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Morning roundup: Caps win eighth straight


(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Morning roundup


By the numbers:

8 Consecutive victories for the Caps after last night's 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks

2:30 Span in which the Caps scored three goals to open the third period

49 Shots on goal by Washington last night

21 The Caps' point lead in the Southeast Division

"On a losing streak, you sit there and you go, 'Oh, man, how are we going to lose this one today?'" Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. "On a winning streak, it's, 'I don't know how it's going to happen, but we're going to pull it out.'" | Full story »

On to the links:

*Game highlights:

*En fuego. (Joe B)

* "It took all of three shots and 150 seconds for the roof to come off of Verizon Center. We know the Capitals are an explosive hockey team, but this was a little ridiculous." (Examiner)

*Heading into the third, it was a level playing field, but the Caps had more in the tank. (Washingtoncaps.com)

*State of the Union vs. the Caps? Please. (Ed Frankovic)

*"...Then the roof fell in." (NHL.com)

*Semin keeps scoring. (Puck Daddy)

*Ovechkin: 37th most powerful athlete in the world, first in your heart. (Bog)

*Eric Fehr gets recognized by 1/50th of the people at Kettler. (Bog)

*Some encouraging words from the Caps owner. (Ted's Take)

*...Who might need some encouraging words of his own, after negotiations to buy the Wizards and Verizon Center became a little less cordial yesterday.

*GM George McPhee says he wouldn't change a thing if the trade deadline were tomorrow. (But it's not, so the point is moot.) (USA Today)

*John Buccigross: "No one can hang with the Caps offensively in the Eastern Conference. The only team that comes close is Pittsburgh." (ESPN)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 28, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
 | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Morning roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps 5, Ducks 1
Next: Theodore practicing

Comments

Looking ahead to the Pens tilt....That will be our 4th game in 6 days...but the Pens play the day before in Montreal at 2 p.m. but they have a long time off before the back-2-back games.

I guess I cant see much advantage there...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 28, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

More by the numbers!

What about "49: A ridiculous number of shots."

Posted by: nicko | January 28, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@nicko good call, actually! Added the shots.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | January 28, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Wooooo I'm in Caps Insider!

Posted by: nicko | January 28, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

You should WRITE Caps Insider... I should not have forgotten that number!

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | January 28, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I just looked up that Pittsburgh has the NHL record for the longest winning streak in the 1992/93 season.They ended that season with the best record and 119 points. Montreal, with 102 points and way below them in the standings won the Cup! So, keep your eye om the goal, Caps!

Posted by: jsandes | January 28, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

And then Lindsay Applebaum told me I should write Caps Insider, and it became the best day ever. Thanks!

Posted by: nicko | January 28, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

*please excuse...this is from a prior thread. Didn't know this update was available*

Stop with the stats and how Niedermeyer looked.

There are many intangibles that come with Niedermeyer that NO OTHER Caps player has...

And that is...he is an EXPERIENCED WINNER.

The guy has won at EVERY level he has played at..

Memorial Cup (he was the MVP)
Olympics (Gold)
World JRs (Gold)
World Cup of HOckey (Gold)
World Championship (Gold)
Stanley Cup (Two different teams)

Conn Smythe Trophy
Norris Trophy

We aren't asking him to carry the team, we are asking him to be a solid contributor and leader...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

would Scott Niedermayer help the Caps in the playoffs? Of course he would but it all depends on how much it would cost to get him.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Niedermeyer looked fine. Ovie has an uncanny ability to turn even the best and most seasoned defensemen into traffic cones--its what he does. It's not just Ovie though...our entire offense is near unstoppable these last few games.

I wouldn't sell the farm for him, but he would be a welcome addition to any franchise, including the Caps.

Its a good day to be a Caps fan.

Posted by: CheckingLine | January 28, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@joek

I agree with you 100%. I just got tired of people dumping on Nieds because of 1 game.

I would not touch our 1, 2 and 4 lines.

Green, Schultz, Alzner, Carlson, Poti would be untouchable on the defense.

I would trade some hershey prosp and since we are not going to be drafting the top 15 for awhile, I might we willing to give up our number 1 and 2 in this year's draft.


You know Giguere is also up for grabs...for him I might include Neuvirth..? And next year's number 1?

Don't be jacka=='s about it, I'm just brainstorming...

Giguere is a definate upgrade over Theo and the kids (for this year).

And Nieds just knows what it takes and how to win..

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

If Langway and Stevens were judged on how they played against Mario Lemieux on some games, neither of them would have made the hall of fame.

Niedermayer would be at worst #3 d-man on the Caps and upgrade the defense immediately.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I am frothing at the mouth for the playoffs to start...

I feel it...this could be our year. Last year didn't feel like this...

I am happy we have a 2 week window for some guys to rest...

Hopefully we can turn it back on after we get back.

I KNOW if the playoffs started today, we'd roll...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr Ryan's Face...meet Mr. Ovechkin's Shoulder, and good night...that hit changed the entire game.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 28, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@soaringcaps

JSB is owed another $6M in 2010/11. You can forget about resigning Schultz, Flash, Fehr, Backstrom. A couple of those guys would have to go.

Part of the beauty of keeping Varlamov and Neuvirth is their contracts for next season, both of them combined are about $1.75M.

We do not need a goaltender for the playoff push or to win the SC.

Posted by: JSchon | January 28, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think if we gave up our few top picks now because we won't be picking high in the years to come, the Caps would end up shortening the length of time they have to pull out a cup victory or two. Trading picks or prospects for veterans we don't need and can't afford is bad team building.

Posted by: rovingbandit | January 28, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I advocate letting Varlamov and Neuvy stick around well into next season to find out who will be the #1 of the future here.

Posted by: JSchon | January 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I would not trade Neuvy straight up for Giguere. Ducks fans feel like he has not been the same since something happened with his son. I think he became Ill. His numbers are not great right now and he was passed as the #1 goalie. Neuvy was great last night and will have far greater trade value down the road if Varly can stay healthy.

Posted by: srobert1117 | January 28, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Lindsey...how about the number "2"...the number of goals scored in the last 2 games by the high flying defensemen of the Caps...Morrison and Erskine.

Posted by: RichC3 | January 28, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Lindsay - Do you know if Varly made it on the yesterday?

Posted by: instinct227 | January 28, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Giguere is not a possibility because of his salary next year.

I think trading prospect and/or picks must be considered. It clearly depends on how much they would ask for (if they trade him at all) but I think the Caps would be willing to drop a 1st round pick and a prospect for Niedermeyer. The question being is if that is enough to acquire him.

Remember that if Niedermeyer is a 2nd pairing d-man with, say Pother, then there is Schultz and Green as 1st pairing and we then have Poti and Alzner(or Morrison) as the 3rd pairing. Defensive depth in the playoffs is incredibly important and the Caps wouldn't have to worry too much with matchups.

Grabbing a top D-man not only improves the pairing he is on but it improves all the pairings below him.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 28, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon - If Varlamov doesnt get healthy anytime soon, do you think Theo and Neuvirth are enough to get us the cup? I'm not so sure - I also think GMGM will make a trade for a goalie if we are in that predicament. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 28, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'd definitely rent Niedermayer if it's cheap enough. I think it's going to happen.

OK, so five Capitals are in the top 15 in points-per-minute-of-ice-time. Ovechkin's back on top of the rankings, and Semin just moved ahead of Thornton and into the #4 spot. ESPN's version of this stat is called "PROD," and it's actually minutes-per-point, so lower is better. Your top 20, as of this morning, according to ESPN, minimum 30 games played:

1. OVECHKIN 13:14
2. H. Sedin 13:27
3. D. Sedin 13:36
4. SEMIN 15:46
5. J. Thornton 15:53
6. P. Kane 16:59
7. S. Crosby 17:18
8. B. Richards 17:34
9. I. Kovalchuk 18:13
10. FEHR 18:13
11. BACKSTROM 18:34
12. M. Gaborik 18:39
13. E. Malkin 18:54
14. D. Heatley 18:58
15. FLEISCHMANN 18:58
16. S. Stamkos 19:31
17. P. Marleau 19:33
18. V. Lecavalier 19:52
19. T. Connolly 20:05
20. M. St. Louis 20:12

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 28, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

1st round pick and a prospect will not be enough for Niedermeyer. Caps would have to give up alot more than that.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If Varly is healthy, I think we are fine in net for the playoffs. If he's not, we MIGHT be fine, although I think the uncertainty goes up exponentially. The problem for GMGM is that the goalies likely to be available are:

a) not any better than Theo/Neuvy
b) marginally better, maybe, but way too expensive next year and beyond
c) all of the above.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Giguere, as in the guy that we torched for 5 last night? Why in the world would we want him on this team? With the way things are going now, the two week break makes me nervous...

Posted by: kkd76 | January 28, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of his cap hit, Giguere isn't a possibility even if the Caps wanted him. He has a NMC on his contract due to his son's illness and him needing to stay by UCLA Medical for treatments. The GM over in Anaheim said that he would be the only player he would ever sign with a NMC due to the health of his son.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | January 28, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"If Varlamov doesnt get healthy anytime soon, do you think Theo and Neuvirth are enough to get us the cup? I'm not so sure."

Cam Ward only had 27 games of experience when he led the Hurricanes to their Cup. The way this Caps team's scoring and depth is, I like our chances no matter who's in net. Especially if they improve the defense with a move.

I wouldn't give up the farm to get Niedermeyer. He's older and slower and the Caps made him look silly last night.

Posted by: southside721 | January 28, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@southside:

I also like our chances no matter who's in net. Theo/neuvy can match Fleury's playoff stats last year (>2.50 GAA, .90something save %) and our offense is better than their's was last year. Having said that, I still think our chances are much better if we've got Varly healthy for the entire postseason.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 28, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Bottomline is whether or not you believe Varly is going to return healthy? I think he will, but I guess that's just as presumptuous as him not returning.

For all you stats people. I did some math to figure out, if all things were equal (games played and minutes played per game), what the top 9 + Greens stats would look like. All numbers are based on 53 games played and 20 minutes played per game.

Ovechkin 37G | 43A | +35
Backstrom 21G | 36A | +23
Knuble 25G | 22A | +19
Semin 32G | 36A | +25
Flash 26G | 30A | +8
Laich 16A | 24A | +8
Fehr 29G | 29A | +37
Chimera 19G | 38A | +25
Morrison 14G | 25A | +22
Green 10G | 32A | +18

Posted by: JSchon | January 28, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm almost 50, and I've seen over 300 Caps games, though I drive up from VA Beach. I love hockey and played for the Univ. of Denver in the early 80's.

I have to say, that this is a unigue/special team, not only with Ovie but with the 1st and 2 lines, this team is something else, they'll win the Cup this year.

Posted by: guruvinny | January 28, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Niedermayer, I'll echo what many have said, it depends on the price and unfortunately, the Ducks probably want the sun and moon for him and he's just not that big of a difference-maker at this stage of his career. I'd trade the Caps' first round pick this year to get him, or some Hershey prospects, but Holtby, Neuvy, Varly, Alzner and Carlson should all be off limits.

Posted by: cainoo7x | January 28, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

you're kidding yourself if you think you can with the Cup with adequate goaltending, that's what most people said last year and how did that turn out for the Caps?

it only took one game for BB to realize that it wasn't gonna happen.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

MAF wasn't great for the Pens in the playoffs last year if you only look at the stats but he was great when he had to be.. and that's what it takes to win the Cup

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I love how we win 8 in a row and all you people talk about are trades. really???

Posted by: JD09 | January 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

I agree with your off limits list. If Niedermeyer is going to retire after this year and if the Ducks fall out of playoff contention, Anaheim might have to lessen their demands depending on what other teams are offering.

@joek443

I agree you need more than adequate goaltending to win in the playoffs. You don't necessarily need a great goaltender but you at least need good, solid goaltending such as Osgood gave the Wings the last two years.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I love how we win 8 in a row and all you people talk about are trades. really???

Posted by: JD09 | January 28, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

if they ever win 8 in a row in the playoffs, that will shut us up.

this is a team that has NOT had an easy playoff series in a long time.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

8 wins in a row is great but if the Caps can make a few moves to improve the team for the playoffs it would be foolish to not at least seriously consider them.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 28, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe there's really a formula for winning a Cup. I've been watching NHL hockey since 1976, and I've seen lots of different kinds of teams win Cups.

People like to say things like that you need defense to win in the playoffs (especially NFL commentators) or you need a great goalie or a really hot goalie to win the Stanley Cup, or whatever. And then those things get repeated. And repeated.

A team full of average or slightly above average forwards and average defensemen--yes, obviously that kind of team is going to need tremendous goalie play to win the Cup. And most teams at any given time probably are more or less that sort of team. And it's definitely true that extremely insane goaltending can win you a Cup even if yours is that kind of team. Clearly, incredibly great goaltending, alone, is SUFFICIENT to win it all, assuming you have at least an average bunch of skaters, and we've all seen examples of this.

But sufficient conditions aren't necessarily NECESSARY ones, although they sometimes get confused (for reasons that are deep and mysterious, at least to me, since it seems pretty clear to me that, logically-speaking, sufficient conditions and necessary conditions are very different things).

In reality, the object of the game is to outscore the opposition. You can either score more, or allow fewer goals, whichever way you want to look at it. Even great goalies have off days on occasion, great defenses occasionally get beat by great moves, great plays, and great power plays, and great offenses get shut out every now and then.

But Grant Fuhr didn't win Edmonton their Cups. The Oilers would have won several Cups with several other goalies playing at that time.

In the NFL especially, we've seen offensive powerhouses that don't have the greatest defenses win many Super Bowls, yet people keep saying "defense wins championships."

It'd be awesome to have awesome goaltending play, like we had for most of the time in the 2009 playoffs. It'd be awesome if every player was awesome. Caps have the best offense by far, play OK team defense and are 13th in goals allowed right now, and have a pretty good goalie in Varlamov who obviously has the potential to step up his play even more in the playoffs, along with some mediocre backup goalies. Caps overall are looking very, very good.

I will be shocked if this team does not at least make it to the finals this year, even if Varlamov doesn't play a single game in the playoffs. I will be so shocked that I will not talk or write anything to anyone for at least a day.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I love how we win 8 in a row and all you people talk about are trades. really???
Posted by: JD09

Oh, relax. Hot Stove is fun. Really. Niedermayer is quality, but he's probably too expensive. GMGM is all about the value - he's looking for something that you and I can't see. Otherwise, if tending was REALLY a giant problem, he would have gone out and gotten someone last year (as last year's rumors suggested.)

Yet, we failed to add another Swedish Backstrom to our team, which I'm okay with.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | January 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

more by the numbers.3:games in row Semin No.1 star.

Posted by: unclebully4 | January 28, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

also the best time to make a deal is when you are in a position of strength, not when you're forced to make a deal.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I will be shocked if this team does not at least make it to the finals this year, even if Varlamov doesn't play a single game in the playoffs. I will be so shocked that I will not talk or write anything to anyone for at least a day.

Posted by: youaresquishy | January 28, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

they're not gonna win the Cup with Theo or Neuvy and as far as Grant Fhur, they had an equally capaple goalie, at least during the regular season, in Andy Moog but he never got to play in the playoffs. Why? because Fuhr let them play their wide open style and not miss a beat in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

McPhee not wanting to trade. He'd say that no matter what! He could be working on a dozen blockbuster deals or nothing and he'd say "I'm sticking with what I have, don't want to mortgage the future, we're happy etc etc" Next thing you know we are dressing Pronger and Luongo! I wonder if press that deal with the Caps regularly have trouble not laughing when an out of town reporter asks McPhee a question like that.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | January 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Fair warning, don't play poker with McPhee.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | January 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

Posted by: carlton46 | January 28, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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