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Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 12/11/2010

David Steckel: Caps 'haven't faced adversity like this in a long time'

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals have not consistently put all of the pieces together over the past 11 contests, but with back-to-back games this weekend against Colorado tonight and in New York Sunday, they have an opportunity to get back on the right track in rapid fashion.

"We have a chance to come out and be 2-2 in our last four games if we do well this weekend and that's what we all want," David Steckel said. "When you're in this kind of slump, you have to find a way to get yourself out of it. We haven't faced adversity like this in a long time -- if ever with this group. We have to find ways to get through it, and it starts again tonight."

The mood is not light in the Capitals' dressing room these days, but several players have acknowledged that it's better to learn how to get out of this kind of streak now rather than in April, when facing the abrupt ending of a season.

"I think everybody likes it as easy as you can have it, but I think you look for the silver lining -- and there is a silver lining," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We'll get out of this, we'll find what we're doing wrong, we'll correct it and we'll push forward and we'll be a better team and better individuals for it. If that's the price we have to pay to be a successful team, then we'll pay that price."

Here are some other notes from the morning skate at KCI:

--Boudreau said that he is not using an every-other-game rotation with goaltenders Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov, but rather that neither one has been in net for a win.

"It's if they win, they're in," Boudreau said. But "we haven't won. We haven't been able to do it. If Michal wins today, there's a good chance he'll play tomorrow."

--The ill players who did not skate on Friday -- Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, John Carlson and Boyd Gordon -- should be in the lineup tonight against the Avalanche, but Boudreau did say that "they're not as strong as they'd like to be."

Mike Green, who is also sick, is "doubtful," however, Boudreau said. If Brian Fahey does play in his sixth NHL game tonight, he'd most likely be paired with John Erskine, whom he's skated with in each of his call-up stints.

By Katie Carrera  | December 11, 2010; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Colorado Avalanche, David Steckel, Mike Green  
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Next: Familiar faces on both sides of Caps-Avalanche meeting


Maybe I'm in a foul mood, by why are we getting the adversity quotes from the 4th line center. No offense to Katie, this isn't directed at her. Where's the captain? Or maybe Semin can give us a quote for a change Or Eric Fehr, maybe he has some thoughts on the matter.

Posted by: Fletch22 | December 11, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Uh, the similar Ovechkin quote came yesterday afternoon. As far as Semin or Fehr, I'd like to see them do their talking with a goal apiece tonight.

Posted by: zmega | December 11, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about the quotes or who they come from,its all a bunch of excuses or hogwarsh anyway.They need to perform better,that speaks more than words on so many levels.Dont talk about it,be about it.And that goes for from the the first line down to the fourth line.And i dont want to hear about how there 'not us to losing' cause its not like the caps have been an elite team for a decade or more,being on top is still new to the caps as far as how long theyve been around.Theyre all just pretty much suckn right now and they need to turn it around.Not with words but on the ice.So lets get it together caps,get out of this funk and stay out of it and then you can talk all you want.Go get'em Neuvy!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 11, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

AHL news - Pinizzotto suspended a game for cross check. The Bears website awarded him player of the game for the same game. Souray also involved in some rough stuff. .

Posted by: zmega | December 11, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

none of the forwards can be too sick if Johansson's sitting. He really had a pretty rotten game Thursday, and his production has been poor. I've got high hopes for the kid but I'm glad he's sitting.

Posted by: Justafan | December 11, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I know that McPhee does not want to do it... but, it would really be good to send MaJo down to Hershey so he can learn the North American game on the Bears' watch and not ours. He is a liability in the scrums by the boards right now - loses way too many puck battles, but has shown NHL caliber speed and elusiveness. We can bring him back up in March and see how/what he can contribute in the stretch run and into the playoffs...

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 11, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse


Lets not give Steckel the 4C honor..he is at best a faceoff specialist. In the Florida game, he came off after winning a draw several times. What a tool!

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 11, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Watch Cody Eakin score twice against Kamloops Blazers last night - once as a rat in front of the net and once on a breakaway...anyone think we could have used this kid tonight at Verizon? Sending him to Swift Current and keeping MaJo was a rotten decision!

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Stop with the loyalty to potential or past talents, just play the best players who are playing well at the moment at the NHL or the AHL level! This is a business not a friendly get together. No results, no play! The more cold blooded the better! Steckel is a perfect example because he has been given a free ride for way too long due to loyalty. How do you continue to keep playing a guy who is a center but has only scored only 52 points in 259 games? How cares if he is 6'5" and wins faceoffs but is slow as molasses and can not throw his weight around.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

So if Neuvy gives up 7 goals but we win 8-7, he plays the next game?!

Get a grip Bruce.

Posted by: digster1013 | December 11, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

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