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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Note of the night from the Capitals' win against St. Louis

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Washington's 3-2 victory against the Blues last night marked the Capitals' 18th win decided by one goal this season. Each of the last six wins, dating to Feb. 16 in Anaheim, have been one-goal victories.

Tthe Capitals are 18-7-10 in one-goal games through the first 65 contests of the season. In 2009-10, Washington was 20-8-13 in one-goal games, which represented exactly half of that regular-season campaign.

--Check out the game story from the win and the postgame blog entry on Washington's line combinations, which all appeared to have good chemistry against St. Louis.

--The biggest news about Twitter in these parts isn't Charlie Sheen, it's that Alex Ovechkin is tweeting again. @ovi8 hahaha.

--Japers' Rink examines which Capitals have squandered opportunities to score the most this season.

--Where are the Capitals' centers now? From Rock the Red.

--Does the Islanders' Trevor Gilles have any place in the NHL? Our Box Seats blogger says no.

By Katie Carrera  | March 4, 2011; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jason Arnott's first goal with Capitals clinches a 3-2 victory over the Blues
Next: McPhee says Dennis Wideman trade was 'out of the blue'


Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin might have good +/- but that only means they are on for more goals for than against.

So, just think of how much better their plus/minus would be if they actually backchecked as hard as they forechecked.

Last night for example, they were on for 3 of the 5 goals. Caps won, so they finished +1. Arnott's line was on for 1 goal for, so they also finish +1.

If Ovechkin and Backstrom could have backchecked last night, they would have been +2.

That is my point.

We have very skilled Euros/Russians, but they rarely play defense or backcheck.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

And BTW- Wideman looks to be a steal.

He is BY FAR our best defenseman.

Hannan is second.

Alzner and Carlson are the next.

Green would be a 3 because of experience (only).

Erskine is a 1 shift every 10 minutes guy.

Scrap heap: Sloan, Schultz, Poty

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Is it in bad taste to refer to the Arnott, Laich, Semin line as Lou Gehrig's line?

Posted by: griz0615 | March 4, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin might have good +/- but that only means they are on for more goals for than against...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? That is exactly why +/- is used. You ARE NOT a liability to your team if you have the top +/- on the team. The euro BS you keep throwing around is dumb. The defensive zone and posture are a priority among Swedes BTW.

Just watch the entire game without looking for your targets to screw up. When Backstrom is on the ice he is ALWAYS helping below the goal line in our zone as a center is supposed to do. He regularly gains control of the puck down low in our zone and gets it the hell out. Semin has made at least 3-4 backchecking plays that kept goals from being scored by being the first forward back on his line.

The reigning Selke award winner, 3 years running (basically the best defensive forward) is none other than a friggin' euro, Datsyuk.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 4, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry dude, Thunbs down on ALS line. If you ever saw what Lou Gehrig's disease does to a person you would understand. Have lost 4 folks in family due to the nasty process.

This line is a good one for now. Arnott is the key to the rest of season. McPhee did his homework on all three guys. Nice Job!

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 4, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin might have good +/- but that only means they are on for more goals for than against...

Posted by: SoaringCaps

Isn't that the point of the game, to score more goals then you let up?

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It's not as though the goals against are always the direct result of no backchecking. If the forwards are deep and a turnover at the blueline creates an odd-man rush, even the fastest skater in the league is not going to be able to close the gap. You can't say Backstrom did not backcheck if he wasn't able to make up the ground. The bigger issue is to not let the turnovers occur as frequently or have the D get caught out of position as Erskine did in the first place. Now, once the puck is in our defensive end the forwards are expected to be engaged and, if not, let the finger pointing begin.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 4, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3 Bingo!

@fanohock1 Zetteberg, Federov and Lehtinen are some other stand-out examples of terrible backcheckers...

Posted by: jakopz | March 4, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

and our other euros, Varly and Neuvy, don't even know how to backcheck. i've never seen it once!

no more euros!

Posted by: mcintire_will | March 4, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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