Washington Capitals

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Caps in Enviable Position Despite Lack of Moves

By Scott Lowe Followers of the Washington Capitals probably didn’t think that as training camp approached they’d be talking about offseason acquisitions such as D.J. King, Brian Willsie and Danny Sabourin. Instead the talk after a premature postseason exit, as it always seems to be, focused on solidifying the defensive corps with a top-four d-man such as a Volchenkov, Mitchell, Hamhuis or Martin and bringing in a true second-line center such as a Lombardi, Cullen, Koivu, Plekanec or even a Modano. The Caps were involved in the Willie Mitchell sweepstakes until his recent signing with Los Angeles, but now with camp right around corner the Caps’ strategy seems very clear: With...

Caps Free Agent Analysis: Fine Tuning for a Playoff Run

Washington Capitals Free Agent Analysis at a Glance By Scott Lowe Caps’ UFAs – Eric Belanger, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo, Milan Jurcina, Brendan Morrison, Shaone Morrisonn, Quintin Laing, Jose Theodore Caps’ RFAs – Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon, Tomas Fleischmann, Jeff Schultz Caps’/Hershey RFAs – Jay Beagle, Chris Borque, Andrew Gordon, Alexandre Giroux All RFAs have been extended qualifying offers. Looking for a Shot: Giroux, Matthieu Perreault, Keith Aucoin, Boyd Kane, Marcus Johansson, Michael Neuvirth, Beagle, Borque, A. Gordon On the Block?: Tomas Fleischmann, Alexander Semin Needs: Second-line center, mobile/stay-at-home defenseman, big/physical forward, enfo...

Caps Ink Backstrom for 10 Years/$67 Million

The final piece in the puzzle to keep the core of the Washington Capitals talent base together for a long time was snapped into place today when Nicklas Backstrom was signed to a 10-year, $67 million contract. In addition the Caps announced that they signed Marcus Johansson, the 24th pick of the 2009 entry draft, to a three year entry-level deal. Below is the story on Backstrom as it appears at www.washingtoncaps.com ... ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a 10-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Backstrom, 22, rec...

Playoff Upsets Provide Context for Evaluating Caps' Season and Future

Often in difficult, stressful times in which things don’t go exactly the way we had hoped or planned, many of us let our emotions get the best of us. For hockey players this may manifest itself in the form of a stupid penalty, a player breaking his stick intentionally in frustration (sorry Sid), a fight or a poorly thought-out, off-the-cuff remark during a postgame press conference that makes the player or coach look like a whiner or poor sport (or both). For hockey fans, the emotional or knee-jerk response usually results in whining about the officials (consider me guilty), belief in wild conspiracy theories (no longer guilty thanks to weeks of listening to others do this and seeing se...

Amazing Story About Brooks Laich

I know there are a lot of Caps bashers/haters out there. I guess in some ways that means that the team has at least arrived on the hockey landscape despite last night's devastating loss. People around the country don't really know what this team means to the community and why people have rallied around it with such fervor. Well, I hope that all of you take time to read this story. Brooks Laich, on the way home after the most horrific loss of his career, stops to help a couple of Caps fans change a flat tire on a busy road. This is amazing, and quite honestly, why it's really hard for those of us here not to really love this team. Link: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010...

Game 7 Thoughts and Lineup Notes

By Scott Lowe Tonight's Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between Washington and Montreal doesn't come down to anything more than playing harder and smarter than the other team. Goaltending obviously can have a huge impact, too, but the reality is that hard work and intelligent play can even defeat hot goaltending - but there has to be a commitment to playing the right style of hockey from all 20 players who are in the lineup. Yes, Jaroslav Halak has stolen three games of this series from the Caps, and if he saves 45 out of 47 or 53 out of 54 shots again he will steal a fourth. But, the reality is, that Washington does have some say in that. If the Caps continue to give him a ...

Six Keys to Game 6

By Scott Lowe While tonight’s Game 6 of the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals is not a must-win for the top-seeded Washington Capitals, a loss would definitely tilt the scale back in favor of Montreal in terms of the pressure quotient and leave a series that the Caps seemed to be in control of to an anything-can-happen Game 7 in front of a nervous Verizon Center crowd. “The whole organization wants to win right now,” Alex Ovechkin said. “We don’t want to have to go back to play in Washington for a seventh game. It’s going to be hard, but we can do it.” So, while there still is some margin for error for Washington tonight at Bell Centre, it boils down to the same thi...

No Time for Messing Around

Tonight should be interesting. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. Everywhere you look the media has said that the Washington Capitals have a stranglehold on their NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Montreal, but if the Canadiens can pull out Game 5 tonight at Verizon Center the mantra will change to, “The pressure’s on the Caps.” So, for that and other reasons, from the Washington perspective at least, it makes sense for the Caps to do everything in their power to close out the series immediately. If the Caps were to win the series they’d face Philadelphia, which finished off its five-game upset of the Devils last night, in the second round. This tim...

Game 4 Lineup Notes - Morrisonn a Game-Time Decision

Based on reports out of Montreal, it appears as though Washington Capitals' defenseman Shaone Morrisonn will be a game-time decision for tonight's NHL Eastern Conference Game 4 at the Bell Centre. Morrisonn, who skipped yesterday's skate along with fellow blueliner Joe Corvo, participated in this morning's session. Media reports also indicate that the forward combinations will remain unchanged and that Corvo is expected to play. If Morrisonn cannot go, he will be replaced by either John Erskine or Tyler Sloan - most likely Erskine, who played well in last year's playoffs. It appears as though defenseman Jaro Spacek also is a game-time decision for the Habs. Washington Probable Forw...