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Posted at 7:36 AM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Marco Sturm fitting right in with Capitals

By Greg Schimmel

(Getty Images)

After Marco Sturm's first practice in Washington on Monday, the warm feelings surrounding the winger were pretty clear: Even if Sturm is not 100 percent healthy, the Capitals are happy to have him.

Washington claimed Sturm off of waivers on Saturday, and several of his new teammates gushed about Sturm's veteran presence Monday and the boost he could provide.

"When I heard he was coming here I was super excited because he's a great player, a good skater, good defensively, can score and a great teammate," winger Matt Bradley said. "He's a great guy to have around the locker room. I thought it was a great move to get Marco."

Boudreau said Sturm fit in well skating on a line with Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin during Monday's workout.

"I thought Marco practiced really hard today and looked very good positionally," Boudreau said. "He looks like he melded right in with the guys right away."

After recovering from offseason knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and a subsquent bout with tendinitis, Sturm had just nine points in 17 games this season for Los Angeles, but he scored at least 20 goals in each of the previous seven seasons.

He's expected to see time on the Capitals' power-play unit, which has been struggling all season.

"He has pretty good experience and he played on good teams," captain Alex Ovechkin said. "I hope and everybody hopes he's going to be our secret weapon."

Sturm said his knee is still improving, and while he is still not entirely healthy, he thinks he just needs more consistent ice time to get all the way back.

He was only back in the Kings' lineup for two games after missing more than a month with tendinitis, and feels he will only continue to get better with more work.

"Right now I'm still climbing my hill up and I know I'm not there," Sturm said. "I just got to play some more games. I know I'm going to get better and better and I feel good."

By Greg Schimmel  | March 1, 2011; 7:36 AM ET
Categories:  Marco Sturm  
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Next: Rate the Capitals' trade deadline moves

Comments

Well...so far so good. We can not underestimate the psychological benefit to the team that these moves make. Just reading Matt Bradley's comments makes me confident that we are going to see a more exciting and motivated team for the stretch run. LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: RockDaRed | March 1, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse


love the trade, love the caps.

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I hope we never see Fehr in a Caps uniform.

He's useless. The softest big guy in the league.


Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse


I hope we never see Fehr in a Caps uniform.

He's useless. The softest big guy in the league.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 8:07 AM |

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

since you've posted this several times, we do get your point.

what do you like about the capitals ?

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

He's probably a Penguins fan and is just pissed that he scored two goals at the Winter Classic. Get over it! He's not that bad of a player.

Posted by: daviladk | March 1, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Great comments by Bradley who was a teammate of Sturm at one point. The biggest question are the wheels for all three of these guys: Arnott's got some mileage, Sturm's got the two knees, and Wideman's played large chunks of minutes. I'm not sure how that is managed.

I think make Arnott more about the PP and give him 3rd line minutes 5 on 5 to get the most out of his wheels. With Sturm I think the analogy is an old car burning oil. You want to go across the country with it but they'll wind up taking the car as far as it goes. If they go deep in the playoffs, I can't imagine Sturm will be healthy for the whole ride. Good luck to him, though.

@Soaring - Fehr seems to have problems with his shoulders which may lead to his perceived "softness". Players that are protecting injuries tend to avoid contact.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if MaJo or Arnott will pivot the 2nd line and if the 3rd line will become a true shutdown line?

I am optimistic with an asterix, being BB's inability to get these guys ready to play at the drop of the puck and play a full game consistently.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | March 1, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I hope I never see SoaringCaps post on CL again . He's useless .worst poster on the interweb.

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 1, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I think Arnott centering Semin would be a good thing. Let Johansson develop a little more at the 3rd line, perhaps centering Sturm. Arnott is an established center that could be just what Semin needs to get going. Sturm still recovering from his injuries may be a good fit on 3rd line.

Posted by: daviladk | March 1, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Love the fact that we didn't just make moves to get rental players. 2 out of 3 guys coming in have contracts that carry on to next year! GMGM good work on deadline day. He brought in what we asked for. A good D and a 2C and kept our roster in tact for the most part. We also still have our 1st round pick. We are happy caps fans here in Kansas!

Posted by: cox2176 | March 1, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

*CI

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 1, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

So i guess Semin is not staying on the top line.

Any news on whether or not Arnott is playing tonight?

If he is, I assume lines will be:

8-19-22
28-Arnott-21
25-90-Sturm
10-15-26

OUT - Beagle

Sound right? Could also be 28-90-Sturm on 2nd Line with Arnott skating with 21 and 25.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | March 1, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse


plain and simple

some posters come here to post all negative comments. then they trash anyone that disagrees with them. they do this for kicks, obviously.

when anyone points this fact out to them, you then get a definition about how to be a good caps fan while being critical of everything about the organization.

to all the posters that have NOTHING GOOD to say about the caps ALL DAY LONG

kiss my ass, ALL DAY LONG

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

Wow! So you're in disagreement with tmac2yao, cstanton and VT? Those are your boys!! Consider yourself warned, they don't like anyone disagreeing with them. Expect to get a post telling you that you don't know hockey and you have no idea what you're talking about.

Read tmac2yao post above. He also thinks the hit called for a reaction.

It pains me in this case, but I actually agree with them. Do you think Mcsorley evaluated whether a hit on Gretzky was legal or clean before he defended him?....Clean or not you must account for your actions on the ice. Erskine let it go.

Posted by: will111 | March 1, 2011 1:34 AM | Report abuse

First, I have great respect for cstanton, tmac, and VTduff and agree w/them a vast majority of the time. I guess this is a time we disagree, but since you agree w/them too I'm fairly confident I'm in the right on this one.

As for comparing Johnny Rock Star to McSorley, perhaps you're unaware that they play vastly different roles for their teams. First, McSorley was a true enforcer who played for coaches who valued his role. McSorley never worried about icetime or being banished to the pressbox.

Johnny E. is a top-6 dman who plays for a coach who despises fisticuffs and who has a history of banishing players he doesn't care for. Erskine has been down that road before, and I'm sure he's hesitant to do what comes naturally to him while playing for BB.

(An important home game, trailing 1-0 and then taking a roughing or instigating penalty....I'm sure BB would've been thrilled to no end had Erskine put the team shorthanded but that's another matter)

On a team that values aggression, initimidation, and rough play there would've been an immediate response for the hit, clean or not. (As tominsocal says, retribution needn't be only for dirty hits). On the Caps? Players are hesitant to respond because that's the culture and environment that exists under BB. (Ott on Majo, Cooke on Ovi anyone?)

Now, I've detailed the likely thoughts that #4 processed at that moment. Because Erskine "let it go" according to you, please humor me and explain why in the world he would do that. What do you suppose he was thinking at that moment? Inquiring minds want to know, sgm3. I mean will111. I mean whoever you are.

BB MUST GO!! (two)

Posted by: vermontcaps | March 1, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

@ I hope I never see SoaringCaps post on CL again . He's useless .worst poster on the interweb.

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 1, 2011 8:27 AM

Ohhh he/she is not that bad. He gets most of the words spelled correctly.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 1, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

He is not the player he once was. He's in the twilight of his career. He can still contribute some, but the reason you get a player like this is the intangibles, the experience. He's a proven winner that can help this team succeed. Am I talking about Sergei Fedorov or Jason Arnott? The answer is both. Those were my comments when the Caps acquired Fedorov and they're my comments now concerning Jason Arnott.

There don't seem to be as many negative comments concerning the acquisition of Arnott so instead of changing my screen name as I did to defend the Fedorov acquisition I'll just sign off as...
AreNotWorseOffWithArnott (it's the best I could come up with off the top of my head).

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 1, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"some posters come here to post all negative comments. then they trash anyone that disagrees with them. they do this for kicks, obviously. "

---

You wrote this in a post where literally all you did was trash people who disagree with you. It's actually all I ever see out of you. You generically praise everything about the caps, and you viciously attack people who disagree with you and DARE to point out anything wrong.

You are literally exactly the same as the people who you disparage. You are the exact same poster. You use the exact same means to a different end. It's hilarious how highly you regard yourself and the value you bring to this board while simultaneously slamming people who post in the exact same way you do. The cognitive dissonance is staggering.

Also we didn't trade for Sturm, we claimed him off of waivers. It's literally in this very article, and there's a hyperlink to highlight it and take you to another article with more detail. This is why people are dismissive of your opinions as "Kool-aid"ie, you can't even get basic facts right when you blindly praise everything, even stuff that's literally right in front of your face.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"Sound right? Could also be 28-90-Sturm on 2nd Line with Arnott skating with 21 and 25."

---

I think that the pieces on your 2 and 3 line are pretty interchangeable, and BB will mess with them until he finds a combo that works...

Then he will continue messing with it, because that's what he does, and the concept of line chemistry is foreign to him :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

All of the guys acquired can help with the playoff push. I think that is the most important thing. Steckel will not be missed, we have seen his best.

All three of these guys have the potential to score a big goal in a playoff game. We are a better team. We'll se if it's enough.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 1, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Bradley's comments imply that leadership is what's been missing all along...

Although Ovie is the emotional leader of the team he lacks the overall, well-rounded leadership qualities that a true captain should posess. So here's to Sturm, Wideman and Arnott arriving with a bang, not a fizzle & pop.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 1, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

While these recent acquisitions look pretty good on paper (Arnott was a pretty expensive one, however, giving up our top faceoff guy and a 2nd round draft choice), I'm reserving judgment. Why? Remember last year's acquisitions? You don't? That's because none of them are now with the Caps (Belanger, Corvo and Walker). They screwed up the chemistry and contributed little when it counted (especially Corvo who, like Sturm, was working his way back from serious injury). Let's just hope Arnott's best days are not behind, and Sturm is closer to 100 percent than he indicates.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | March 1, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@cox1276 - great to have a caps fan in KC!

@VTDuffmann, @MattBradley10, others...

Maybe they keep Semin on top line. Is he not practicing with Ovie and Backs? Sturm gives them scoring option on a secondary scoring line with Majo. I'd put Arnott out there with Knubes and Laich or Chimera.

Question: is Arnott useful on a checking line? is the "slow" line too slow? (Do we need to add a speedy player to it?) Is Majo a better defensive player than Arnott?

Those would make a difference in our line-ologistic explorations...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@cox2176 only Wideman has a contract past this year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"Arnott was a pretty expensive one, however, giving up our top faceoff guy and a 2nd round draft choice"

---

Meh, there's more to playing C than just taking faceoffs. I would argue that what Stecks lacked in every other aspect of playing C at best evened out his "face off prowess."

I mean, he was, what 64% at the dot? Gordo is 58% IIRC, at the end of the day a 6% difference isn't that huge of a deal when you're talking about your 4C. I'd also argue that Gordo brings more in the other aspects of playing C, things that are arguably more important when talking about a fourth-liner.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@seth_

and I have seen some growth from Ovie in that regard. He's still learning and I think the veterans have been good and generous in working with him. (One certainly gets that impression from Knuble.)

There's talk about a "divided locker room". This was a team that had great, great comraderie (?) only two years ago. Let's hope whatever factions there are (pro-and-anti Gaddafi parts of the room particularly ornery with each other these days) can bridge the divide. The team needs to be united.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Overall, I'm happy with the moves. The hope, of course, is that more than anything this helps the PP. If we could get our PP going even around 18-20%, we'd be a much better team.

The only problem I have is with Arnott. I hope as much as anyone that we win the Cup this year, but we're obviously not big favorites to go to the finals. If I felt like we were very close to being a Cup winner, bringing a guy like him in would just be a good move. However, if we don't win a Cup this year now, we gave up Stecks and a 2nd rounder for nothing at all.

With that said, I don't think that trade was a bad move.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | March 1, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@VTduffman

I was pretty down on Stecks last year, but I honestly saw improvement this year. He just seemed to skate with more quickness. Still, it's not ideal for a checking forward to be so tall, is it? It seems easy for guys to dart past him. Good luck to him, though, he served well here in DC.

I'm surprised to here that not only was GMGM sorry to see him go - and that part seemed genuine, tho there may be a little poker-playing going on there, too - but that apparently other teams were interested in him. (What a difference a Winter Classic makes...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I hope we never see Fehr in a Caps uniform.

He's useless. The softest big guy in the league.


Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

He's not even the softest big guy on the caps, that honor belongs to big nasty jeff shultz

Posted by: chatton | March 1, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

From VTDuffman:

I mean, he was, what 64% at the dot? Gordo is 58% IIRC, at the end of the day a 6% difference isn't that huge of a deal when you're talking about your 4C. I'd also argue that Gordo brings more in the other aspects of playing C, things that are arguably more important when talking about a fourth-liner.

It would matter if Boyd Gordon could stay healthy for the majority of a season. Steckel winds up putting more points up, anyway, though only a few more. He was doing better recently. Well, here's hoping that the PK stays good, and that the offense finds itself before the playoffs with these new additions (and don't kill the chemistry like what happened last year [to be fair, I knew that would happen with the players we got - these players look more adequate])

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 1, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

There's talk about a "divided locker room". This was a team that had great, great comraderie (?) only two years ago. Let's hope whatever factions there are (pro-and-anti Gaddafi parts of the room particularly ornery with each other these days) can bridge the divide. The team needs to be united.

-----

While I also think Ovie has grown as a leader, some of this season's continuous problems fall on our captain. Ovie should be able to stalk the power play like a lion on the savannah, directing movement from the point, providing decisive courses of action but he doesn't.

The very existence of a divided locker room, whether against coach or captain, is essentially proof in and of itself that team leadership isn't where it needs to be. Strong leadership fills those voids and does not leave room for doubt.

So while he is an emotional leader and a vital core of our team, he should resign his C to a guy like Knubs until he is better equipped to handle the spectrum of its responsibilities.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 1, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps talking about our second round pick (not this draft but in a year mind you) like it was this great price. Anyone look and see that the only 2nd round pick of ours on our roster is Neuvy and he was taken with pick #4 of the second round, much higher then we should be picking with the pick traded. The only other one who is even close to being on the team is Orlov. He was picked closer to were we will be picking but one player on our entire team and one other possibility. As for giving up Steckel, everyone does remember who David Steckel is right? Yes he is great on faceoffs but as has been said before so is Gordon. In fact of our current Cs only MJ90 is below 50%. Last year B. Gordon was actually better on faceoff % then Steckel and two years ago it was 57.9/56.1 so we lost a faceoff guy and we still have another one who is just as good. Also for as great as Steckel was on faceoffs does anyone remember late in the Carolina game earlier this year where he just had to not lose the faceoff clean, he did Carolina tied it and won in either the OT or SO I forget which. So even with his great % he still lost some key faceoffs which was the only real reason he was here anyway. The biggest thing he did for this team was when he accidently was skating and Crosby turned into him. When that is your career highlight how good can you really be?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 1, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I'm not down on Steckel or anything. I've always liked the guy. I was just trying to say that the face-off thing made people (IMHO) over-rate him when you look at the player holistically.

It's kind of funny, because when you think about it, we have/had a GLARING need at 2C. But we weren't bereft of Cs. They are just all young, inconsistent, and untested. We're actually kind of stacked at C. But they're all "Steckels" (speaking very generally).

I guess my point is that we needed an Arnott now more than we will need a Steckel later because we have plenty of Steckels later. Also, we had 1.1 commited to Stecks for the next two years, which 1) I think was an overpayment, and 2)frees up some crucial cap space.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

icehammer: Good point. I listed over the weekend all the people McPhee has ever drafted, past Round 1, to play more than ten games for the Caps. It's like Pettinger, Neuvy, Perreault and maybe Andrew Gordon is just about at 10. Holtby was a #3 round. There's one more I'm forgetting, but Pettinger was I think the only middle/late 2nd rounder in 13 drafts.

So, that 2nd round pick had 7% chance of becoming even a cup-of-coffee player.

I will say McPhee has done better the last few years with later picks, but it took a LONG time.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 1, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

You do not have to wear the C to be vocal and Knuble and Arnott will be co-captains as well. This talk of divided locker room is crap. Talk of Coach losing them is more crap.

Expensive you say - How do you think you make a trade. GMGM can not win with some of you so called fans. Yea I wanted Richards, but his head is wobbley right now and I like our young players - that would be too expensive. Caps will be the hunt for more than the next two years. If you don't like them, don't be a fan.

Let's play a few and see what they look like. I thought it was a very good day. They are just pieces and all we lost off roster was Steck and MP who might be back if he gets tougher.

Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 1, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

MB10, I think your first set of lines would be a good bet, but the question still remains, will Arnott be ready to play already after just being traded yesterday. Sturm will be ready, but my guess is Arnott will sit this one out.

Posted by: daviladk | March 1, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Good pick-ups all around. I think this will definitely help the playoff push.

And BTW, screw the whiners in here. The same 4 or 5 guys come in here and bash everything all day, every day. They dominate the conversation and turn this place into their own clubhouse, making it uncomfortable for just about everyone else. It's too bad that WaPo can't or wont do an IP ban. But since they won't, we get to hear about how DJ King and John Erskine are the only good players, Europeans suck, and we need to fire everyone. Anyone who disagrees knows NOTHING about REAL hockey.

I need to stop reading the comments here, rant over.

Posted by: ssweeney | March 1, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"I need to stop reading the comments here, rant over."

---

There are plenty of Capitals Blogs on the internet where any dissenting or negative opinions are not welcomed. You would probably be more comfortable there.

I, for one, appreciate the diversity of opinion on these boards.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ssweeney | March 1, 2011 10:07 AM

Well said. Actually, they are just a bunch of common bullies. Hopefully, being bullies here, keeps them from doing the same thing in the real world.

Posted by: sidehillman | March 1, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse


You are literally exactly the same as the people who you disparage. You are the exact same poster.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2011 9:17 AM

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

not so, i have positive things to say about the team i root for

everything they write is negative.

if i disagree with the capitals organization, i'll post it and enjoy the dialog, then move on.

good forum includes being open minded, these clowns i speak of have tunnel vision.

day in and day out, nothing but negative post from them.

now you will continue to hear them spew their venom

enough said, point made, i'll move on and ENJOY the caps, not berate them with every post

Posted by: hessone | March 1, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Two top moments from Stecks:
1. Knocking out 87
2. GW goal vs. PITT in OT

Thanks fella, but more would have been nice. Please let the new guys step up and kickstart this team! I like the Sturm move- could have been the best of all. We gave up nothing and he has potential to be good again.
I think all are playing tonight! Start a streak CAPS!

Posted by: scottiemac3 | March 1, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Any sane plan would never have Semin on the top line except for the power play and overtime.

Most opponents only have one defensive line and the purpose of having Semin, Sturm, Arnott, Fehr (when he returns), etc. on the second and third lines is to exploit those matchups against lesser defenders.

Ovechkin, Backstrom and Knuble are going to have to recapture some of their swagger from last year and force teams to forget about guys like Arnott and Sturm.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | March 1, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I wish Fehr was playing tonight...Soaring said he hoped the Islander game would be the last we see Semin in a Caps uniform and he goes out and scores the game winner!

Posted by: boomer44 | March 1, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

His knee will be fine until Matt Cooke takes it out. Then the NHL will come down hard on Cooke and make him sit out the first period of the next game.

Posted by: Alexis5 | March 1, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun on ESPN say jury is out Caps trade. Curious to what people think about this.

Burnside: We like and understand the addition of defenseman Dennis Wideman with Mike Green looking as if he's going to be out for some time with a head injury. But the Caps paid a steep price for Jason Arnott, a guy who frankly hasn't delivered the goods in the playoffs the past couple of years in Nashville. Arnott’s Stanley Cup-winning goal was a long time ago. A long time ago.

LeBrun: The Caps are a better and deeper team today then they were yesterday after picking up Dennis Wideman and Jason Arnott. But we put them in the Jury's Out category because we feel they overpaid for Arnott, which displays the level of desperation on a team that has more pressure than any other to win this season. And quite frankly, the jury is indeed out on this mystifying team that has forgotten how to score goals and felt the need to add Arnott and Marco Sturm over the past few days to help upgrade an offense that couldn't be stopped last season. Credit to GM George McPhee for not standing idly by Monday, but question remains whether this team has the right stuff.

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

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