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Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Jason Arnott likely to center Alexander Semin, Marco Sturm on Capitals' second line vs. Isles

By Katie Carrera

More to come soon from Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman, who will both debut for the Capitals tonight against the Islanders along with Marco Sturm. First, though, Coach Bruce Boudreau this morning discussed his contemplation of where to put the new players in the lineup.

As has been well documented throughout the season, Boudreau has used a plethora of line combinations, and the addition of two new forwards only increases the possibilities. The same goes for the addition of Wideman on the blue line.

"It was a rough night for sleep, that's for sure. In a good way," Boudreau said when asked about the lines. "I don't know how many different combinations you can come up with 12 different individuals, but I think I thought of every one."

It's been an asset at times for Washington to have so many players familiar with each other and able to swap line mates, like on Saturday in the Capitals' eventual 3-2 win over the Islanders, when a few readjusted lines helped spark the team for a three-goal comeback. Granted, it will take some time for the newly-acquired players to develop the same level of cohesion with the rest of the Capitals.

It sounds like Arnott will indeed center the second line, at least at the start of tonight's contest, with Alexander Semin on the right wing and possibly Marco Sturm on the left. Wideman will be paired with Scott Hannan, Boudreau said.

"With Wideman, we thought as a new guy to our situation, Scott Hannan talks the most out there and would be able to help him through a lot of things," Boudreau said. "So that's why we're putting them two together. We just think an offensive guy with a defensive guy would work, but again, you're hoping and you [wait to] see because we haven't seen it yet."

Other notes from the morning skate:
--Michal Neuvirth said he will start in net tonight for the Capitals. Boudreau said the plan is for Semyon Varlamov to serve as back-up.

--Jay Beagle has an upper-body injury and was held out of the morning skate, Boudreau said.

By Katie Carrera  | March 1, 2011; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Dennis Wideman, Jason Arnott  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Semyon Varlamov taking part in the Capitals' morning skate
Next: Capitals recall Todd Ford

Comments

from last thread

@SoaringCaps There are several teams in the NHL that do not have morning skates period. I know TB for a fact and I know Pittsburgh often doesn't as well. I actually while living in Pittsburgh went to a few Pens morning skates just to see hockey up close without having to pay big money. I saw Crosby, Malkin, and Gonchar (this was two-three years ago) do a couple of 3 on 0s on the goalies streach, do a globetrotters type weave, streach some more, then leave the ice. None of the three did a single line rush or anything the team was doing at all, they were in their own little world. So even when the "take the skate" they didn't do what the team did one skate hard even for a second. Detroit also has many players not take morning skates as well which is why it is hard to know who is playing sometimes in their lineup. People just like making a big deal when Ovechkin does it because they are looking for something to complain about.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

that's good info ICEHAMMER...thanks.

I still believe:

1)If you wear the "C" you are on as the LEADER for all on-ice sessions. Even if its for 5 minutes.

2)Katie needs to say if he is in the rink or if he stayed out too late and is hung over (which I am sure is always the case)..


*BTW, haven't you noticed, Optional never misses a skate on the road? Because there is a curfew...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

i will say this about the pickups: they are needed VETERAN presence on a team with egotisitcal, undisciplined young superstars. I blame some of that on BB. It is very telling that the much talked about "youth movement" was sidetracked yesterday. "Young Guns" have never won anything and don't appear to know how on their own. In that sense, the guys that were added will help.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I am so excited to see the team tonight. I know it may mean noithing win or lose, but can't wait to see Sturm and Arnott on the ice. Any idea what number Arnott is gonna wear?

Posted by: capsfan0837 | March 1, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

*BTW, haven't you noticed, Optional never misses a skate on the road? Because there is a curfew...


Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Or it could be that he doesn't have access to a guy like the one at Ketler. Not saying either is true just giving a second logical option. In your theory Ovechkin is partying all night and can't get to the rink in time for practice and the team doesn't say anything (no way that is the case and they don't know) somehow isn't brining Vodka or his drink of choice to the hotel rooms on the road and drinking in his room. That is what you believe to be true?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan0837 Strum 18 Arnott 44 Wideman 6

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree.

I am actually going to trek down to the Verizon CTR tonight.

I am looking forward to seeing Arnott and Sturm play. Wideman...I just hope he's not another Poti/Green/Corvo...

I really hope Backstrom gets dropped in the lineup. I might even put him on the third line with Hendricks and Sturm...

Optional/Arnott/Laich
Knuble/JOhannson/Semin
Hendricks/Backstrom/Sturm
Bradley/Bum 1/Bum 2

That's 3 great lines.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Arnott will be wearing no. 44.

Posted by: Thisistheyear | March 1, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to find the lines now and stick with them through the end of the season and into the playoffs. I feel like Knuble is too slow to play on the top line with OV and Backstrom anymore. Not sure if BB agrees.

Ov, Backstrom, Knuble
Sturm, Arnott, Semin
Laich, MaJo, Chimera (fehr)
bradley, Gordon, Hendricks (beagle)

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 1, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Very excited about tonight's game. Lets get me a birthday win boys!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 1, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

from previous post:
If you all threw your body around like Ovi, you would be resting also during morning skates (not a practice- a morning skate.) Cut the Captain some slack, he plays all out every night.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 1, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

OMG - it's a MORNING SKATE! Let's nit pick over something that matters - geez! I'm really upset Ovi ties his laces right boot first. Holy Crap, Ovi took the elevator today instead of the stairs. Stop looking for nonsense to complain about. Absolute nonsense.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 1, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Wideman...I just hope he's not another Poti/Green/Corvo...

_____________________________

Lol..what? Because they are all labeled as people who can make a good first pass. First off, Green is leaps and bounds ahead of all four of those guys. Wideman plays absolutely nothing like Corvo.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 1, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Caps fan...Fehr stinks. He wouldn't even be on the top 2 lines in Hershey.


And HAMMER...good point. I know for A FACT that Optional is out "partying" every single night in DC.

Will not reveal my sources, but I have heard it from 1 person in house and 2 people strongly in "the know".

I am just thankful he hasn't gotten into any trouble with the law or hurt himself.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

lol at your first sentence. It seems people who used to be normal posters now all of a sudden have sources and insiders too, lol. I'm not picking on you SoaringCaps, you're just the most recent.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 1, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The A-S-S line, eh? Weel, good luck to them!

Posted by: BoomerTSFX | March 1, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

richmond-

I was referring to

1) Injury Prone (Poti)
2) A bum in the playoffs (Green)
3) A terrible pick up at the deadline(Corvo)


And truth of the matter, this team has been playing much better with Green out of the line up than when he is in the lineup.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Lines SHOULD be...

Optional/Arnott/Laich
Knuble/Backstrom/Semin
Hendricks/Johannson/Sturm
Bradley/Gordon/Chimera

Now the caps have flexibility to sit backstrom when he is being slow and lazy (like all of 2010-2011).

And if Semin starts his stuff, we can put Sturm up...

Posted by: SoaringCaps
----
What?
Chimera and Sturm are LW's and Knuble is a RW...

It's more likely to be:
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Sturm-Arnott-Semin
Chimera-Johannson-Laich
Bradley-Gordon-Hendricks

Posted by: FrankM73 | March 1, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Richmond:

1) Happy Birthday!

2) I know, I know. Probably shouldn't said anything (honest). I'm not going to prove who I know or when they told me. Let's just say, it's true and I'm sorry it is.

The other thing I know is Semin when he was hurt, picked up the smoking habit (relax, just cigs)...

I know Lafleur and Iafrate chain smoked, but the game is faster now and the players make too much money to do this to their bodies!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@soaringcaps

I'm with you on this one....for the captain to miss virtually every morning skate, while almost everyone else not injured is participating, IT JUST SETS A BAD EXAMPLE.

Why is that so hard for everyone to see that? Ovi's a great talent and fun to watch, but I have yet to hear a single teammate, player, coach, or "expert analyst" praise him for his leadership abilities. And why is that?

Whether he's hung over, resting his body, or it's not part of his traditional routine one thing is certain.....Ovi isn't with his mates when they're all together for a light morning skate.

And isn't it possible (or dare I say HIGHLY PROBABLE) that team bonding, unity, and cohesion can be forged in such informal settings? I guess we'll never no, and shame on our captain for giving folks ammunition to question his leadership skills. Ovi scores no points with me on this matter.

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 1, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The other thing I know is Semin when he was hurt, picked up the smoking habit (relax, just cigs)...


Posted by: SoaringCaps |

Hell, I would've preferred if he started smoking weed.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 1, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

SoaringCaps, Well get pictures then. Let's see if he can be embarrased into behaving a little more responsibly.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

*BTW, haven't you noticed, Optional never misses a skate on the road? Because there is a curfew...
Posted by: SoaringCaps

Its posts like this that make this blog unreadable. @SoaringCaps...you are an idiot....along with everyone else that thinks they know everything.

I used to look forward to reading these blogs for the interesting opinions and analysis. Now, i never look. I decided to give it one more try and i stumble across stupid posts again.

If, as you say, it is a FACT that Ovi is partying every night.....who cares?!? If its true and does affect his play, the rest of the team is there. I recall us doing quite well when he was suspended last year. We are not losing because he is out parting every night (supposedly from everyone's inside sources).

Ovi is the captain and it will stay that way. No one here knows what goes on in that locker room...period! 24/7 didn't show anything besides a glimpse of a few games.

I am not singling you out personally @SoaringCaps, but all the idiots who post on this board now.

Thanks for ruining it guys!

Posted by: OviFan08 | March 1, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Weed is better.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 1, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

My Insider says your Insider is full of it LOL What was it Last year oh his GirlFriend was the culprit You should Join TMZ with all the dirt your slinging maybe your a house Intern learning the art form of dirty politics.

Posted by: koppleschloss | March 1, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know how many different combinations you can come up with 12 different individuals, but I think I thought of every one."

---

12x11x10 = 1320 different possible combinations.

I know, I know, don't give BB any ideas...

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Soaringcaps...I would deeply question your "sources" who are most likely also like you, namely, disgruntled caps "fans" who are sad that the team hasn't dominated in the regular season for you like they did last year.

I work at Kettler. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Ovechkin is the first person into the building for optional workouts, but does not skate. He has a routine that he goes through, much like all hockey players, based largely on superstition that includes lifting weights, spending some time on a bike, spending some time in a steam room, etc.

your constant spew of vitriol has no place in this team's fan base. We're all slightly misanthropic, those of us who have been fans since the 80's at least, but we all believe in our players and we all support them because they're our team.

It is true that Ovechkin is not perfect and I cannot confirm this (this is important to say, see!) but I would imagine that he's partied too hard before. I wish that he wouldn't do that, but it is ignorant and pig headed to assume that all of his issues and indeed the teams issues, derive from his opting out of optional skates.

My daughter came to an optional skate the other week and Alex was good enough to sign an autograph for her while he was in the middle of his workout. The guy was drenched in sweat, not sitting at home reading Cosmo and sleeping off a hangover.


PS- he also misses about 60% of the away skates. He's only on the ice when the training facilities are at another location as is the case in many older practice facilities.

Posted by: zeile_d | March 1, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I have played hockey for 20+ year so I think I may know a thing or two about hockey my friend.. Caps fans said how bad they wanted Weiss(-11) and/or Booth (-19). Wideman generally played against team tops lines, and had little support from another D partner or forwards back checking. +/- is a relative state for the entire team, I believe, not for an individual as 5 other skaters have a direct impact on another players +/-.. Lets look at the caps the entire team is way down on +/- for the season. Why because they aren't scoring as many goals, becuase of the system the play.. So +/- has alot to do with system, and the other 4 skaters plus the goalie that is on the ice. I believe you cant fully judge a player based on +/- alone. Shultz when from a +55ish to +2 this year, not because of his skill but becuase of the Caps system.. If plus minus was a reflection on skill Shultz would have never had such a high +/- ration last season.

Posted by: CapsBaby | March 1, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Your entry actually helps me prove my point. Yes, Schultz had a +55 last year which was a reflection of the team as a whole, as is his +2 this year. His +2 this year is actually fine relative to this year's team because the team is only hovering around a +10, and there are players on our team that are as high as -10. As for Wideman, he has the worst +/- by far, especially when compared to all other defensemen. IMO GMGM doesn't even make this move if Green was good to go. I know he stated he is a replacement for Poti (that's what he said in the interview that is posted on the Caps webpage, it is about 10 mins long) but it is probably to help in this time when both Green and Poti are out. Carlson, and McPhee stated BB said this too, is being asked to do too much.

Now, being the ignorant Kool-aid drinker Caps fan that I am I hope Wideman tears things up both offensively and defensively and Arnott and Sturm along with Wideman end up being the sparks the team has needed to be successful in this year's playoffs. By successful I mean Stanley Cup Champions. Rememeber I said "being the ignorant Kool-aid drinker Caps fan" so no one has to come on here and lay out a list whey they won't.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 1, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL now everyone has sources with the team. If any of that were really true it would have been reported. The media wouldn't cover soomething of that magnitude up just to appease the Caps. This includes the post as well as american and canadian hockey media. The Canadian media especially would love to report that.

Remember everyone, the more you respond to SoaringCaps, the more credibility he/she thinks he/she has.

Posted by: GFisher1 | March 1, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

My inside source can beat up your inside source, so there.

And thats the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 1, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm a littkle surprised that #6 was available. Has it been given out since Calle left?

Posted by: dlakjesad | March 1, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps

Abraham Lincoln told me he saw Ovechkin stumbling by his memorial drunk the other night.

I have figured out your source my friend!

Posted by: OviFan08 | March 1, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Can we change it to Flavor-Aid too? They didn't use Kool-Aid at Jonestown.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 1, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike Vogel
#Caps have recalled goaltender Todd Ford from AHL Hershey, likely to backup Michal Neuvirth tonight. Varlamov didn't stay out long this am.


Ao much for backup Varly

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

GFisher1 - well said, you stole my post!

I would just make it slightly more generic:

Remember everyone, the more you respond to FILL_IN_TODAY'S_IDIOT_HERE, the more credibility he/she thinks he/she has.

And less gratifying for the idiot in question.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | March 1, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know how many different combinations you can come up with 12 different individuals, but I think I thought of every one."

---

12x11x10 = 1320 different possible combinations.

I know, I know, don't give BB any ideas...

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 12:27 PM

I was just going to put that I expect to see all 1,320 combos over the next three games.

Just give him time.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Soaring Caps & Vermont...guys, I have posted this before, but the issue with the morning skate really gripes me...it is a morning skate not a practice, OV isn't the only player in the NHL and not the only captain who doesn't skate these general skate sessions, and he is always at the rink for the off ice meetings, video sessions or injury treatments...also if the guy is hung over he would be better off sweating it out with the optional skate rather than sitting in the video/meeting room...

Posted by: boomer44 | March 1, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@BoomerTSFX
HAHA...Well that is completely contingent on how they perform
@SAOTI
Keg stands of cool aid...hmmm. The sugar rush alone would make it worthwhile.

Posted by: DBnMD | March 1, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ziele...

Seriously thank you for that insight. You should be the writer for this blog. All katie says is "HE IS NOT ON THE ICE".

I appreciate your insights.


...and since we questioning my insiders...my source is... Charlie Sheen.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@zeile_d
Thanks for posting your observations and information! I rarely check out this site due to all of the negativity, but I was glad to see your post. I am sure Ovi, being a young male, likes to go out and have a good time. I am also sure he does what he needs to do to prepare himself for games.

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | March 1, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

i used to think there were a few semi-delusional posters here. then i listened to some interviews and read a few items on carlos estevez (charlie sheen). even the darkest of dark siders, guzzling goats blood drinkers are lucid when compared to that.

so - enjoy what we have here - i could be so much worse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Jury still out on the "A S S" line...

One worker and two skill guys. Hopefully they light it up, but I would prefer to see Laich or Knuble or Hendricks on that line for some true grit.

Sturm is not a gritty corner guy...and Semin, well, I don't think he understands that there are corners in a rink...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse


"I don't know how many different combinations you can come up with 12 different individuals, but I think I thought of every one."

---

12x11x10 = 1320 different possible combinations.

I know, I know, don't give BB any ideas...

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 12:27 PM |

--------

good one

hope bb finds some good line combinations and sticks with them thru the playoffs for the most part

i'll have a keen eye on our pp the next few games. should be interesting to see if wideman can produce on that unit

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@OviFan08

What's more reliable: A cold inanimate slab of marble feeding soaringcaps information, or the VC janitor who provides "inside" information to ThePat?

Both have track records of, let's see, 0 percent credibility.

But both are laughable.

Posted by: redrocker2 | March 1, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@redrocker2

You got it. Anyone claiming to have inside sources is laughable unless they can provide proof. Its not just this blog either. You see that everywhere.

Posted by: OviFan08 | March 1, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

SoaringCaps-
Does any of this make you feel better? I hope so b/c your problem with him is misguided probably b/c you've been misinformed so its understandable.

To add on the AM skates on the road, it's not b/c of a curfew, it's b/c most practices aren't optioanl.

I really hope the info from zeil helps.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 1, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

my advice to BB (for what it's worth):

Arnott's true value to the team is that you have a guy who has won the Cup. He's been where the team, it's players, fans etc all want to be.

The next game film you study with the team should be game 6 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals. show the highlights. show the double-overtime period. show the goal Arnott scored.

Talk about it with the team. start thinking about it. and go for it.

Posted by: PSD1 | March 1, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse


@OviFan08
@redrocker2

first thing out of the blocks this morning soaringcaps was whining about fehr

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was a nice little bonus surprise about Wideman in the Playoffs:

30GP, 1G, 21A, 22Pts, +4, 8PIM's

last years playoffs:
13GP, 1G, 11A, 12Pts, +3, 4PIM's

Um, yeah, I'd take that on the caps this year!


Regarding Sturm, a 7 time 20 Goal scorer... off of Waivers? Nicely done GMGM!

Posted by: FrankM73 | March 1, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse


Talk about it with the team. start thinking about it. and go for it.

Posted by: PSD1 | March 1, 2011 1:05 PM |

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

you got me ready to go for it.

watched that game winning goal, nice way to win it all

it's not like the caps haven't had open nets or few opportunities, their collective accuracy and penalty shooting can use improvement thru practice

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The A-S-S line, eh? Weel, good luck to them!

Posted by: BoomerTSFX | March 1, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the Kick A-S-S line!

Let's go CAPS!

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | March 1, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Fehr still stinks.

No matter who says it.

Yes, he is better than me, but then again, I am not 6'3" and don't get paid 2 million dollars.

So HESSONE...keep proudly wearing your Fehr jersey...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Arnott and Sturm can teach Semin how to get some grit into his game.

Posted by: JunkGoal | March 1, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

12x11x10 = 1320 different possible combinations.

I know, I know, don't give BB any ideas...
------------------------
The above is true if you assume players are interchangeable (i.e., LW can play RW etc.) The possible combinations become fewer if you restrict players to play their positions. My combination and permutation theory is rusty but I think it's more like:-

10.11.12/(1.2.3) which comes to 220 possible combinations.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Well done FloridaCapsFan! Proud of ya'!

Posted by: jgmd | March 1, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

jgmd, In Elvis voice, "Thank You Very Much".

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I've always attempted to only whine about players that are currently on the roster & not IR. So, here we go: That Arnott, Strum & Wideman suck because (fill in your best insult here).

Posted by: chriscaps | March 1, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Zeile_d, thanks for the post and the insight on OVI. I had no doubt about his work ethic. He certainly does not need to be on the ice every minute, every practice.

There are too many complainers on these blogs. No matter what the coaching staff does, or who they move around they have to complain. They are never happy! If they were true CAPS fans they would root for the team thru think and thin, instead of whining all the time. It get's a little old! Grow up! Stand behind your team and coaches and show your support!

Posted by: allforSemin | March 1, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Should the number of permutations be 12 factorial, or 12 * 11 * 10 ... * 1?

Four lines, three men per line, each position unique. Of course, it changes if you posit that Ovechkin can't play anywhere but the top line.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | March 1, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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