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Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 01/18/2011

D.J. King back in Capitals' lineup against Flyers, Michal Neuvirth to start

By Katie Carrera

Some quick notes from the Wells Fargo Center, where the Caps have wrapped up their morning skate:

--D.J. King will make his first appearance in a game since Dec. 6 against Toronto. Tonight in Philadelphia he'll skate on a line with David Steckel and Jay Beagle. King missed the past 17 games and has been on Injured reserve since Dec. 12 after suffering bad bone bruise on his foot when he was hit by a shot in practice.

"I'm really excited," King said of being back in the mix. "It's been awhile so I'm just going to get out there and keep the game real simple and get the feet going and trying to get in as many forechecks as I can.... My game is pretty simple no matter what, but a game like this, when you've been out for awhile you even get more simple -- just try to get to the net as much as possible."

King said his foot has been okay recently, as evidenced by his participation in the grueling workout for the scratches or inactive players that are led by the Capitals' assistant coaches on a regular basis, which won't make conditioning an issue in his return. But while King said he doesn't think there will be much rust, there's no substitute for getting checked into the boards at full speed.

"As much as you skate and do all the conditioning drills in practice, it's nothing game-like, with body checks and stuff," King said before addressing the reality of his role as a player who will be called upon only so often.

"It is frustrating but it is part of the job," King said. "I understand and there's nothing I can do about it. The more I think about it just mentally doesn't help, so I just come to the rink every day with a positive attitude and work hard."

--With King in, Andrew Gordon will be the odd forward out for the Capitals against the Flyers.

--Michal Neuvirth gets the start in net and will oppose Sergei Bobrovsky. Neuvirth made 35 saves in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Flyers on Nov. 20 at Verizon Center in what was his first career start against Philadelphia.

--Mike Green was back on the ice this morning after missing Monday's practice with a cold and said he is good to go for tonight's game.

More to come.

By Katie Carrera  | January 18, 2011; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.J. King, Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers  
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Next: Flyers' depth could pose a challenge for Capitals

Comments

first

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 18, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

There you go...now everyone can chill out.

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 18, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

GO GET 'EM DJK!! The ball's in your court, time to show everyone what you can bring to the team. Best of luck, I'll be pulling for ya......

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 18, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

apocalypse

Posted by: nickiefan83 | January 18, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope he can handle Shelley better than he can handle Orr. Woof

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

So, who do y'all think DJK will pick as his first partner for the "Man Dance" tonight??

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 18, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind DJ King getting some game time, but I think we are going to need all the O we can get tonight.

The Flyers have scored more goals than every team not named Detroit!!!

I would have liked to have seen Gordon stay in.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | January 18, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I dont know what I would be happier with most. A Caps win or Brier getting flattened by Ovie, Erskine, King, Chimera, Fehr, Hendricks, Hannan and crying into the locker room.
A Caps win and Brier getting flattened by Ovie, Erskine, King, Chimera, Fehr, Hendricks, Hannan and crying into the locker room might be asking too much.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 18, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40 -
My money is on Stecks if he comes at DJK like a spider monkey (see Crosby, Sidney. Fehr, Eric).

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 18, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

DJK! DJK! The Yeti is no longer captive!

Still interested to see if we pick anyone up in the coming weeks.

Memories of Corvo make me shudder.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | January 18, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

DJ King: TOI - 5:38, 1 hit, -1, 1 Fighting Major and 2 hits.

That's what he'll bring.

Posted by: joshu1 | January 18, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This must feel like Christmas morning for vermontcaps.

I'm hoping DJK doesn't only focus on fighting and gets in on some good forecheks.

DJK on the same line as Steckel is a line that may be lacking a little speed. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

What are the chances that if the PP doesn't work, that BB sends out DJK to be a net presence on the PP?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

What's the Vegas over/under for the time to the first DJK fight tonight?

Posted by: eric22 | January 18, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

WHAT A SHAM!!! The more I think of it, the angrier I get. BB dresses DJK not because he's finally "healthy" but because he knows a limp, uninspiring, and humiliating effort against the Flyers could cost him his job.

Said DJK, "It is frustrating but it is part of the job. I understand and there's nothing I can do about it. The more I think about it just mentally doesn't help, so I just come to the rink every day with a positive attitude and work hard."

Sound like a man happy to be healthy and in the lineup again, or someone gritting his teeth and just keeping quiet?

DJK's prolonged absence will be spun as "injury related" but I think, and I hope, it's clear to all that it's just another example of BB treating certain people like trash. Tonight's nothing but an audition for DJK to showcase what he can do as a 4th line role-player. I think we'll see him in the East next year, just not w/the Caps.


Posted by: vermontcaps | January 18, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@ Rhino and BernieWolfe
How about DJK going at it with Briere? Just as a warm-up, of course

Posted by: mcfarkus | January 18, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's as if other teams don't have healthy scratches as well. Oh wait...

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 18, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 18, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to make a prediction. If the Caps win tonight vermontcaps(and a few other posters) will give almost all the credit to DJK for supplying toughness and a presence.

However, if the Caps lose vermontcaps will not put any of the blame on DJK. He may even say that the Caps purposely played bad because they didn't like how BB was treating DJK(or something of that sort).

It's perfect for DJK, as he will receive all of the credit if the Caps win and none of the blame if the Caps lose. It's a no lose situation for DJK.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

That's a statement! We'll see who's bullied on Broad Street. He'll have a fighting major and a game misconduct early, but hopefully he takes a somewhat skilled Flyer off with him.

Posted by: Eler | January 18, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Just in case you were thinking Darryl Sutter got a raw deal being fired by the Calgary Flames, consider this story from an NHL source.

About two months ago in late November, the Washington Capitals were calling around looking for a veteran defenceman. They spoke to Sutter, then the Flames’ general manager, about Robyn Regehr. To get the 30-year-old stay-at-home rearguard, the Capitals were willing to offer 26-year-old forward Tomas Fleischmann, who was struggling to score with Washington.

Regehr has a no-movement clause in his contract but likely could have been convinced to leave the floundering Flames and join Alexander Ovechkin and the playoff certain Caps. Moving Regehr would have also allowed Calgary some salary cap space. In fact, Fleischmann for Regehr would have saved the Flames roughly $1.4-million (US) and given them some flexibility to make other moves.

Plus – and this would have been the best part – Fleischmann would have been a welcomed addition as an emerging talent with offensive skill.

In the end, the Caps traded Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche for defenceman Scott Hannan. In the 21 games Fleischmann has played for the Avs, he’s scored eight goals and 12 assists and appears to have found a home.

F U Sutter! Hannan is great and everything, but Regehr would've been my preferred choice.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 18, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I rarely read Caps insider... once a week or on gameday, but EVEN I know that Vermont caps has a hard on for DJ King.

Posted by: tony325 | January 18, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Now that vermontcaps has nothing to complain about his/her day is ruined and talking points eliminated for at least 24 hours.

People like this would rather be "right" than win. If the Caps won the Cup this year, there would be a vocal minority about how they didn't win it the right way because of the lack of DJ King, if he would even qualify to get his name on the Cup.

I'd like to say this is why people don't respect us as fans, but its probably an equal mix between the whiners, the bandwagoners, and the "superfans" (here's lookin' at you, Cloakboy).

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It's a no lose situation for DJK.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Considering the coach puts him no-win situations, it's the least we fans can do for the man.

And you're correct...if we win tonight IT'LL BE BECAUSE OF DJK'S PRESENCE. If we lose tonight, it'll definitely be caused BY YOUR FAVORITE PLAYERS.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 18, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Just in case you were thinking Darryl Sutter got a raw deal being fired by the Calgary Flames, consider this story from an NHL source.

About two months ago in late November, the Washington Capitals were calling around looking for a veteran defenceman. They spoke to Sutter, then the Flames’ general manager, about Robyn Regehr. To get the 30-year-old stay-at-home rearguard, the Capitals were willing to offer 26-year-old forward Tomas Fleischmann, who was struggling to score with Washington.

Regehr has a no-movement clause in his contract but likely could have been convinced to leave the floundering Flames and join Alexander Ovechkin and the playoff certain Caps. Moving Regehr would have also allowed Calgary some salary cap space. In fact, Fleischmann for Regehr would have saved the Flames roughly $1.4-million (US) and given them some flexibility to make other moves.

Plus – and this would have been the best part – Fleischmann would have been a welcomed addition as an emerging talent with offensive skill.

In the end, the Caps traded Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche for defenceman Scott Hannan. In the 21 games Fleischmann has played for the Avs, he’s scored eight goals and 12 assists and appears to have found a home.


F U Sutter! Hannan is great and everything, but Regehr would've been my preferred choice.

Posted by: richmondphil2

Very interesting. At least people can stop blaming GMGM for not trying to get these players.

I've also read similar articles about the Maple Leafs in which the writers have ripped Burke for not dealing Beauchemin for Flash.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Every team has a tough guy, so probably every team needs one, at least once in a while. But I'd note that Fleischmann has twice as many points in his first 21 games in Colorado as D.J. King has had in 101 games as an NHL player. If what you like is fights, give up watching hockey in favor of Mixed Martial Arts where there are no linesmen to break it up when one guy is down and the other is hitting him.

Posted by: IrishBear | January 18, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that vermontcaps has nothing to complain about his/her day is ruined and talking points eliminated for at least 24 hours.

People like this would rather be "right" than win. If the Caps won the Cup this year, there would be a vocal minority about how they didn't win it the right way because of the lack of DJ King, if he would even qualify to get his name on the Cup.

I'd like to say this is why people don't respect us as fans, but its probably an equal mix between the whiners, the bandwagoners, and the "superfans" (here's lookin' at you, Cloakboy).

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

You actually stopped kissing sgm3's a@@ long enough to type this? I'm impressed..

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 18, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

And you're correct...if we win tonight IT'LL BE BECAUSE OF DJK'S PRESENCE. If we lose tonight, it'll definitely be caused BY YOUR FAVORITE PLAYERS.

Posted by: vermontcaps

Haha. I expected nothing less. ;)

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

When you have the softest line up in the league, you need a real hammer sitting on the bench and playing on the 4 against the Flyers.

Our inability to respond physically to Bradley getting "knocked out" before he could get his gloves off last year, was embarrassing.

Boog's says that DJK is one of "the best". I'll go with the boogeyman's opinion. You tube Boogaards face after the King fight last year. Orr got a great grip on King's wrist in the last fight. These "fight watch" games usually end in no fight anyhow.

The reason we lost to the Habs. We're soft.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 18, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

D.J King Stat Line
2 goals
1 assist
3 fights
58 minutes in penalties
3 nights in Philly prison

Go get em King Kong...Old Time Hockey!

Posted by: SA-Town | January 18, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

intersting DJK debate...silly, but interesting. VT CAPs sounds like he/she is 17. A bit petulant if he/she doesn't get his/her way.

I've said it before...if you are so damn smart, go and manage a team and get off this silly board. Start anywhere, club team...make your way up to the minors. Someday you too can make the big boy decisions.

Posted by: jeets | January 18, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

When you have the softest line up in the league, you need a real hammer sitting on the bench and playing on the 4 against the Flyers.

Our inability to respond physically to Bradley getting "knocked out" before he could get his gloves off last year, was embarrassing.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 18, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah so embarrassing that we score 2-3 goals in the major he received for that

Posted by: ajian1 | January 18, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@Fisher

I'm embarassed as a Caps fan that we have a lineup of "HUGE" men who are pansies.
Pansies who don't "slam dunk" pucks past an average Slovak goaltender and his SMURF buddies. The Flyers "slam dunked" pucks past Halak, and sent his rear to St. Louis. Mike Richards "blew up" the Halak
"Hall of Fame" bandwagon in 2 seconds flat. Fehr and Laich can you watch some clips of how Richards plays when the "the big ugly cup" is on the line !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 18, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So, who do y'all think DJK will pick as his first partner for the "Man Dance" tonight??

Posted by: Rhino40

i'd rather he just run around and level people. Then if he has to fight thru the course of his own actions, so be it.

The ideal enforcer type is someone like who Brashear USED to be when he was a Canuck and Flyer. He had a ton of heavy hits in every game (back when he could actually keep up with the play), and he knew exactly when to get in someone's face or harass the goalie or goad someone into a fight. He was a physical presence in every game and he really punished the opposition, not just the other team's tough guy.

DJK and the Caps coaching staff have a long way to go to understanding how to do that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 18, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@HunterForCoach

> ?????

The Habs were a SMALLER team that blocked over 50 shots in one game. They exposed a continuing weakness on the Caps. Our D our slow afoot and cannot keep up with quick, small forwards. Being soft had NOTHING to do with that loss...


Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 18, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the lack of memory of Caps players who went through the Flyers series and the Rangers series. They really took control of both series once they figured out that pretty goals were the reward for scoring ugly goals.

Hell, in the clip of my favorite Semin goal of all time (Game 5, Flyers series) there are 3 caps screening Biron.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What time is the weigh in? Did BB announce who King will fight? 10 rounds or 12?

What a waste of time. He'll get 5 to 7 minutes of ice time, get 5 to 7 minutes in penalites and give us nothing.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 18, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The Habs were a SMALLER team that blocked over 50 shots in one game. They exposed a continuing weakness on the Caps. Our D our slow afoot and cannot keep up with quick, small forwards. Being soft had NOTHING to do with that loss...


Posted by: RedLitYogi |

While I agree that Hunter goes a bit too far in his assertion (so what else is new?), being soft certainly had a little to do with losing in the playoffs.

I don't think we are as soft as other people make it out to be, but whatever.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 18, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, Brashear still was able to play that way even in his old age. It just started ot bite him/the Caps more in the "new NHL." For example there was the 6 minute PP given to the Bruins, the game where he lost his mind against the Pens and fought Laraque while the Pens were busy scoring, and despite my vehement disagreement with the NHL on the issue, Game 6 against the Rangers.

Of course he had his brilliant moments too. Its a shame the NHL ran him out of the playoffs that year.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the ice bag on King's foot in 24/7 did you???

Not surprised.

Oh and I doubt that Fehr will flatten anybody tonight unless they happen to get in his way in the Press Box.

Seriously, do some of you even bother watching the games and paying attention to the team?

Posted by: CapsNut | January 18, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The reason we lost to the Habs. We're soft.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

absolutely true. But not because we were missing a fighter. But because our entire team could have played a more aggressive forechecking style that punished the Habs more than we did. More crashing of the net, more finishing of checks, more of all that stuff. You can't go 4 or 5 minutes in a playoff game where no one finishes a check. That's just crazy to me.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 18, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

CapsNut, why would they do that? They need to refine talking points and print terrible jersey fouls. There's simply no time to follow hockey.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, Brashear still was able to play that way even in his old age. It just started ot bite him/the Caps more in the "new NHL." For example there was the 6 minute PP given to the Bruins, the game where he lost his mind against the Pens and fought Laraque while the Pens were busy scoring, and despite my vehement disagreement with the NHL on the issue, Game 6 against the Rangers.

Of course he had his brilliant moments too. Its a shame the NHL ran him out of the playoffs that year.

Posted by: GFisher1

that 6 min PP or whatever, that was the game that actually changed how Brashear played for the rest of that season and intot he playoffs. He took so much heat for an incident (v Shane Hnidy I think) that was totally blown out of proportion by his coach, media, and some fans..he just became tentative after that. He quit trying to level people, he was very careful about not stepping over the line. Essentially, he became useless in his role.

but for the most part, by the time the Caps got him he was half the player he used to be when he was in Philly. In Philly he was able to get in deep and just hammer the D. Steve Eminger can attest to that. Brashear raced Eminger to a puck and hit him so hard he separated the kid's shoulder. Clean check too. His hitting would tick off other teams so much that he'd draw penalties because of it. He could turn the other cheek and draw a PP and then when he chose to, drop the gloves and punish someone.

That's what you want from an enforcer. Not a guy who can't get in deep on the forecheck, not a guy who only fights other team's tough guys.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 18, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

soft had NOTHING to do with that loss...


Posted by: RedLitYogi

if that was the case, why did a less talented team like Philly expose the Habs?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 18, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

F U Sutter! Hannan is great and everything, but Regehr would've been my preferred choice.

Posted by: richmondphil2

yeah mine too. But not by a landslide. He's lost a step. He's not a true shutdown dman anymore.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 18, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

First off, the Flyers are not the same goon team this year (only 23 Fighting Majors to date compared to the Cap's 27 or the Duck's 46). Yet, their resident heavyweight Jody Shelly is likely to dance with DJK tonight behind the face off (so called staged fight). These two met three times in their careers with King winning two decisions, and drawing/losing narrowely on one to Shelley. Mark my words, these two are dropping the gloves tonoight

Posted by: Gr8_8 | January 18, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, I'm with you loud and clear on that! Fans were told that's what they were getting in DJ King, when they traded a guy who had the potential to be an elite pest (if you can believe there is such a thing). Whether its new injuries or lingering injuries, I hope the Caps still get that type of play out of DJ King. For everyone who wants to trash the organization over his playing status, McPhee required a 2 year extension before trading for him. So he's a Cap next season.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 18, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

if that was the case, why did a less talented team like Philly expose the Habs?

Posted by: cstanton1

What happened to Pittsburgh then? According to you they are one of the toughest teams in hockey, and they have skill. Yet they also lost to the Habs in 7.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 18, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

intersting DJK debate...silly, but interesting. VT CAPs sounds like he/she is 17. A bit petulant if he/she doesn't get his/her way.

I've said it before...if you are so damn smart, go and manage a team and get off this silly board. Start anywhere, club team...make your way up to the minors. Someday you too can make the big boy decisions.

Posted by: jeets | January 18, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, jeets has spoken! Just one question for ya....what exactly do you think people do on this "silly board"?

Answer: We manage the Caps, duh.

What's your point again?

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 18, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton01 - >

Well, Matt Cooke's cheap shot on Markov removed a key ingredient before Philly even saw them. The other is that Philly is deeper and much quicker on defense than the Caps.

I agree that there are teams that "being soft" would've hurt us against last year in the playoffs. I just don't think it was the story of that particular series. And, dishearteningly for me, not only are we still slow on D, we added a slow guy (Hannan) for what has turned out to be a valuable asset. Ach, if only we'd gotten Reghyr!! (GMGM, do not read this blog, please...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 18, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - actually, I see your first post on the topic and I agree on that one - we could've done a better job on the forecheck.

I think even "soft" players should finish their checks. They don't have to send the guy into the cheap seats. Even a bump and a push drains energy and impedes them. Consistent application of that can only help...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 18, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I fully expect the Caps to win 10-0 tonight with an Ovechtrick (and an empty netter from DJK) now that our Lord and Savior is playing.

Posted by: sabredc | January 18, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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