Washington Capitals

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Capitals Backstrom returning to form

Back in May 2010, the Capitals signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a 10-year, $67 million contract extension, the following season, he posted a career-low 65 points. 

Not only did he flop in the regular season after posting 101 points the previous year, he flopped even harder in nine games in the postseason, with just two assists for the underachieving Caps. 

His performance had pundits quietly wondering about the massive extension he signed, and whether he would live up to its billing. 

Then the calendar turned to the 2011-2012 season, where the Gavle, Sweden, native has lit up opposing defenses for 18 points in 12 game...

Time For A Brian Rolston Revival

Brian Rolston was added to the Islanders roster over the summer for two reasons: to help get to the cap floor with his $5 million contract and to add an experienced veteran that could contribute offensively.

Through the first ten games of the season, Rolston was struggling to produce in the form in which both he and the Islanders had hoped. He had dressed for nine of the first 10 games of the year, (missing one as his wife was expected to give birth) and only put up two assists while playing on the third line with Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau.

Comeau is still searching for his first point of the year and Bailey picked up an assist in last night's win over the Capitals; his...

Capitals Dominate Flyers, 5-2

In what was supposed to be a battle of the East's elite, the Capitals dominated the Flyers 5-2, to improve to 6-0-0 on the season. TCL's Matt Brigidi explains.

Are You Ready For Some Hockey?

...Too bad the sharks aren't playing any today. We still have to wait until Friday to watch another Shark's game. But maybe, just maybe, what seems like a punishment might actually be a blessing in disguise. You see, a myriad of Sharks are out right now with various injuries and would not have been ready to go on an earlier date. Havlat is still recuperating from a shoulder injury. Niemi is recovering from minor surgery that removed a cyst from his knee. And Marleau has missed every practice this week with the flu. Two of these three players, sans Marleau, also missed the opening game of the season. Which is a real testament to how stacked this Sharks team is with depth at all position...

Caps Re-Cap and Report Card 10.9.11

By Scott Lowe

The Washington Capitals opening-night 4-3 overtime victory against Southeast Division-rival Carolina in front of the 107th straight Verizon Center sellout Saturday didn’t lack for thrills. From the Caps’ perspective there was plenty to be excited about – a few standout individual efforts and enough mistakes to remind everyone that there is plenty of work ahead. All in all it was a pretty typical opening-night performance, with the team getting an overall grad of a B-minus for the effort. A further breakdown follows:

Caps Goals: Semin, Chimera, Laich, Green

Caps Assists: Backstrom (2), Carlson, Ward, Alzner, Ovechkin, Wideman

Shots on...

Six Questions Facing the Caps

By Scott Lowe

It’s been an interesting off-season, to say the least, for the Washington Capitals.

Gone are longtime Caps Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr. Enigmatic, yet talented, netminder Semyon Varlamov also departed along with last year’s stretch-run veteran additions Jason Arnott and Marco Sturm.

The replacements? Former Caps captain Jeff Halpern, past Stanley Cup winner Troy Brouwer, Nashville playoff hero Joel Ward, elite goaltender Tomas Voukoun and 19-year steady blueline veteran Roman Hamrlik.

The net result? A team that has added size, speed, skill and grit; a club that can roll out a top-six defensive unit that matches up with any in ...

Hawks vs Caps - Preseason Game 3 Notes

 

Pittsburgh area native Brandon Saad will be playing in his 3rd straight Hawks preseason game tonight against Washington at the UC. Now, let's not read into this too much. Saad has had a very impressive camp for an 18 year-old just out of his first season in the OHL, but it's highly unlikely that he will not be returning to his junior team. It's safe to say that Saad will need an additional season in the OHL to further his development and hopefully become more than a point-per-game player at the junior level.

However, getting multiple appreciative comments from your head coach on your play at this level is nothing to sneeze at. Saad...

Hurricanes Turn Eye to Signing for Depth and Future

After their first week of free agency focused on replacing scoring from the wing and swapping one accomplished defenseman for another, the Carolina Hurricanes  turned in-house with signings of some younger players (all 24 or under) who have started making an impact in the NHL.

Five players inked deals starting July 8, with center Brandon Sutter and blue-liner Derek Joslin on the NHL roster while forward Brett Sutter and defensemen Brett Bellemore and Bobby Sanguinetti all signed two-way deals and will likely start the season with the AHL-affiliate Charlotte Checkers. The signings, even those only for one year, continue a pattern of instilling solid depth and development ...

GM's Job Done, Players and Coaches Must Produce

By Scott Lowe

Someone, not sure who, wrote in this space yesterday that the Washington Capitals would most likely sit back and let the Free Agent Frenzy play out, waiting for the day’s losers to approach them with ridiculous trade offers they couldn’t refuse. Okay, maybe that scenario didn’t quite pan out.

Instead, while the Caps’ venture into the free agent wilderness could not be considered as much of a frenzied approach as some teams (ahem, Buffalo and Florida), Washington turned out to be one of the more active teams. And by all accounts, General Manager George McPhee did a great job filling holes and continuing to mold his club into a tougher and m...

After Rough Finish, Caps Not in a Free Agent Frenzy

By Scott Lowe

A wise man who happened to be a former boss of mine and a baseball hall of famer once provided me with a nugget of business and life advice that has served me well over the years (although I’m not always successful with the execution; kind of like the Capitals’ and their defensive system): Try to take the emotion out of everything you do.

At least attempting to follow that advice over the years has served me pretty well. I’m an extremely competitive person, so I’ve learned that when I’m embroiled in emotionally charged situations, a period of cooling off and analysis usually serves me well instead of a knee-jerk response. Over the ye...