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Caps push record-setting streak to 12

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

Morning roundup

If any of the Caps' last 12 games felt like a loss from the start, it had to be this one. But despite some incredibly sloppy play, the league's best offense ultimately took over in a 6-5 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"We're never out it," said Tom Poti, whose third-period goal gave him four points in his past three games. "We can be down by one or two or three and we know that we have the offense to come back and score. We never get too down on the bench, and that's a good thing."
The win stretched the Capitals' franchise-best winning streak to 12 games. It's now the longest streak since the New Jersey Devils won 13 straight in 2000-01. | Full story »

*Alex Ovechkin got his 500th point on a one-handed goal, but he didn't seem all that impressed with himself after the game:

"I didn't see it, I just tried to shoot the puck and I see it goes in, so I was kind of surprised," Ovechkin said. "I thought Knubes get it, so I was kind of shocked. No celebration." (D.C. Sports Bog)

More links and the like:

*Alex Ovechkin = danger. (NY Times)

*Rangers score 5 goals... and still lose. (NY Daily News)

*See that big photo of Alex Ovechkin, right next to the D.C. snow story, on today's front page? This right here is The Post telling you that we get it. "It," of course, being #Snowvechkin.

More from the D.C. Sports Caps Bog

*Eric Fehr's radio show (as first reported by Homer McFanboy) tackles country music.

*The '84 Caps, in pictures.

*Canada loves Alex Ovechkin.

*PTI does the Stanley Cup odds.

The latest from Capsland

*Big ol' plug for The Fan. (OFB)

*Here's how the Pens will get to D.C. Sunday. It involves biblical figures and pep talks. (Peerless)

*Caps are red hot. (Ed Frankovic)

*In praise of Tom Poti. (Japers' Rink)

*Win streak nearing an end? (Fight for Old DC)

*Caps' dads and mentors visit Gary at work. (Caps)

Just a few more links

*Ilya Kovalchuk traded to Devils. A "bittersweet day" for Thrashers. (Puck Daddy)

*Stephen Harper hearts the NHL, as every Canadian political figure should. (Posted Sports)

*Wayne Gretzky on the Caps, the Oilers and other stuff that makes this interview so wonderful. (ESPN)

Tonight's matchup (maybe)

*Yes, it's snowing or about to start snowing, but the Caps haven't changed any plans just yet. We'll keep you updated if Snowvechkin decides to terrorize the NHL schedule.


Kovalchuk-less Atlanta Thrashers (24-23-8)
Washington Capitals (39-12-6)
Verizon Center, 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet (HD)
Radio: 1500 AM

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  February 5, 2010; 5:36 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup, New York Rangers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps 6, Rangers 5 (updated)
Next: Michal Neuvirth recalled



Posted by: ludeman95 | February 5, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Im starting to think tonights game is going to be very dangerous for fans not on the underground train lines.

While going to the game at 5 or 6 ish could be ok...when you get out, it could be really...really...bad...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

I know I am saying this before Kovalchuk even plays in a game for the Devils, but I still feel extremely confidant in the Cap's chances this year, even if they have to play against the Devils sometime this postseason. Especially with the way these Caps are playing this New Year, they are proving that they can beat anyone, that they can break down great defenses, and figure out goalies. They proved this even last year, when two games down in the series, the Caps changed up their game plan, and found the way to beat Lundqvist. Once they did this, our offense trumped the NYR's defense/goaltending. Yeah, Brodeur is a better goalie, and perhaps NJ has a deeper defense (but that may have changed, I do not know the stats really), but I think that overall, the Caps are still the deeper team, at least up front, player for player, we just have an unstoppable offensive team. Sure, Kovy significantly upgrades their offense, but the rest of their forwards still remain the same...

I am not saying playing the Devils will be anyway near a cakewalk, not by a long shot, I just think the Caps have intensified their game and attitude this year, and that alone is a scary thought for other teams. There is still a lot of hockey to be played before the post season, and things may change, but I just feel that even with the changes the Devils have made so far, the Caps still would have a good shot at beating them in a 7 game series. All that needs tweaking for the Caps at the moment is their PK. That may come through different personnel, or just better systems/more practice, but what most of this streak showed as is that Caps can be a good PK team, they just need better consistency (only two games in the 12 had sloppy PK).

Maybe I am just being a homer fan, but I still think we are a very elite team this year and a team that can go very far, if not, all the way. Who knows!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 5, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Alright....GO CAPS!!! we get to see the debut of Holtby tonight....I HOPE SO! Atlanta no Kovy, perfect setting for him and give Theo a break. I love our goaltending depth. GO 4th stringer, GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: CapsSkins | February 5, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more Stanley_Caps! I'm not convinced that Kovy improves NJ THAT much with the loss of Oduya who is a great puck moving Dman. Remember Kovy is a run and gun type of guy and the Devils play a very strict defensive type of game which is the complete opposite of anything Kovy has ever played. Yes they will score more goals now but does that outweight the fact that they'll give up more now too?

IMO NJ will give up more goals now or Kovy won't score as much as he used to. So it's an upgrade for sure but I still think we have a better team than NJ right now. I do however think that GMGM is gonna have to do something at the deadline to improve our D. NJ isn't the only one going to make moves in the East to try and improve their team to compete with us.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 5, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Yeah if ever there was a spot for Holtby to play this would be it.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 5, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

what comes after the olympic break, that still remains to be seen

yes everything's been great so far this year but a lot of things can change between now and the start of the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 5, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

We need not worry about the Devils. I'm sensing an early exit for them in the playoffs.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 5, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

So what are the chances of being stuck at Verizon tonight after the game? I was planning on taking the metro to the game but if the accumulation is at 8" after the game, metro will shut down stations above the ground and of course that includes my station. No idea how I will get home then? I hope it starts snowing much later than predicted!

On a non-snowy note, it feels beyond great receiving an email from a Rangers fan co-worker congratulating me/Caps on the win ;-)

Posted by: RusCap | February 5, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU GEORGE MAC...seriously, I am so happy we didn't get Kovy...we have NO need for him.

Keep up the good work Georgy Mac...

I hope they play tonight and I hope they play Sunday, and I hope somebody gives me tickets! Snow doesn't scare me!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

BTW...why no love for Hershey on THEAHL.Com...?

They are playing with players going up and down to the Caps, their 3rd and 4th string goalies and they are 7 points up on the entire league and 19 points up in their division...

Shouldn't they be the story on how they are crushing the AHL, yet again?

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The League, and the Caps need to investigate that laser pointer pointed at Theodore's eyes...

Seriously uncool, Rags fans. Seriously uncool.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have had their struggles with the Devils but Johnny Oduya the defenseman was one of the reasons why.

New Jersey may now be better offensively, but goaltender Brodeur is now looking tired and their D has been banged up hurt and now somewhat traded. Many times to get better scoring you loosen up at the back end and I think that is a decision NJ has consciously made. The Caps play best when teams do not smother them and NJ will have trouble doing that going forward. More shots against Brodeur will likely make him look his age.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 5, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have had their struggles with the Devils but Johnny Oduya the defenseman was one of the reasons why.

New Jersey may now be better offensively, but goaltender Brodeur is now looking tired and their D has been banged up hurt and now somewhat traded. Many times to get better scoring you loosen up at the back end and I think that is a decision NJ has consciously made. The Caps play best when teams do not smother them and NJ will have trouble doing that going forward. More shots against Brodeur will likely make him look his age.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 5, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

The Devils made this move because they know that this may be Brodeur's last run. That's probably why they are not too concerned with giving up youth and a number 1. This team has been built around Marty since he dominated after his first couple of years. They will probably build from the ground up after Brodeur retires which will be soon. If they win the Stanley Cup this season he will probably retire on top.

Kovy will obviously give an instant boost to their PP. However, as many have said, his even strength play is going to be a liability and if he decides not to buy into the NJ game system this entire deal could be a bust for NJ.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 5, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The Devils made that move because they know they cant beat the Caps without him...Now the Penguins are crapping the bed because Malkin is a fraud top 3 superstar, and isnt earning his mega pay.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I think the loss of Oduya might hurt NJ at least half as much as adding Kovy. Oduya was a guy I was hoping the Caps could get this past offseason as a FA. He's always played against us the way Poti has been playing for the past few weeks.

This opens up the door for the Caps to get Niedermayer, if that's what they want to do.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 5, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah that laser pointer is messed up. What do you expect from "Ranjuhs" fans?

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I was wrong about Kovy. Was really thinking he'd go west and still may as a UFA.

Devils didn't give up 'too' much. Surprised really.

Darned Devils...sneaky Lou is always working an angle. Good work to those that predicted this one!

Posted by: netminder71 | February 5, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm cancelling my Post subscription. I really like Tarik's writing and the work of his team covering the Caps, but the bulk of my subscription money is going to the highly paid Wilbon, Wise, and Boswell, none of whom have weighed in on this impressive streak. How can you call yourself a local paper and local columnist and not write about this team? They are doing something this city hasn't seen in awhile in their sports - dominating their league, entertaining fans, and ingratiating themselves to the whole city. Don't local columnists write about these kinds of things? What a joke.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

who cares about the laser...we won the game.

Let's move on...up next...Thrashless Thrashers...

Then let's beat down the penguins...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ok...this may sound horrible, but I wouldn't say I want the Caps to lose tonight...but I am already stressed about the idea of playing the Pens on such a huge win streak!! I mean losing to them any time makes my heart drop, but losing to them and giving them the satisfaction of ending our win streak...I don't know if I could handle it! I am aware this is no need to reprimand me.

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps - Who cares about the laser?

*I* do. Because the laser could have damaged Theodore's eyesight. Because they are devices that should bloody damned well be banned from arenas. Because the type of laser being used could blind a guy flying an airplane long enough to cause a problem. They can cause permanent damage. The joker wielding it should have been caught, and banned from the arena for life. And no, I am not joking. He should bloody well be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for that.

The team should be fined, as well, as happened to a soccer team in Italy over a similar incident.


Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - If we win tonight, we had just damned well BETTER beat the Penguins on Sunday, else the level of whinitude from the fan base will be unbearable. "Waah-waah-waah-Penguins-always-win-waah!" $&*!@%$!@$^

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

hopefully we see theo again tonight - never thought i would say that - and hopefully there is less than 8 inches of snow on the ground so i can take the worst public transit system in america - the DC Metro. I'm sure it will run, but it might take 2 hours on the red line from Grovesnor.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 5, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse


I agree about Niedermeyer. His list of suitors has just dropped which may bring down his price slightly too.

Niedermeyer is THE acquisition I would love the Caps to make. His skill set, experience and contract situation work out perfectly for this team.

Do you think the Kovalchuk trade has set the bar for how much it will take to acquire players. Since Kovy was, by far, the top trade asset I would imagine that any deal for anybody else would cost less and maybe even significantly less than what the Devils gave.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Well how are they going to find that moron who pointed that laser at Jose's eyes? Some fans are SO STUPID!! It was probably some immature, teenage boy. Just watch the friggin' game and stop pointing lasers at the players. SoaringCaps, I'm with irockthered, it's NOT okay.

From google: "Lasers of all but the lowest powers can potentially be used as incapacitating weapons, through their ability to produce temporary or permanent vision loss in varying degrees when aimed at the eyes."

Posted by: rachel216 | February 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Why would you want someone to write about the Caps that knows nothing aboout the Caps?

The minute you see a Wilbon article about the Caps, chances are Tarik dit the edit and all the fixes to make it publishable.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

5 goals but Theo kept us in the game last night. Another game, another way to win, this time when our D was sloppy, we had a horrible time getting the puck out of the zone, and the PK was awful -- uncharacteristic for this run. We need to get back to where we were in the heart of the streak, and just before when we creamed ATL last time.

But the top line was simply phenomenal. Ovi, Backstrom, Knuble -- fantastic. When the chips were down Ovi simply had a will to score to close the 2nd. Incredible.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74 - I'm actually of two minds on Theo in net.

1) If he plays, it will be game 2 of a back-to-back, *and* we have the Penguins game on Sunday to worry about. Exhaustion may become a factor, and we don't dare play Holtby against the Penguins.

2) The Thrashers' offense has been good for 166 GF. Our defense has allowed only 155 GA all season. Ilya Kovalchuk, who now plays for New Jersey, was singlehandedly responsible for 31 of those goals (18.6%), and Afinogenov and Peverly 17 each (20.4% between them). Offensively, the Thrashers are not a powerhouse, so of the two teams, the Thrashers would be the better ones for Holtby to play against, to preserve Theodore.

But... streak...

But... if we beat the Thrashers, but lose to the Penguins... pain...

I'd rather risk playing Holtby against the Thrashers so that Theodore is fresh against the Penguins, myself.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

It makes sense to play Holtby against the less dangerous Thrashers tonight and rest Theo for the Pens on Sunday.

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 5, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Holtby! Rest Theo...

beating the Pens on Sunday is way more important then the things right...give Theo a rest.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Agree with everyone, I wanna see Holtby tonight!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 5, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I really wanna see Holtby tonight, but that is A LOT of pressure for a first NHL game!! I mean if he can pull it off great, but we have been allowing tons of shots on goal, and it might be pretty devestating to a rookie to break a huge win streak.

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it's going to be Neuvirth instead of Holtby tonight.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse


If you're heart is set on going to the game you may want to park in a covered garage near an underground station, e.g. Rosslyn. That way you at least won't have to dig your car out when you get off the Metro and then you'll simply have to deal with the roads on the way home from Rosslyn to wherever your home is. It'll be interesting to see if the game is still a go, but a clear statement has already been made by the club that if both teams could get to the arena the game would be played.

Posted by: rockingthered | February 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

good catch IROCKTHERED!

and probably the right call.

need to see if Varly and/or Neuvirth are going to be ready for the playoffs...

Theo has been very good during this streak (and probably the reason it's still a streak)....but as I have said 100 times, I am not sold with him in the playoffs.

Everything may rest on him...unfortuntaley...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

OMG really?! YAY!! I like Holtby but I'm so happy to see NEUVY! YES! Okay, even though I'm confident that Holtby would've done fine, I'm happy it's Neuvy.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Nuevy was recalled?

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Neuvy! That's excellent and timely.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 5, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - Yep!

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps - Who cares about the laser?

irockthered | February 5, 2010 9:27 AM, ME, AND MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE I WOULD BET.

Please go up and read irockthered reply to you.

Posted by: hock1 | February 5, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Appropriate punishment for the laser-wielding "fan" would be to have the laser turned on themselves.

Posted by: sandyflee | February 5, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

There are a few peopl;e in this town that will never ever believe that hockey has made a dent in the sports landscape of this town. Further, this same individuals don't believe the sports fans here care about anything other than pro football and basketball which completely contradicts polls that have been done listing American's favorite sports (1-NFL, 2-NCAA Football, 3-MLB, 4-MASCAR, 5-NBA) and the local TV ratings that have the Capitals consistetly outdrawing the Wizards and the Nationals the past two years. In my opinion, they don't write or talk hockey because they simply can't. They know nothing about the sport and assume everyone else doesn't either. Are you reading this Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, Andy Pollin, and Steve Czaban?

Posted by: croftonpost | February 5, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Typo on people and NASCAR and this should be these consistetly s/b consistently. Bad morning......

Posted by: croftonpost | February 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Have you heard about Brendan Witt's situation with the Islanders? Wouldn't it be nice to have him back as a Cap for the stretch run? He's got the take-no-prisoners attitude the Caps need right now on the blue line. At least he used to when he was in DC.

Posted by: fschipani | February 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I was under the impression that Witt had been playing like a...well...dimwitt?

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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