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Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Capitals' Eric Fehr hopes Winter Classic success jumpstarts his scoring

By Greg Schimmel

(By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Eric Fehr stole the headlines when he scored twice to help the Capitals beat the Penguins in the Winter Classic on Saturday, but the enigmatic forward acknowledged Tuesday he needs more than one big game to turn his season around, regardless of the stage.

Fehr has seven goals and eight assists this season in 36 games, and he was a healthy scratch for the fourth time as recently as Dec. 26.

He knows that if he is to get things going, the goals against Pittsburgh need to be the beginning of the transition rather than the culmination.

"Hopefully that will build my confidence to start scoring again," Fehr said. "I've had a lot of opportunities over the past couple of games, past couple of weeks, and I haven't been able to score. Hopefully now I'll be feeling a lot better and I'll be able to put the puck in the net."

Coach Bruce Boudreau lauded Fehr's play Saturday on both ends of the ice -- Fehr also blocked two shots -- but said he expects that kind of production from Fehr and needs to see it continue.

Fehr has been shuffled up and down lines repeatedly this season as the Caps try to jumpstart his scoring.

"Eric's getting press now because he scored two goals in the Winter Classic, but it's only seven," Boudreau said. "Let's not jump off the boat and anoint him here. It was just last week that I sat him out as a healthy scratch so he's got to -- again, like a lot of the guys, consistency is the key. He's got to do it consistently."

Fehr has dealt with various injuries throughout his time in Washington, including last year when he scored 21 goals in 69 games after recovering from shoulder surgery during the previous offseason.

He said he currently feels as healthy as he has been in his entire pro career, and he hopes that shows on the ice during the second half of the season.

Now is as good a time as any for Fehr to start scoring, as the Caps' next four games are against division opponents, starting with tonight against the Lightning.

"I've got to get a lot better" Fehr said. "I've had just as many opportunities as last year, I just haven't scored as many goals. That's something I'll really focus on in the second half."

By Greg Schimmel  | January 4, 2011; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Winter Classic  
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Next: Capitals know Steven Stamkos, Lightning won't make it easy



Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 4, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

How about giving him a few more minutes Bruce? He only played 10 in the WC, and averages about 12 for the season. If Semin is going to continue to dipsy doodle around with the puck on the perimeter, maybe give a few of his minutes to Fehr?

Posted by: chombie13 | January 4, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

2006-07 Anaheim Ducks NHL 82 25 33 58 66 21 7 10 17 32
2007-08 Anaheim Ducks NHL 77 24 58 82 94 6 2 3 5 6
2008-09 Anaheim Ducks NHL 81 25 66 91 121 13 4 14 18 25
2009-10 Anaheim Ducks NHL 66 19 50 69 79 -- -- -- -- --
2010-11 Anaheim Ducks NHL 40 13 24 37

Getzlaf's numbers - who was selected after Fehr. When Fehr starts scoring like this, then he can be annointed.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 4, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse


we can all admit that Fehr never lived up to his draft #, but he never lets just ask him to perform at his best...which will probably be a 20-25 goal scorer.

Drafts are a crap shoot(to an extent)...I bet you weren't yelling at GM when he drafted Fehr insead of Getzlaf...we have gotten plenty of guys late in the draft that have proven better than they were ranked.

Go Fehr...keep it up!

Posted by: capscoach | January 4, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau said. "Let's not jump off the boat and anoint him here. It was just last week that I sat him out as a healthy scratch so he's got to -- again, like a lot of the guys, consistency is the key. He's got to do it consistently."

Wonder how Erskine feels about this quote as he heads to the pressbox while Mrs Poti gets a sweater.

Posted by: PhilR | January 4, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse


It's ONE game. Quit crying. Poti needs to get some playing time. Even if Poti will only be the #7 D-man, it is important to get him some time so he would be ready in case a Caps D-man got injured.

Erskine is being sat for ONE game. Even Erskine's cousin, vermontcaps, isn't upset about this.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 4, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Caps staff should wet down the ice before the game. Caps like some racehorses are obviously "mudders" or whatever they call horses that run well on wet track.

Just wet down the ice and watch Fehr pot 50-60 goals.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

One reason Fehr will probably never reach the scoring numbers that Getzlaf has put is because Fehr gets 3rd line minutes and is playing with 3rd line players, where as Getzlaf is playing on the top line with 1st line players and is getting that top line icetime Fehr doesn't see. If he scores 20+ goals each year as a 3rd line winger and plays solid defense, I'll accept that.

Posted by: dcox50 | January 4, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Just read the SI article on the crosby hit and the pens comments afterwards...

It is funny how they all complain about all the "crosby bashing" when in my mind (biased admitedly)he gets all the love and Ovie gets bashed constantly.

I don't think Crosby holds a candle to the harsh press treatment of Ovie...Crosby is a great player (best right now), but he is a REALLY bad loser and has shown that tendancy over and over again. The hit may have deserved a penalty, but it was not even close to dirty. They just didn't see each other.

For MVP this year...Crosby obviously is the front runner, but does anyone thing Tim Thomas deserves it more? Without Crosby I still think the Pens wouls be a very formidable team, but Boston would not be in playoff contention without Thomas.

Posted by: capscoach | January 4, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Erskine has NEVER played more than 52 games in a season.

After almost a decade in the NHL, I think it's safe to say that he's NOT an everyday player. If you try to play him everyday, he won't be as effective.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Correction: Erskine played in 60 games split between Dallas and NYI in 2005-06.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

One reason Fehr will probably never reach the scoring numbers that Getzlaf has put is because Fehr gets 3rd line minutes

It's a little more than that - Fehr obviously has great hands and feasts on lower-level d-men, but top-4 NHL d-men eat him up. One reason I like the line of him with MJ and Chimera is those other two can fly, so that opens up some space for Fehr, which he needs. Getzlaf is simply a faster, stronger, more explosive player - athletically they're simply not in the same class.

To be fair, someone like Knubs for example isn't exactly a burner either obviously - but he makes life, shall we say, unpleasant for d-men, opening up space for his linemates. Well, at least last year he did that, anyway. Thus far, I've yet to see much of that from EF.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | January 4, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is sitting tonight in favor of Tom Poti, not Tyler Sloan. When 4 sits and 89 plays then we can shout about it. Love Erskine and what he brings but I think he is defintiely more effective if he gets a few nights off because of how physical his game is. Wouldnt be upset if he sat 15 or 16 games the rest of the season if it means he is locked and loaded for the playoffs.

Posted by: pebowers | January 4, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I would like to request that the phrase "enigmatic forward" be used exclusively to describe Alex Semin. Thanks.

Posted by: pizzagoal | January 4, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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