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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Eric Fehr returns to Capitals lineup against Oilers after 22-game absence

By Katie Carrera

While the Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom tonight against Edmonton, right wing Eric Fehr will be back in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a dislocated right shoulder in mid-January.

Fehr missed 22 games after a collision with former-Capitals center David Steckel mid-game on Jan. 14 against Vancouver knocked his shoulder out of place. It was a tough break for Fehr, who had posted five points in the eight games prior to the injury and appeared to be finding his groove.

"I'm really excited to get back into playing," Fehr said. "It's been tough watching the last couple months. The guys have done a great job winning games, I just want to be a part of that and try to help out tonight."

It's no secret Fehr has been itching to get back for a few weeks now, but with the addition of new players at the trade deadline and the Capitals' recent success it was a question of when Coach Bruce Boudreau would have the opportunity and choose to put him back in the mix.

With nothing to do but work out with Capitals' strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish over the last two months, Fehr said he feels like he's in better shape at this part of the season than he's been before. His return could help spark some additional offense for Washington, but Fehr knows it may take a little bit of game-action to get his timing back.

"I think timing will be one of the biggest issues," Fehr said. "You can practice as much as you want but you can't practice game situations. That's something that I'll be trying to get back as quick as possible."

By Katie Carrera  | March 9, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eric Fehr  
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Comments

Don't forget, vermon: I also call out hypocritical fans of two Eastern Conference teams (WTF?! A whole 15 years, eh?!) who claim to be fine with their dual-citizenship yet pretend not to know a players name and then claim "the whole post was a big joke" just to cover that fact.

Coward. Hypocrite.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 9, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Stevie, you really are stretching for things. I started rooting for the Caps long before the annual "Save the Caps" campaigns, and I have very fond memories of Tommy McVie and his two sons, Dallas and Denver.

When I moved to Vermont in the mid-90s, there was no "Center Ice" and the only hockey games (NHL) I could catch on tv were the Bruins on NESN and whatever teams were playing on espn2. Forced to watch the Bruins, I came to appreciate their blue-collar approach to the game under a no-nonsense coach in Pat Burns.

Additionally, I could root for them in good conscience because they didn't play in the Patrick and we had no history with them. I'm sorry it bothers you that I know more about the Bruins than you do the Caps, and I'm a diehard Caps fan...therefore, in your eyes I'm a hypocrite? Care to explain that one?

And yes, my post after the B's game was a joke. If you can't recognize the tone and STRUCTURE, and connect the dots.....excuse me....hey capscoach, can you tutor stevie on how to better recognize author intent?

I pretended to "not know" ****55's name because I vowed to never type it here (and at times when it was necessary to type his name, I INTENTIONALLY LEFT OUT THE C TO MISSPELL HIS NAME AS A SHOW OF DISRESPECT).

Stevie, do us all a favor and stick to your job at the ACLU and leave all hockey matters to real fans.....

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 9, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You're not a hypocrite because you root for two teams (see richmondphil): you're a hypocrite and a coward because you claim to be fine with dual loyalties yet use tricks to hide that fact and then don't have the integrity to admit as much when called out on it on an anonymous blog.


And actually, vermon, I'm a Marine.


What do you do?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 9, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

capscoach: Ovechkin is always out there in the last minute when we're up by one. Always. And he's not nearly our best defensive forward.

Anyway, I like to complain, even if there's nothing to complain about, or at least mrstominsocal1 says so.

Posted by: tominsocal1
just to clarify...I never EVER though Ovie was our best defensive forward...I just don't care...he can be out there and get the empty netter and we have 4 other very responisble guys on the ice just in case...it's worked so far.

I think we have only let a goal in with the goalie pulled 1 or 2 times this season? Could be making that up, but it sounds right.

Posted by: capscoach | March 9, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Boys boys boys, c'mon now, back to puck, big game tonight [or so says the die-hard Sawx fan trying to make himself a Nats fan as well].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I'd be hesitant to put MJ on the main checking line in the playoffs because of his lack of experience and faceoff problems. He would not be the center I would want out there for a big defensive zone draw late in a playoff game. As much bashing as BGordon gets in here, he always knows what his assignment is and is almost always in the correct position making the correct play. That sort of play is something you need and want in a high pressured, late game situation.

The same can be said of Laich and Knuble.

On Ovie playing in the last minute of games. I think the reason he is out there is that when he is going 100% on D(as he does in those situations) Ovie often beats other players to pucks and gets it out of the zone. In addition, if the puck is cleared by another Caps Ovie often gets to the puck and scores and ENG. While those can be stat padding, ENGs also end games and do not give the other team another chance to tie the game.

I'd be curious to see how the Caps fare when Ovie is on the ice with a 1-goal lead when the other team has the goalie pulled, and compare that to others on the Caps and others in the league.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 9, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

just to clarify...I never EVER though Ovie was our best defensive forward...I just don't care...he can be out there and get the empty netter and we have 4 other very responisble guys on the ice just in case...it's worked so far.
-----------

Ok but equally important is the message you're sending to the squad - and 4 great defensive players, plus 1, matched against the other team's top 6 offensive threats - what's more important, stat-padding or winning the game?

Another big one to me is the power play - other good teams around the league, up 3-4 goals, will almost always give some of their "bottom-6" guys some PP time, just to spread the wealth around a little. I.e., the B's do this with Campbell, seemingly a lot [drives my little bro crazy, heh heh] - when was the last time we ever saw, a Bradley, Hendricks, even a #4 out there [just not paired with #55, puh-leez]? You can't tell me that's not a morale booster in the locker room, but I've never seen BB do this, even with a huge lead.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

sgm3 - I always enjoy reading your comments, they are insightful and balanced.

vermontcaps - I always enjoy reading your comments, they are ridiculous and make me laugh out loud.

Posted by: MadCap1 | March 9, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I think we have only let a goal in with the goalie pulled 1 or 2 times this season? Could be making that up, but it sounds right.

Posted by: capscoach

The only one that I can recall is the Leafs game...at the beginning of our 8 game slide...

Posted by: allCAPS | March 9, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

capscoach/sgm: OK, next time Caps give up a goal in the last minute with Ovi on ice...

It isn't just Ovechkin. The PET of the night (whoever scored a big goal) is also out there.

One last time: the team should have an official checking line, and those three guys should be out there. The official checking should include a vet like Belanger to win faceoffs (oops, we let him go). And a guy like Laich, and maybe a solid vet like Knuble would be fine.

Yes, sgm, MaJo is inexperienced, but all in all I call him our best defensive center. His speed is a real asset and Gordo is only a fast skater if you compare him to Steckel.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 9, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse


Sometimes the best defense is a good offense?

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 9, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

capscoach:
it happened at least once, nov. 28th, against carolina - they scored with

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"do us all a favor and stick to your job at the ACLU"

hahaha funniest thing i've seen on here in awhile and stevie in gp that isn't a shot at you. I just think it is funny

Posted by: _stevo | March 9, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

capscoach:
it happened at least once, nov. 28th, against carolina - they scored with

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:33 PM

wow - wapo must be editing me
...they scored with

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

ok - must be me trying to use "<"
...less than 3 seconds remaining. ovi was not on the ice. steckel lost the draw cleanly - probably sealed his fate in washington

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Ive seen a bunch of posts today saying we need a good quality shut down / 3rd line. I tend to agree, but right only 2 teams in the NHL have given up fewer goals than us - Bruins and Rangers.

We must be shutting down someone. Thoughts.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 9, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

carry over from last thread...

@tom...Bruce tended to put OV, Backi & Stecks out for a late face off in the D-zone, Backi was our 2nd best face off man and can play defensive, and OV will go after the puck like a bull, he can play a defemnsive role with a one goal lead and less than one minute left, I have even seen him pass up a chance to go for the EN and just loft the puck out of the d-zone...

regarding a 3rd line checking unit...in the season the Caps had the 3rd most points after last season (1985-86), their third line was "The Plumbers" : Adams-Haworth-Laughlin, theyu were a secondary scoring line and not a checking line, the checkers were primarily the 4th line of Duchesne-Jarvis-Gould, an excellent checking line until Jarvis was traded for Jorgen Pettersson...the two top lines used the Carpenter-Gartner and Gustafsson-Christian pairs with a variety of left wingers...of course they were like the Caps in 2008-09, an excellent regular season followed by a 2nd round exit...
my point to this is you can have your top scoring line followed by two secondary scoring lines with the 4th line a checking or eenrgy line...one of the premises used by Bruce and other coaches on line matching is that if you always match up your checkers against the other teams top line, your top line will see the ice less often...

Posted by: boomer44 | March 9, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Ive seen a bunch of posts today saying we need a good quality shut down / 3rd line. I tend to agree, but right only 2 teams in the NHL have given up fewer goals than us - Bruins and Rangers.

We must be shutting down someone. Thoughts.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 9, 2011 3:44 PM

capsfansince74 - on here, stats are typically only applicable if they show the Caps in a bad light (i.e. Wideman's +/- from Florida showed that he sucks but Schultz's +50 from last year was irrelevant)

Posted by: MadCap1 | March 9, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

We must be shutting down someone. Thoughts.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 9, 2011 3:44 PM

for the caps - it's because our goalie is standing on his head - keeping them in games

it is never a 'hot goalie' against the caps

what i really think is that the forwards do not cherry pick nearly as much as last year - this = less goals for and less goals against. i think this has helped with the young goalies (all three) confidence this season. jose theodore probably understood he wasn't going to have very good #'s in that system.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

You're not a hypocrite because you root for two teams (see richmondphil): you're a hypocrite and a coward because you claim to be fine with dual loyalties yet use tricks to hide that fact and then don't have the integrity to admit as much when called out on it on an anonymous blog.

______________________________

Just to clarify, the Western team that I follow doesn't match the intensity or passion I have for the Caps, and it takes a secondary position to the Caps in any and all situations deemed necessary.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | March 9, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I just realized only 2 teams in the Eastern Confernce have given up fewer goals than us - the Bruins and Rangers. 3 teams in the west have given up fewer.

We are still playing great D and this stat shows it, but I wanted to correct myself.

carry on.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 9, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

i've grown to follow the d-backs (i moved here in 97) - but still wore a nats shirt to games i've gone to. just call me a homer - i have other teams i enjoy seeing winning (wings, flames, sens & wild) but none i'd call a second team.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's see the Caps stop the other teams in the playoffs and get to the ECF before we declare our defensive scheme "successful."

Last year we led league in goals and points but couldn't score and win when it counted.

Now we have one of the better defenses but let's see us stop Crosby from having a picnic in the crease when it counts. And let's see us stop Hartnell from running the goalie to set up a goal when it counts.

If you guys think I'm the Negative Nancy, hey, it's only because none of them are here today.

cstanton1 where are you when I need you.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 9, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1:
hahaha - tom fell off of the fence and landed on the 'wrong' side

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

No, honestly, we don't give too many "6th attacker" tying goals, but should Ovechkin be on the ice instead of Laich, Knuble or even Bradley in these cases? Sure, Ovi gets ENers sometimes, but he also ICES it too.

Go ahead pokerface :) and defend Boudreau on this one!

....

Posted by: tominsocal1

I'm not pokerface, nor am I disagreeing with you, but I've also seen Ovechkin block shots in the waning moments of games. I'm just sayin'. I just want the puck to stay out of our net and if the Caps can seal the deal with an empty netter, great.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 9, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

...We must be shutting down someone. Thoughts.

Posted by: capsfansince74

You beat me to it, so obviously I think that's a great point.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 9, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's see the Caps stop the other teams in the playoffs and get to the ECF before we declare our defensive scheme "successful."

Last year we led league in goals and points but couldn't score and win when it counted.
--------------

Silly tom, playoffs don't matter, should know that by now.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

capscoach:
it happened at least once, nov. 28th, against carolina - they scored with

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ


yes...one or 2 times proves the system doen't work :)

Posted by: capscoach | March 9, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74: I'm sorry, but admitting you had figured a stat wrong, and doing so gracefully and politely? One more slip like that and we're gonna have to take your CI commenter card away, you know.

Posted by: dfbdfb | March 9, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

As for the point about our goals-against - other, neutral observes [who've played and coached the game, and been paid to do it] feel that this has more than a little to do with our stellar goal-tending, and that we still give up a ton of chances in bad areas.

You might not like Keith Jones, Olcyck and Mike Milbury - and don't always agree with them - but I'm fairly certain they know hockey.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@captkirk

tell me about it! we never encounter a hot goalie...but if WE win then obviouly it is ONLY b/c our goalie was hot.

Posted by: capscoach | March 9, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

You might not like Keith Jones, Olcyck and Mike Milbury - and don't always agree with them - but I'm fairly certain they know hockey.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------
Oh c'mon, cstanton says this is where the real experts are so it's gotta be right, right? Don't listen to those ham & eggers in Jones, Eddie O & Milbury. Especially those dumb @sses on TSN. :)

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 9, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Can I get a definition of real fan?

Posted by: BKBK | March 9, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Can I get a definition of real fan?

Posted by: BKBK | March 9, 2011 4:44 PM

that would be me.
you always root for your team to win and every player, no matter what level of skill, to do their very best.
also - never question any personnel moves or in game decisions. whenever a one of your players makes a poor play, don't criticize - unless of course your team has never won big ugly hoisting jug thingy

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 9, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Greenlaw for coach.

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 9, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

timbo - i think it has alot to do with us playing better defense, less cherry picking, blocking shots, not having long passes picked off for odd man rushes the other way - our whole philosophy is different. yes the goalies have been good, but you cant over look the other factors. I give BB alot of credit for this.

We'll see if it works in the playoffs.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 9, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Many of his teammates who played with him say Keith Jones was one of the smartest players they ever played with, often entrusted to run practices [as a player], - so I'll put a little more weight into the professional observations of former players say, than some anonymous blog poster.

As for Eddie O, for my money one of, if not the, best color analysts around.

As for Milbury, love him or hate him, he's no dummy. And for a guy with admittedly not a ton of talent, he had a hell of a long career, so I'm guessing he knows something about the game.

But hey, what do they know, they were just paid to play hockey [and in some cases, coach and manage], what do they know, anyway.

As for the homer idiots on TSN, I've blasted them plenty, and will continue to do so, I'm sure.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74 - I sure hope it does, believe me.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 9, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

You're not a hypocrite because you root for two teams (see richmondphil): you're a hypocrite and a coward because you claim to be fine with dual loyalties yet use tricks to hide that fact and then don't have the integrity to admit as much when called out on it on an anonymous blog.

And actually, vermon, I'm a Marine. What do you do?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 9, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, stevie, family interference...didn't mean to leave ya hanging. First, I'm still confused as to why I'm a hypocrite and coward...ya lost me at because. Second, thanks for your service and may you and your buddies STAY SAFE. (My oldest is the reincarnation of GI Joe at 10, and he got me to read "Shooter." Marines, yourself included, are BAD A@@!) Third, I write about the Caps for the WaPo :)
----------------------------

vermontcaps - I always enjoy reading your comments, they are ridiculous and make me laugh out loud.

Posted by: MadCap1 | March 9, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that the point? I like Jonathon Swift, and soon enough I'll be offering up my own "Modest Proposal"

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 9, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@stevie

Upon furthur read: "you claim to be fine with dual loyalties yet use tricks to hide that fact and then don't have the integrity to admit as much when called out on it on an anonymous blog."

If you really think I'm lying to you about my B's post being a joke, search the archive for the following: Jan 8 10:40pm and a few posts beyond. You'll find that last night wasn't the first time I pretended to mistakenly post a Bruins comment on a Caps blog. (I'll spare everyone and not repost; I did enough work just finding them as it was)

Hope this ends it, peace

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 9, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

You are very welcome, vermon - I appreciate you saying so.

Don't eat too many of the Irish.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 9, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

And to defend the Bruins as my choice of an adopted 2nd team, what's not to like about Boston and their fans? The team plays hardnosed, tough, old-school hockey and the blue-collar fanbase expects nothing less. Additionally, their fans HATE the Habs, Rags, Flyers, and Pens but have little to no animosity towards the Caps and us. Divided loyalties? I think many on this board know where I'm coming from...

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 9, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"And yes, my post after the B's game was a joke. If you can't recognize the tone and STRUCTURE, and connect the dots.....excuse me....hey capscoach, can you tutor stevie on how to better recognize author intent?"

VT: Generally, when people don't get your jokes, it means you're just not funny. Sorry to have to break it to you.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 9, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

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