Morning roundup: top-scoring trio reunited?
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.
Radio: 820 AM, 1500 AM and XM
* Caps writer Mike Vogel's game preview
* Faceoff woes could cost Caps (Washington Times)
* Rematch vs. Flyers could be a barnburner (NHL.com)
* Can Semin reignite the power play? (D.C. Examiner)
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)
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