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Morning roundup: top-scoring trio reunited?

"Let's never be apart again, you guys!!!" (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Morning Roundup

After missing two games because of injury and illness, Alexander Semin returned to practice yesterday and found himself back on the top line with pals Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't say which line Semin will end up on when the Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, but he didn't rule out reuniting his top offensive forwards for the first time since the fifth game of the season. Semin scored five of his six goals in Washington's first four games.
"I guess anything is possible," Boudreau said of the trio, which can be an offensive force and a defensive liability, sometimes on the same shift. "I really like the idea of having the two lines with two real threats because if you check Alex then you have [the other] Alex [to check]. "

Tonight's game info:


vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Verizon Center, 7 p.m.
TV: Versus
Radio: 820 AM, 1500 AM and XM

More links:

* Caps writer Mike Vogel's game preview

* Faceoff woes could cost Caps (Washington Times)

* Rematch vs. Flyers could be a barnburner (

* Can Semin reignite the power play? (D.C. Examiner)

* From Scott Burnside's ESPN hockey chat:

tom (arlington): don cherry had some new remarks about OV and the fact that somewhere down the line he'll get his share of what goes around comes around. He also said OV would never drop his gloves. I know the Caps wouldn't want him to but whats your take on superstars fighting?
Scott Burnside: Tom; That's always the argument for having guys like Donald Brashear in your line-up is that they fight so stars like Ovechkin don't have to. It's why we remember so vividly a tilt like the Jarome Iginla/Vincent Lecavalier dust-up in the '04 finals because they are so rare. I agree that playing as physical as Ovechkin does he will at some point get as good as he's giving. But somehow I don't think that bothers him too much. Lots of top players - think Gordie Howe - developed reputations as guys who were more than a little dirty.
Mike (Syracuse NY): Regarding the Capitals, do you think GM George Mcfee is comfortble with Jose Theodore and Varlamov in net. Varlamov has shown we can be great, but also that he is young and inexperienced. Do you see the Caps making a move for another net minder or no? and when the playoffs come who do you think will be the guy Varly of Jose?
Scott Burnside: Mike; I think that's going to be an ongoing issue for the Caps. The fact Bruce Boudreau was quick to yank Theodore in the first round last year will be remembered regardless of how well Theodore plays this season - and he's been pretty good really. Varlamov is the wild card. Can he get enough experience during the regular season to gain the confidence of the rest of the team come playoff time? That's a pretty tall order.
Steve (Lincoln, Nebraska): Alexander Semin is in my opinion one of the most skilled NHL forwards in the game. Some argue that his stick handling skills are even better than Ovie.. But he consistently makes bad deicsions that lead to odd-man breaks and he also takes undisiplined untimely penalties. Does the good outweight the bad??
Scott Burnside: Steve; I think that's a fair and accurate assessment of Mr. Semin. I think there are lots of questions about his head for the game. Raw talent galore but until he learns to think the game at a higher level he will never achieve what he's capable of achieving.

* Jose Theodore is up, Semyon Varlamov is down. (Japers' Rink)

* Tomas Fleischmann is working his way back from Hershey (Lebanon Daily News)

* Canadians angry about green Olympic jerseys (Fanhouse)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 27, 2009; 9:34 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Boudreau: Green is 'sore'
Next: Semin, Green taking the morning skate



Posted by: mugod | October 27, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

First with nothing to say, apparently.

What was so bad about the OV-BMo-Knubs line? I think Semin will spark the first PP unit, but 5-on-5 I think OV-BMo-Knubs is the way to go.

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 27, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If Semin is reunited with Ovie and Backstrum I look for another wild 6-5 type game vs. the Flyers tonight. Might not be our best strategy, but it sure is fun to watch.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | October 27, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Flyers strategy vs run 'n gun Caps; sit back and counter. And they've done it very successfully. That's why Semin said Flyers were the most uncomfortable team to play against.

Caps should play defense first or they will be punished again by Flyers.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Mike Richards slew footing Orpik, no fine, no comment from Don Cherry

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 27, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

1) Agreed with Snake. Semin and OV can't be on the same 5-5 line. PP is OK, but even strength, just say no!
2) The problem on the top unit the past few games hasn't been the LW, but the center! Backstrom hasn't been himself the past couple of weeks since his hot start.
3) Varly has shown quite a few exploitable holes in his game that would seem to show he needs added seasoning in the AHL. If not for the salary cap implication we'd say the team would do something to add to this position.

Posted by: fauxrumors | October 27, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@Code: Mike Richards is from canada and fights, so he's OK with Don.

Posted by: fauxrumors | October 27, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Ha. The caption for that picture totally made my morning!

Posted by: amberlynne | October 27, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Bruce is just not showing his cards too obviously, and we'll see Backstrom centering Semin.

I'm looking forward to a great game tonight. Hopefully the Caps will play up to this opponent and demonstrate responsible team D and offensive flash.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 27, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

... Backstrom centering Semin on the second line.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 27, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible to actually own the mug pictured under "Morning Roundup?" That is one sweet mug.

Posted by: futbolclif | October 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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