, I wasn't the one being mouthy and comparing this team to the Oil of the 80's. That was the 80's. There's no comparison. I did disagree with tearing the team down by trading, firing and panicking to the point of hysterics though. If that's your idea of being mouthy then I guess I'm guilty as charged... The Caps sure need a change or 2 but I wouldn't say anything as drastic as some are proposing. This team has nothing to play for in the regular season. It's as simple as that. Fans, media and the NHL took that away by proclaining the Presidents trophy means nothing and all that matters is the playoffs. You could point to their paychecks as incentive yes, but, these days if they do it in the playoffs; it will all be forgotten. Let them blow it in the playoffs with their new 'playoff system' and then tear it apart a bit. But until then, I wouldn't expect too much til then. Maybe a little before. I'm pretty positive these guys aren't going to blow it so bad they miss the playoffs. All they gotta do is get in...


Posted by: edmontoncapsfan | February 14, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

@kirk
@edmonton

Kirk, did you watch those two games ? Still think there is no problems with this club !

Ed, Where's the Jari Kurri comparison with
Eric "take no prisoners" Fehr ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 13, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Hunts.
Again, foolish to compare hypotheticals. That was a different time and place. I live in the present... time to put away the beta and stop watchin' the archived Hunter, Berube, Simon glory days. You got a good thing goin' in DC. Enjoy it Dale.

Posted by: edmontoncapsfan | February 14, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Best way to save is called collective buying!!! search online for "Printapons" every day a local business will be featured and prices will be discounted upto 90% off

Posted by: stellachess | February 14, 2011 5:45 AM | Report abuse

@seth_malaguerra
The problem with the PP is the same as the problem with the team at-large - no effort. No hustling to loose pucks, no battle, no attempts to get in front of the net. Passing instead of shooting. There's no mystery here.

==============================
Passing is not the issue. Its the wait wait wait pass...wait wait wait pass...wait wait wait pass. Its one thing to hold out for a great shot, its another to wait for a great pass. Great PPs cycle the puck constantly. No player should hold onto the puck for more than 3 seconds. The way to succeed on the PP is to get the PK to suck wind. If you cycle and keep them moving they get tired and make mistakes. Next time you watch one of the top power play units, watch how they cycle and more importantly watch how the PKers react as time in the zone passes.

Posted by: akmzrazor | February 14, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

@seth_malaguerra
The problem with the PP is the same as the problem with the team at-large - no effort. No hustling to loose pucks, no battle, no attempts to get in front of the net. Passing instead of shooting. There's no mystery here.

==============================
Passing is not the issue. Its the wait wait wait pass...wait wait wait pass...wait wait wait pass. Its one thing to hold out for a great shot, its another to wait for a great pass. Great PPs cycle the puck constantly. No player should hold onto the puck for more than 3 seconds. The way to succeed on the PP is to get the PK to suck wind. If you cycle and keep them moving they get tired and make mistakes. Next time you watch one of the top power play units, watch how they cycle and more importantly watch how the PKers react as time in the zone passes.

Posted by: akmzrazor | February 14, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

We'll enter the playoffs as the 7th seed and will be out in 6. The reasons: Opponents have figured out to play Ovi and Backstrom (which they don't fear because he'll never put the puck on net). Current team cannot make adjustments during the game, not smart enough. Lastly, the players are confused with their linemates and the BB system. You see it in their eyes, reminds me of a Zepplin tune "Dazed and Confused." I don't see them snapping out of this, playing great as a TEAM happens over 82 games not just when the playoffs start. Ovi is a great player, but he is not the Captain the Caps need.

Posted by: ttenner | February 14, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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