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Posted at 3:18 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman ready for debut with Capitals

By Katie Carrera


When asked about how quickly he thought Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman and Marco Sturm would be able to adjust to the Capitals' style of play on the ice, Coach Bruce Boudreau made an important point: "It's not like we got three 20-year-olds that need a lot of schooling. These guys are experienced veterans that have played a long time, so they should be fine."

All three players have experience adjusting to new teams or systems and even Wideman, the youngest of the newest Capitals, already has six years in the NHL under his belt.

"Try not to screw up, I guess, would be the main thing whenever you go to a new team, a new system," Wideman said. "There's obviously some feeling out. I think probably [the biggest thing is] just try not to push it too much and read off what they're doing and do a lot of talking with my D guys here."

Arnott spent a considerable amount of time during his career working with some of the most well-established defensive coaches in the league in Nashville's Barry Trotz and New Jersey's Jacques Lemaire. While that defensive aptitude will certainly come in handy as he blends in with the Capitals, Arnott knows there will be something of an adjustment period in Washington. Like Wideman, he believes communication will be key in how quickly he can pick things up.

"It will be a little different. I don't think too many people play like Jacques does," Arnott said. "It will be a little different pace for me out there it but it shouldn't be too bad. I think the first little while, talking to my linemates and stuff should take care of it."

The decision Arnott made to waive his no-trade clause and leave the Devils, who are in the midst of trying to make a furious rally from last place into the playoffs, has been well documented in recent weeks. At the end, though, Arnott's decision was simple when he found out the Capitals were interested.

"It was a very tough decision, probably one of the toughest I ever had to make," Arnott said. "I just figured nine points out with 20 games left, it would be pretty near impossible [for New Jersey] to get in, but stranger things have happened. It was one of those things where, do I take that chance and be out in April? And then I found out Washington was interested. I think they have a great team and a great team to compete for the Cup. That just made my decision that much easier."

Arnott also said that he believes the Capitals' shift to a more defensive mindset was a good move.

"They've played a lot better defensively; I think everybody knows that. They have so much offensive power it's tough to look at them as a defensive core or defensive unit, but they've really cracked down on that," Arnott said. "That's a good thing; it's the way to go. It's how to win. When you take care of your own zone, the offense will take care of itself."

Both Arnott and Wideman expect to see time on the power play and the hope from George McPhee to Bruce Boudreau and everyone else involved with the Capitals is that they may be able to add a breath of fresh air to the stagnant -- 16.3 percent, 25th in the league -- unit.

With eight power-play goals during his time in Florida, Wideman has more tallies on the man advantage than any of his new Capitals teammates. His 33 points rank fifth for Washington, behind only Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich.

"The thing with the power play, it's a lot of feel -- getting used to what guys do and reading off each other," Wideman said. "So there might be a little bit of getting used to it the first week or so, but hopefully as the season goes on down the stretch I can help out a little bit."

Boudreau expects that will be the case: "I am excited. I think he's a real power-play specialist that knows how to play the power play, knows the ins and outs and everything. I've watched him for a lot of years and he's really good at it. He played with [Zdeno] Chara on the power play in Boston as well, so he's got good experience and I think we got lucky with him."

By Katie Carrera  | March 1, 2011; 3:18 PM ET
Categories:  Dennis Wideman, Jason Arnott  
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Next: Open thread: Capitals vs. Islanders

Comments

ugghhhh
not another headline fiasco

keep up the good work katie!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse


BUT, I have not criticized McPhee.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 3:12 PM |

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

and for that, i thank you.


i'm just looking for a spark in the caps tonite and a good 60 min effort


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

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

ugghhhh
not another headline fiasco

keep up the good work katie!

----

Too funny. Am too!

Posted by: festus75 | March 1, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

New Toys! Can't wait.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 1, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"It's not like we got three 20-year-olds that need a lot of schooling."

No, we just started the season that way.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Capn: w/ or w/o smiley face?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 3:41 PM

weagle on one side, smiley on the other
you've heard me talk about my sippy cup - this is it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 3:44 PM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

All day I have felt like a kid on Christmas eve - cant wait to see this squad play with the new players.....that said.....

Arnott said: "It will be a little different pace for me out there it but it shouldn't be too bad. I think the first little while, talking to my linemates and stuff should take care of it."

Hope he knows Russian and maybe some German...good luck Arny!

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 1, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Repost: (I thought it would be worth it)

"But I'm lacking one thing...the truest of the true KA drinkers also have the little plastic mug with the smiley face. Plus the plastic pitcher. Remember how if your mom would mail in like 10 empty KA packs they would send you the picther and mugs set?" - tominsocal

Tom, GMGM tried to send you these items and he wanted it delivered by hand. He sent a couple Caps players to burst through your wall ala Kool-Aid Man style, but the following happened (according to my sources):

1) Poti - tore he groin running on the approach to your wall.
2) Shultz - stopped a few feet short of your wall because he didnt want to trample the rose garden in front of it.
3) Matty Perrault - hit the wall, but bounced off...the wall remained intact.
4) Green - got confused about where he was supposed go, and ended up across the street and way out of position.
5) Backstom - had a migraine as he was approaching the wall and decided it was best to go back and rest in the hotel.
6) Semin - concluded running into the wall wouldnt be his best chance to break through it, so he picked up a stick laying near your house and started to whack at it. A cop happened to pass by and arrested him.
7) Nylander - couldnt quite make it to your wall, but left you a nice "crop circle" in your lawn from the path he took.
8) Boyd Gordon - apparently shattered like a bottle upon contacting your wall.
9) Chimmera - Uh...he is the one that put that hole in your shed that is wide left of your house.

And Finally the last reason you did not receive your plastic KA drinking set...

10) Ovie - swatted at your shutter to close it first, whiffed, then fell over, and passed out drunk from vodka.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 1, 2011 3:50 PM

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 1, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys !!


New to the NHL, this is my frist season really watching it. Tonight will be my first live Caps game !! I'm extremely excited, and can't wait for the atmosphere.

Coming from ALexandria, should I drive in the Chinatown or metro? I know there is a lot near the Verizon center, how much is it? I think I remember $20, is that right?

Se eyou guys tonight!

Posted by: tphasbdp | March 1, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

SeminAllOverTheIce:
funny sh*t right there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

No, we just started the season that way.
-------------------------------
Season started off just fine. We won 14 out of the first 20 games. It's only lately we've been playing 0.500 hockey.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I mean after all when people come here they don't have a lot of time so they can't read an extra few words on the headline. Oh and God forbid you actually have to read the body of the "write up". That means that the heading actually might have hooked you and you read the body instead of moving on. Wow, imagine that! Something worked like it was supposed to.

Stupidity should be painful. It should really hurt to be stupid!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 1, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

All day I have felt like a kid on Christmas eve - cant wait to see this squad play with the new players.....that said.....

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 1, 2011 3:51 PM

Let's hope it's not "batteries not included!" and, "Some assembly required!"


SAOTI: You forgot to add that McPhee tried to send the players in groups of three but Boudreau kept switching them around.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@tphasbdp

Lots all over the place - $15-20 depending on which one. Biggest one is at 9th and NY Ave. But if Metro is convenient (and not having one of its single-tracking days on your line), I generally prefer it. Have fun!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | March 1, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI, 2nd time today you made me laugh today.

I know this was like two threads ago but I had to go to lunch and wanted to say something about the possibility of having Strum on the top line. IIRC he was on the top line when he was put on waivers in LA and was expected to be back there until we took him. Why not try him there? I don't know how slow he is but if he is faster then Knuble he fits in better then Knuble was so why not try it?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the Caps trying to get on a bus for a short road trip to Philly?

Boudreau: "Alex, you sit there. Backie, you're in that seat, next to Knubes. No, wait..."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

For those of you out there much cleverer with words than I, why don't you put together a list of the top ten reasons the Caps won/lost after each game a la Letterman?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

No, we just started the season that way.
-------------------------------
Season started off just fine. We won 14 out of the first 20 games. It's only lately we've been playing 0.500 hockey.

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

Everyone in this organization has been waiting for the playoffs...this whole year from the outset was never about Presidents Trophy, SE Division, win 55 games, scoring titles etc... This team has no interest in any of that and that is exactly how they played many games...Hope we get some momentum and I am optimistic that we will be a better team when it really matters.

I didnt think we played that well the first 20 games (the Tomas Fleischmann era Caps) - that record tells a half truth.

I think the loss in Dallas when the refs did not allow a goal with 1 second left that would have tied it when Ovi was in the crease put this team in a tailspin that they never consistently recovered from.

I think by April we will have a good idea whether that is the team we are - underperforming bunch of misfits - or sleeping contender.

There is really nothing left to say - just play hockey. Go Caps!

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 1, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@tphasbdp,
Best bet is the Metro and get off at gallery Place. It takes you literally to VC entrance. Much more convenient and cheaper then paying $20+ at least, that is if you can find a parking lot with open space. Enjoy the game caps Fan!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 1, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does GMGM saying things like, "He can't play in the NHL this year, based on the rules that we have in the league," it seems like he thinks Orlov could be ready by next year? If so then what do we do with our D? How do you have 3,4,6,27,52,55,74,89 and Orlov all on one D? I mean 89 goes down right away but then what? GMGM just resigned 3,4,and 27 (he will by next year) and just traded for 6 with years left on the contract. Even without Orlov it is going to be an issue and adding him just makes things worse. I figured for sure he would be in the AHL next year but the more GMGM talks the less sure I am and the more I wonder what he is thinking.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in this organization has been waiting for the playoffs...this whole year from the outset was never about Presidents Trophy, SE Division, win 55 games, scoring titles etc...
------------------------------
Agree, but the current trend of the team is sideways at best. Hopefully the infusion of new blood will propel them upward. Time will tell.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97
I was thinking that same thing about Orlov yesterday. I think if orlov is good enough to make the team they need to trade guys. I think they don't want to young up the defense anymore though next year. They are definitely signing Alzner. Maybe we just send guys out for draft picks - Sloan, Poti (if someone will take him), and Wideman.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 1, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97:
you left out 23 - didn't you read that i want gmgm to figure out how to keep him?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

ice: He was just holding out the carrot in front of Orlov. Just like when he says he didn't want Penner because we have forwards coming up. Gets guys like Beagle all hopped up.

He'd have to let Hannan walk and trade two others for Orlov to be in the rotation. And we don't have anyone remotely like Penner on the near-term horizon. It's "GM speak," at its finest.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse


@tphasbdp Coming from Alexandria is kind of a tough call. Using metro to the game is great but can be a pain coming home, but it shouldn't be too bad for you since you are only going to Alexandria. In regards to parking by Verizon, there are several garages in the neighborhood with reasonable prices of 10-20 dollars. Hope this helped. Good lot at E and 8th across from Teasism shop. (Naval memorial is also right down the road)

Posted by: casser | March 1, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk If only we were GM.

I would love
52-23
74-27
4-Gill
55

But for that to happen we would have to find a way to move Poti, Wideman (unless he plays amazing while here then insert 55 instead), and Sloan.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@capnkirk

Though misguided, you're hardcore to the nth degree too so I'll never take offense at anything you write about me. Sometimes, not often but sometimes, I post things with the intent of generating a response. I mean, c'mon people, DJK for the Hart and Erskine for Norris? It's hard work at times, but someone's got to be the voice of the downtrodden.

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

Well I'm not ssweeney but I will take ya up on this. What would you like to see out of the new guys in tonights game?

Posted by: hart2014 | March 1, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

First, with Beagle nursing an "ouchie" I think BB should put DJK in and TURN HIM LOOSE! But that won't happen so here's what I think for the new guys:

1. If all three get pp time, I hope they contribute to an immediate improvement. At worst, get Ovi off the point.

2. Individually, I'm not expecting much from any of them. I don't expect goals, big hits, or pretty plays. I do expect:

-Wideman: get pp time, help w/the transition game, no glaring defensive gaffes. He's an upgrade over Poti, ****55, Sloan (though I think I'd rather have Sloan/Fahey paired w/Rock Star than ****55)

-Arnott: be strong on draws and the boards, play a simple north/south game, and be a net presence. His real contributions, I think, will come in the locker room.

-Sturm: not sure why we grabbed him off waivers, to be honest. Not much difference between him, Knuble, Laich, or Fehr as far as I'm concerned. I just want him to compete hard and appear fully recovered from his injuries.

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 1, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

as far as wish lists go: gill and lidstrom are both ufa - i'd go after lidstrom - not that he'd ever come here

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Penner's cost was very high. Edmonton got a 1st, a 1st from you years ago (so from us say Eakin) and a 3rd (second if they win Cup). They also clearly didn't want any salery in return so it would have been very hard for us to get Arnott and still be under the cap so we would still have a big ??? at C behind Backstrom. Maybe if they could have done Fehr instead of a prospect it could have worked but what Edmonton wanted clearly wasn't going to work with what we had to offer.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

But if McPhee somehow got Lidstrom, he'd say he was the one we targeted.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@@tphasbdp

I have STH friend who drives to the games. He parks for free by the side of the road on one of the streets that crosses the National Mall. It's quite a hike to and from the game, but it's free.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk. Yeah me too but I was looking in the relm of what actually has a chance to happen. We would be more likly to get Malkin or Staal as our second line center then we would of having Nicky Norris on our blueline.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you guys are into fantasy hockey now.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 1, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of big Cs, Arnott apparently goes 6-5, 220. Let's hope he still has the legs for a long playoff run.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 1, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps:
that for not taking offense - non was intended

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

ice: Agree with you 100%. But, when we didn't trade for Pronger two years ago, McPhee said, "They wanted too much." I agreed then and now. Now, though, he didn't say it was the price. Nor the cap for this year (coulda done Penner instead of Sturm) but the guys coming up.

It's those kinds of statements that drive cstanton and others crazy because McPhee is implying our younger guys (who he drafted) are the 2nd Coming.

I'm just saying. Penner would have been a great add, this year and next.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Vogel on PreCap just said the lines for tonight are:

8-19-18
21-44-28
25-90-22
26-15-10

...

Posted by: ThePat

I know this was like two threads ago but I had to go to lunch and wanted to say something about the possibility of having Strum on the top line. IIRC he was on the top line when he was put on waivers in LA and was expected to be back there until we took him. Why not try him there?

Posted by: icehammer97

@ThePat: Thanks for the info.

@icehammer97: Why try him there? (read on)

My initial reaction:
How does BB come up with these line combinations put names in hat and draw them out or something? Geez. Why take a left winger, that shoots left, with a bunch of NHL experience on a new team and move him to the right wing? Well at least we have a built in name for the new top line - the offwingers. Does anyone recall a top NHL line in which both wingers were playing on their off wing?

Sorry for the rant.

icehammer (all 97 of you - I feel outnumbered) my answer to your question is because you have both wingers playing on their off wing, that's why you don't try him there. But, after all that I am open minded and am willing to give it a chance.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 1, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

right or wrong (and cstanton1 will tell you it is wrong) - i think gmgm and ted know they can't keep everyone they want too. at some point varly, neuvy, carlson, alzner, etc. etc. are going to cost too much to keep them under the cap. i believe there model is to draft skill and skill only and hope that those young ELC's will keep them in the hunt for years around the current core of ovi, backs and green. based on the amount of time it takes to develope dmen - he won't give up on 'his boys' - sometimes until it is too late. there has got to be more than one way to build a contender. just my 2 cents on how the caps are going about it.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@tom, .27 G/GP for nothing or .31 G/GP for a 1st, a former 1st, and a 3rd/2nd. I know Strum is older but that can be both good and bad. Penner hits a bit more but not as much as some here make it seem. Next year is next year, if Strum plays good and is healthy he could very well come back, we also will have E. Fehr back who has done well when given time on the top line on the few occasions that has happend. Also if Strum doesn't work out we can still move that 1st round pick in the offseason for someone for next year be it wing or C if Arnott isn't working.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The remainder of the season is a try-out for next season for a lot of players. Maybe nearly half the team.

Posted by: zmega | March 1, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@vermont

I think DJK should be turned loose often between now and the playoffs...especially with games that can turn into a goonfest (see Isles/Pens).

I totally agree with using Wideman, Arnott, or Sturm to get Ovi onto the half wall. When (if ever) will BB figure out he just doesn't work on the point. That being said who would you pair Wideman with on the PP?

Would love to see Arnott be a net presence as we sorely need one.

I see Sturm as an upgrade over Knuble speed wise even with bad knees.

I also hope this infusion of "locker room" presence translates to a 60 minute effort by the entire team but that remains to be seen. I gave up my tix for tonight's game but will be watching on TV with the anticipation of seeing a good game.

Posted by: hart2014 | March 1, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 1, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@ BobLHead (if that is your real name)
With BB the coach if last year is any indication Arnott will have to sit in the press box every 3rd game so that someone else gets a chance to play...haha won't get tired out up there b/c they use an elevator :)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | March 1, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

From the end of last year, I thought the Caps might be better off getting into the playoffs as a 4-6 seed than winning the President's Trophy. I didn't anticipate it would be so painful, but the playoffs are all that matter.

Posted by: longbow1 | March 1, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

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