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Posted at 8:16 AM ET, 03/10/2011

Eric Fehr makes a memorable return to the lineup

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Since the trade deadline, Coach Bruce Boudreau has emphasized how every player is feeling pressure to do well and remain a part of the lineup. That's the same message he had after Eric Fehr returned to the lineup after missing 22 games with a dislocated shoulder to score a pair of goals, including one on the power play, to help lead the Capitals over the Oilers on Wednesday.

"It's not the time of the year [to show rust]," Boudreau said. "He wants to come back and pretty soon [Nicklas Backstrom] will be back and you have to make decisions. So I think every player is out there trying to play their best at this time, because we're fairly deep and they want the ice time."

For Fehr, it was a successful return in his first game since Jan. 14 against Vancouver. The right-winger hadn't scored two goals since his performance in the Winter Classic against Pittsburgh before the 5-0 win over Edmonton.

"I felt good out there [Wednesday]," Fehr said. "Our line got into it early and that helped... That's probably the best conditioning I've had in a long time. I worked hard while I was out and it worked for me out there today."

--The Capitals offense came alive to give the Oilers a 5-0 drubbing at Verizon Center. It wasn't a bad night for the defense of goaltender Braden Holtby either.

--Nikolai Khabibulin says that while Alex Ovechkin is talented, Sergei Fedorov still holds the title as the best Russian NHL player ever. [Edmonton Journal]

--Air Canada threatens to pull its sponsorship from the NHL if the league does not take serious action to prohibit headshots. [Toronto Sun]

--Zdeno Chara was not suspended or fined for his hit on Max Pacioretty, who has a concussion and a fractured vertebra. What's your take? [Puck Daddy]

--Ovechkin made the day of one young fan yesterday. [NBC Washington]

--How was it that Ovechkin decided to return to Twitter? Dan Steinberg has your answer. [D.C. Sports Bog]

By Katie Carrera  | March 10, 2011; 8:16 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The defensive side of Washington's 5-0 win over the Oilers
Next: Boudreau says Marcus Johansson played his game, worked well with Alex Ovechkin

Comments

First

Posted by: capsfan0837 | March 10, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I am a HUGE FEHR HATER! I still think the guy is a softee bum.

However, I'm glad he scored, because I want the cup in Washington, so if this bum who I can't stand leads the way....so be it!


Great job Holtby, you look like you have really turned the corner...HAVE FUN IN HERSHEY (in the training room) VARLY!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 10, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm late on this...but that is complete garbage what Chara got away with.

I am not a big fan of retaliation, but I hope the Canadiens go after him.

It makes me sick that there wasn't even a fine!!! I am not happy with no suspension, but the NHL acted like nothing even happened...

Just terrible. If that was Ovechkin who delivered that hit (like last year), he would have suspended for 5 games...

I feel bad for that young man lying in the hospital...I'm sure he would love to fight that monster in Boston himself!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 10, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Even though Edmonton has the worst record in the NHL, they'd been playing well before coming to DC, so the 5-0 victory is impressive; particularly without Backs and Green.

Wideman is MUCH better than I thought. He struggled a bit on one of the power-plays, but his overall game has completely exceeded my expectations.

And I guess I'm getting old and soft because the story about Ovie and the sick child made me tear up.

Posted by: EGTuna | March 10, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

really, soaringcaps?

Posted by: hockeypunk | March 10, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps,

The Air Canada letter should be much more effective. That is, if they follow through with their threat.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The trouble is, the League can hardly reverse it's decision about the Chara hit. It would look unseemly. Going forward though, things might improve.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Chara has the benefit of the doubt because he isn't a dirty player, even if he is highly physical. So the league isn't going to slam him. I'm not entirely convinced though.

He is one of the league's elite D, especially in terms of maintaining awareness of position on the ice, and doesn't have problems keeping up with the full speed of an NHL game. This would suggest that he knew exactly where he was and what he was about to do to Pacioretty. So while he might not have wanted to concuss him and break his neck, I'd say he did intend to put him into that stantion.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 10, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things that might be considered is to change the design of the rink to eliminate the post or a rule change to prohibit checking in those 4 areas of the ice. This has happened before. It doesn't happen often but when it does, serious injury can occur. Like Air Canada says - it's only a matter of time.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse


consider last night taking care of business by beating a team we should beat.

this could be the sign that the caps are coming together as a team, both offense and defense.

wouldn't it be the right time of the season to do so ?

Posted by: hessone | March 10, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The Caps seem to be hitting on all cylinders at the right time. The last few victories have come from teams lower in the standing, but those teams have been playing very very well. The real test will come in the next week or two when the schedule has Montreal,Detroit,Chicago. I think it will be a great measuring stick.

With the way the D and goaltending has been playing this year, if we can get the power play jump started ( looked better the last few games) I think we could be a real force in the play-offs.

Is it me or does anyone else think that MJ could be better than Backs? I think once MJ gets a little more polished he will be as good or better player than Nickie.......( not dissing Nickie by any means)

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 10, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

looked to me like he tried to push pacioretty into that divider. which sounds like a dirty move, but think about how often guys push each other into the goal posts, or into the bench area in general.
imo 9 times out of 10 that hit is just a borderline cheap hit which wouldnt receive much attention, unfortunately somebody got seriously hurt in this case.
to me the divider is what makes this a unique case... i dont think it was a dirty elbow shot. if there was anything unsportsmanlike about it, its the fact that chara tried to sandwich a guy into a dangerous non-playing field feature.

Posted by: royhperkins | March 10, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Uh-oh Tom, think you may have some competition, NostraPhilR???

Posted by: PhilR | March 10, 2011 7:15 AM

Just doesn't have the same ring as "nostrathomas." Besides, I'm his decendent.

I look around the bar and I'll be d@mned but red moustaches everywhere! Meanwhile, tmac, cstanton and even joek443 had a goat but it escaped from the pen and is now hiding in capscoach's backyard! So, no goat's blood in the bar!

Like Yogi Berra said, 90% of the game is half mental. Caps had the talent all year, now they have more talent, but for sure they are beginning to believe. Maybe Ovi really lost his MoJo after the Olympics and never got it back. If he gets it back now, that would be perfect.

Bruce! Arnott on point on PP! Ovi down low! make it so, Bruce!

Or at least, with Arnott, Wideman, Green, Ovi (pick three of those four at any one time) you get cycling and rotation. I believe PP biggest problem has been they were too stationary. Look what happens when the boys move their feet!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Let's not annoint MaJo "Maybe better than Backs" quite yet.

The only three currernt active NHL players to outpoint Backie first three years in the league I believe are Ovi and Crosby.

The wins are nice, people, but let's maintain our perspective. As Chuck Thompson used to say (best announcer ever), "You're never as good as you look when you're winning or as bad as you look when you're losing."

I would urge all of you to finish that last cup of Kool Aid and come and sit on the fence awhile. It won't hurt you.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Missed stat of the night: Wideman with 3 hits and 7, yes 7, blocked shots. The Arnott pick-up was clearly the most important, but Wideman is a sleeper come alive. If Sturm starts to put the bisquit in the basket, trifecta for GMGM. Sturm has looked good, his assist was very nice last night, and I bet the puck starts finding the twine from his stick soon. As for the oldies, Semin, Backis, and OV have really picked up their game this month. All I can say is WOOT!

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | March 10, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Going to try this again because the first time hasn't been posted in 10 minutes.

I don't think the Chara hit had any intent at all. He was on the road and since each rink has the stantions in slightly different areas in each rink and he wasn't looking I don't think he had any idea the stantion was there. There are many times where guys get called for interference because they don't realize that the puck is gone but he was supposed to know where the stantion is? Also dispite pictures on the internet he didn't get his hands on the head until after the contact with the stantion is made and the damage was done. If you want to see what an on purpose push to the head into the stantion looks like go to the 4:02 mark of this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_LgKnYVj4w

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"The only three current active NHL players to outpoint Backie first three years in the league I believe are Ovi and Crosby."

Reminds me of that old joke: There are three kinds of estimators, those who can count and those who can't.

Can't tyep...can't splel...can't even count.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss - that all depends on what backstrom shows up. The guy from the second half of last season was incredible. This year he's been so - so. I feel like he's lost a little bit of his touch this year and I'm not really sure what it is. His saucer passes aren't landing flat and crisp and his shots aren't finding the corners like they did last year. He has a great wrist shot, I just think he needs to work on it a touch to get it back to where it was last year.

Posted by: chatton | March 10, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse


I would urge all of you to finish that last cup of Kool Aid and come and sit on the fence awhile. It won't hurt you.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:24 AM |

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

i'll sit on the fence with you if you ditch the kool-aid reference once and for all.

YOUR BEATING A DEAD HORSES DNA, FOR CRISSAKES

Posted by: hessone | March 10, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

speaking of trades (Arnott, Wideman etc..), how good has Chris Stewart been since coming over from the Avs!! 9 goals in 11 games for the Blues. 2 GWG's and a Shoot-% at 42,9!!

Can Semin's sudden reburst to life be related to the pressure/fear of beeing traded is no longer bothering him? Of course playing with Arnott has helped, but he's still doing things on his own that he didn't do 3 weeks ago.

Posted by: Walle | March 10, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@Tuna
I thought it was a great stroy as well.

Question for everyone if the league has a conference call to talk with a player prior to a potential disciplinary issue...do they all talk with the player that was injured (if possible) or was hit? Sort of hearing both sides of the story. I ask because of the comments that have come out from Pacioretty. Just curious.

Posted by: DBnMD | March 10, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

@Walle, don't forget Chris Stewart also had 9 goals and 7 assists in 11 games in October while still on the Avs. He is as streaky as Semin and right now he is on a hot streak, if he keeps it up then the change of scenery helped but if not he is the same player he was for Colorado.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Bottom Line: The Caps did what they were suppose to do last night, win big over a much lower team.

This was not happening in Dec/Jan.

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Don't IIHL rules have that "no-checking zone" around the benches?

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 10, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

i'll sit on the fence with you if you ditch the kool-aid reference once and for all.

YOUR BEATING A DEAD HORSES DNA, FOR CRISSAKES

Posted by: hessone | March 10, 2011 9:32 AM

I'll decline your offer. It's all in fun. Exclude yourself if you wish.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@tom

Sounds like when he tried to jump up on the fence to join you, he found the splintered post. I told you we should just have that post removed or at least repaired. =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | March 10, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

If Holtby gives up a goal next game, and we even if win 2-1, BB will throw him under the bus and insert an injured Varly..

"Well, we gave Holtby the chance, and he didn't run with it. Shouldn't have given up that 1 goal in 9 periods."

Posted by: MattBradley10 | March 10, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Can't tyep...can't splel...can't even count.
--------------------------
Tom, maybe you can't splel but you sure can spiel ;-}

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

Montreal Gazette is reporting Quebec law enforcement officials are looking into pressing charges against Chara.

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Ok...the Chara hit was NOT a head shot...it was a check and his head just happened to hit a REALLY bad spot.

I feel really bad for the guy, but Chara should only have recieved a 2 minute minor for interference and maybe something extra for the check being a little late...but the hit itself was clean.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse


I'll decline your offer. It's all in fun. Exclude yourself if you wish.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 9:58 AM |

---------

tom

i'm all for fun, but i think we get your kool-aid reference

try kick-a-poo-joy-juice today

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

What a joke!!
Chara gets a pass on this. He lines the guy up on the turnbuckle and gets the result he intended. This is an absolute travesty!! There is no consistency from the NHL office.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

try kick-a-poo-joy-juice today
-------------------
Is this addictive?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Fehr is a good secondary scorer when he is playing well...he was playing great before he got injured.

Just because a guy is a softie doesn't mean he has no value. If we had other guys that were gritty, nobody would have an issue with Fehr. But because we don't have a lot of grit, Fehr gets a lot of flack as he is one of our bigger guys.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse


There is no consistency from the NHL office.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM |

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

i'll go along with that

Posted by: hessone | March 10, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"that all depends on what backstrom shows up. The guy from the second half of last season was incredible. This year he's been so - so. I feel like he's lost a little bit of his touch this year and I'm not really sure what it is"

i think its the fact that ov is scoring less and the power play has sucked most of the year.
when backstrom passes to ov and he misses a goal that wouldve gone in last year, it can create the illusion that backstrom is not doing as well.
and yes, i am implying that ovechkin is not playing nearly as well as in the past. That is probably a duh statement.

I am still greatly mystified by his falling down a dozen times per game, and somehow ive never seen any mention of it in blogs or columns or comments. Its hard to argue with results- and in the past few weeks his stats have been back to normal pace- but even so, he looks sort of out of control. We have always expected a couple of flubs for every spectacular goal, but this year the ratio has risen...

Posted by: royhperkins | March 10, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

Did you see where Fehr got his first goal from? It was from the area where only the brave go. I like that we're scoring goals from there, we need to do it on a regular basis.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Chara has the benefit of the doubt because he isn't a dirty player, even if he is highly physical. So the league isn't going to slam him. I'm not entirely convinced though.

He is one of the league's elite D, especially in terms of maintaining awareness of position on the ice, and doesn't have problems keeping up with the full speed of an NHL game. This would suggest that he knew exactly where he was and what he was about to do to Pacioretty. So while he might not have wanted to concuss him and break his neck, I'd say he did intend to put him into that stantion.

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | March 10, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Chara isn't a dirty player because he hasn't been suspended. I cannot believe that even former players are not giving these elite players more credit for their ability to know where they are on the ice. Give me a break. I never played above high school level I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt I knew EXACTLY where I was. I knew I was in front of the bench and knew a solid check would bend me over the players bench, I was also FULLY aware where the glass started on either side of the bench. Chara extended his arms to insure the Patcharetty (sp don't feel like looking it up) went into the glass. It is clear as day. For those that don't believe it just watch, it isn't a rub-out, Chara clearly extends his arms and guides him into the glass with enough precision to make sure his long arms get back out of the way.

I watch a lot of Bruins games and Chara has a tendancy to start running around giving questionable hits, and getting penalized by the way, when the Bruins are losing like they were the other night. That is where the track record comes in to play. These guys are so good at what they do that if you don't believe they know exactly where they are on the ice you have never played hockey. Chara knew what he did and that jerk will do something similar before the season is over and will probably finally get suspended.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

tom

i'm all for fun, but i think we get your kool-aid reference

try kick-a-poo-joy-juice today

Posted by: hessone | March 10, 2011 10:10 AM

Put it up for a vote. Majority rules.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 10, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@Cayugalaker, I agree there is no consistency but I think the NHL got this call right and everyone is reacting to the result and not the actual hit. Chara never looks at the turnbuckle and lines the guy up he just was making a hit. If you want to see an example of someone lining a guy up into the turnbuckle look at the hit Hunter makes at the 4:02 mark of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_LgKnYVj4w. Now tell me where Chara does anything even close to that.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I've just been replaying the Chara hit. To me, it looks like he engaged Pacioretty well before they reached the stanchion, then Chara looked toward the stanchion and drove Pacioretty directly into it. Did Chara intend to give him a concussion and break his neck? No way of telling - I assume not. Did he intend to hurt the guy by running him into the stanchion? I say yes. Their run-in on January 8, when Pacioretty scored the game winning goal and Hal Gill had to pull Chara off Pacioretty only makes it look worse.

A well-run professional sports league wouldn't allow their head of disciplinary matters to retain his job while his son is playing in the league. There are just too many opportunities for conflicts of interest. Campbell's history of non-objective statements and decisions increases the concern.

Posted by: zmega | March 10, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1

You are right on! Chara does quite a bit of "iffy" stuff and gets away with most of it. Steckel was pilloried for being taller than Cindy Crybaby and popping him. Chara uses the same technique to his advantage and is pardoned because he is tall. It's an outrage. You are 100% right here. Players know exactly where they are on the ice and the possible consequences in all scenarios. I watched NHL on the Fly this morning and I really am put off on the commentary regarding this Chara hit.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | March 10, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I am indifferent about Boston and so I was watching the hit with an objective eye. It did not look pre-meditated...it looked unlucky. When a 6ft. 9 defenseman finishes his check in an precarious area (which I do not believe he did on purpose or was even aware) bad things happen...sometimes athletes get hurt. I am ALL FOR being harsh about head shots, but it was simply not a head shot!

What I don't understand is why they don't put padding on those areas! Wouldn't be hard, and might prevent serious injury.

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Or at least, with Arnott, Wideman, Green, Ovi (pick three of those four at any one time) you get cycling and rotation. I believe PP biggest problem has been they were too stationary. Look what happens when the boys move their feet!

Posted by: tominsocal1

I agree completely with this. It is nice to have Wideman being sort of the middle point man and having either Ovie slide up to the point on the left side and then having Arnott slide up to the point on the right side. It provides a lot of movement and unpredictability, which is harder to defend.

One other thing that Wideman and Arnott supply is a calmness with the puck. You can tell they don't rush themselves at the point and they will take the extra second for a pass to open up, or move the extra few feet to open up a shooting or passing lane. That was missing from the Caps PP this year.

I think Carlson will become a good PP point man, but he isn't there yet. He is not good at doing the small things that open up passing and shooting lanes. IMO, he will get good at that with more experience, but he is not there yet.

----

On MJ, while I have been very pleased with his play and think he will become a very good center for the Caps, he is not as good as Backstrom. IMO, MJ will be a very good to great 2nd line center or 3rd line center. Backstrom is a great 1st line center.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 10, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I agree with zmega. I don't believe that Chara wanted to injure Pacioretty as badly as he did, but he fully intended on running him into the glass when he realized it was an option. First there was no reason to engage, and second there was no reason to extend his arms when he did. If he wouldn't have extended his arms he would have simply received a 2 minute minor and the ether wouldn't be littered with the topic.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

SGM3: You really think Wideman displays calmness with the puck on the PP? He makes good plays but I see him fumble the puck when he does get pressure. Look for teams to purposely attack him on the PP because I guarantee that has been exposed. Players like Green and Backstrom have much more composure with the puck on the PP.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

on another note...If we hold the SE division I will be happy....but...there is only one team in the top 8 that I am truly worried about facing a best of 7 series against...the Rangers.

I really think we can take anyone else pretty well. We have not had good luck against this team and I simply do not want to face them...s0 4th or top 3...whichever doesn't put us against NY!

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1, I played in college and even played in a National Championship tournament for Club Hockey in college. Every rink has different size benchs and therefore has differnt places where the glass starts. There were many times I didn't know where exactally it was when making a hit. Also if every player knows exactally where it is why did Pacioretty allow himself to get hit right where it was? He could have done something to delay the hit or defend himself. If Chara is supposed to know all of this howcome Pacioretty didn't know he needed to get his hands up to protect himself from the oncoming turnbuckle? I am not trying to blame Pacioretty here but if one player is supposed to know everything why not the other and for Pacioretty it was even his own rink where he plays 41+ games a year and should know better where the turnbuckel is then Chara. When guys know they are going to get hit going toward the boards they protect themselves. How Pacioretty could know he was going to get hit (he was looking right at Chara) and not protect himself shows that he didn't know that he needed to protect himself from the turnbuckel because in that exact moment they weren't thinking about where it was.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night, but they should have pounded that minor league team esp since they played Philly the night before...6 game winning streak feels good, though. Starting to gel. Looks like Arnott is not allowing Semin to take any shifts off...great signs for the team. Anyone see Tampa steal a point off Chicago and St Louis obvious stop on the shootout? The Shootout needs to go away...play 10 minute 4 on 4 OT then call it a tie.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 10, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

They have padding in that area, anymore and it would obstruct views. If they sloped the glass so that there was not a right-angle there it would help but that would probably mean the loss of a few seats. A no-no as far as the owners are concerned.

Do you remember not so long ago when a young girl in the stands behind a goal was hit in the head by a puck from a slapshot. If I remember correctly it was a real tragedy and she died. Well after that the netting appeared behind the goals.

It seems to take something like that before change occurs.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Not to bring anyhone down from last night's victory and the Caps 6 game win streak, but the real test for the team and new additions will be the upcoming road trip. 4 of the 6 games are against teams currently in the playoffs and one team is fighting to get there.

Can think of a better way to prepare for the playoffs and get a good understanding of how good this team is than to play the following schedule:

Montreal
Detroit
New Jersey
Philly
Ottawa
Montreal

Any predictions on this road trip record?

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Come on icehammer. Do you think if a 6'9" 260 pound guy was carrying you in a certain direction that you could do anything to quickly change things? The impact point was not the stanchion - Chara carried him into the stanchion.

Posted by: zmega | March 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

New Thread

Posted by: capscoach | March 10, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Give Wideman some time on the PP, he'll relax. With BB still tinkering with the unit and new teammates it may take a little time for Wideman to get comfortable.

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

icehammer97: Again, if Chara would not have extended his arms it would not have happened. Pacioretty was fine until the moment Chara extended his damn arms. Pacioretty did read that because Chara shouldn't have done it. Pacioretty was not in ANY danger at all until that moment in time. Although Chara wasn't at home, he had plenty of time to see what was coming and took full advantage of train wrecking him when he saw the chance. I guess we will never know. Chara will stick to his story, and heck it might be true, if it is, we have all been giving Chara too much credit for his hockey IQ because I don't care how you try to sell it to me, players know where they are.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

Yes I do think Wideman expresses a calmness with the puck. He was fumbled a few, but his composure with the puck at the point compared to others the Caps have had at the point is a great improvement.

Remember, this isn't Wideman's first time playing a PP. Wideman was very successful playing the point in Florida(he put up a bunch of PP points), and that was on a team with a bad PP overall.

I'm not saying he is invinceable and is incapable of making a mistake, just that he is a big improvement over the other Caps players quaterbacking the PP the past few months. (I do think Green is great PP point man also, but his absence has led to many others playing the points).

Posted by: sgm3 | March 10, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Don't know if it has to do with more TV focus on the bench since the trades, but there seems to be a lot more talking amongs the players on the bench. Arnott/Ovi/Semin all seem to be chatter boxes now...

Posted by: ttenner | March 10, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I have noticed the same and have a theory about that, with respect to Arnott and Semin. It can be intimidating for young players like MP 85 and MaJo to talk to someone like Semin. So, they just kind of tend to let him go and do his thing. On the other hand someone with the pedigree of Arnott can talk to him on equal terms. He can say things like "you had a lane take it" or "I saw you, but couldn't get it to you - get more separation on plays like that" or "those moves were f'ing awesome". That kind of working things out and positive feedback from someone like Arnott can mean a lot. It's like I said on trade deadline day:
He's in the the twilight of his career. He isn't the player he once was, but he's still Jason Arnott. End of story.

So I think Semin's uptick in play is because of the tangibles and intangibles that Arnott brings to the table.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 10, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

capscoach,

They have padding in that area, anymore and it would obstruct views. If they sloped the glass so that there was not a right-angle there it would help but that would probably mean the loss of a few seats. A no-no as far as the owners are concerned.

Do you remember not so long ago when a young girl in the stands behind a goal was hit in the head by a puck from a slapshot. If I remember correctly it was a real tragedy and she died. Well after that the netting appeared behind the goals.

It seems to take something like that before change occurs.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | March 10, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

You're right, the netting did go up as a result of the girl in Columbus. Crazy thing is it actually hit another fan before hitting the poor young lady and the first fan didn't even get hurt enough to require medical attention if I remember right.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 10, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Can Semin's sudden reburst to life be related to the pressure/fear of being traded is no longer bothering him?"
Posted by: Walle | March 10, 2011 9:35 AM

Semin was never in any danger of being traded. Period. The only people who bought into that talk were some of the more radical and vocal yo-yo's in this forum. And, this forum does often reflect reality.

Have you considered that his sprained wrist might be healed now? Or that he is feeling some competition from Sturm? Or that he's getting some great guidance from Arnott? Or all three?

But I doubt AS28 spent even 2 seconds thinking about being traded.


Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 10, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Going to post this on both threads.

Come on icehammer. Do you think if a 6'9" 260 pound guy was carrying you in a certain direction that you could do anything to quickly change things? The impact point was not the stanchion - Chara carried him into the stanchion.

Posted by: zmega | March 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I am not saying he could have spun and avoid the hit altogehter or anything like that but you are telling me that Chara hitting you makes you incapable of moving your arms and having them hit first to brace you? Yes, it probably would have bronken his arm but if it was just his arm there would not be the uproar for a suspension.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 10, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I really hope Air Canada does pull its sponsorship from the league, maybe the only way that Bettman and his cronies will actually take matters seriously. I am becoming increasingly angered and annoyed by the league and their inaction against headshots and serious injuries. How do you allow a player, any player, to get off without punishment after he puts a guy in the hospital with a serious concussion and a broken vertebrae? Even if the act was unintentional, its still a serious matter, and there still should be some form of punishment. Though, from my eyes it seems very clear that what Chara did was no accident. He meant to hit Pacioretty, otherwise he wouldn't have hit him... Perhaps someone really does need to die before anyone takes any real action, though sponsors threatening to pull out is a good start.

Posted by: Jsnoek2 | March 10, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"On MJ, while I have been very pleased with his play and think he will become a very good center for the Caps, he is not as good as Backstrom."
Posted by: sgm3 | March 10, 2011 10:29 AM

Agreed. MaJo is not nearly as good as Backstrom was in his first NHL season. So, unless he plans to develop faster from this point on, I doubt will ever reach the level that Backstrom has.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 10, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

OK, so Johansson is not going to match Backstrom's 101 point production from 2010.

So, if Marcus develops and becomes a guy that nets 25-30 goals and 40 assists as the #2 center behind Backstrom is anyone going to mind that?

In terms of the schedule, the fact is the Capitals need to take care of their own business first.

This team is talented enough with the anticipated return of Backstrom to beat anyone else in the league if they play hard and focused for 60 minutes.

The demons here have always been from WITHIN.

In that regard, other teams have to hope they catch Washington on an off-night or when their goaltender isn't particularly sharp.

If Ovechkin and Semin are scoring and the goaltender is stoning the opposition the Caps aren't going to lose that many games.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | March 10, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@soaringcaps: I assume we all feel for the guy in the hospital, but in addition to the fact that Chara is not a dirty player, there was nothing wrong with the hit. It's awful that a player was injured on the play, but it was a result of where the hit was delivered, not the hit itself. Had it occurred anywhere else along the boards, it would have been a run-of-the-mill crunch into the glass that we see countless times in every game. Because it happened against the edge of that section of glass, it turned into a horrific and unfortunate play. But Chara didn't do anything other than steer his man into the boards. There was no malicious intent, and no attempt to injure. Chara's comments after the game seemed completely genuine, too.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | March 10, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

But what of Chara's reaction to what happened to Pacciaretty? Someone quoted Campbell about a player being responsible for their actions and the results of it. By not penalizing Chara, the NHL does not hold him responsible for his actions and what he did to Pacciaretty. Mind you, if that was Crosby's face getting planted into the stanchion, Chara would have been thrown in jail, tried for manslaughter, and then placed before a row of rifleman and executed for harming a national treasure. But because Pacciaretty isn't Crosby, surprise, his injuries aren't that bad. The hit wasn't that dangerous.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

If the results are not supposed to be taken into account when the NHL made their ruling, if (knock on wood) something worse had happened to Paciaretty, would Buttman and his colleague make the same statement that Chara's actions deserves a wagging finger? Nope. They would have distanced themselves from Chara and shipped him off back to his native country and pretend they didn't have anything do with his entering the NHL.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 10, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Katie,
Just wondering why my post earlier in the day (about 10:30) was intercepted, confiscated, whatever........there was no lewd content.
Thanks

Posted by: Cayugalaker | March 10, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

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