Washington Capitals

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Caps' Game 3 Lineup Changes and Storylines

Based on reports from Washington Post beat writer Tarik El-Bashir, Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice after the Wasghington Capitals' pregame skate today, which nine times out of 10 would indicate he will get the starting nod tonight. Jose Theodore, who was pulled from Game 2 Saturday and has allowed goals on the last three shots he has faced, stayed on the ice for extra work. In addition, it appears as though Eric Belanger, who has won 80 percent of his faceoffs thus far in the series, will be moved to the second line. If that's the case, the Washington lineup would look like this: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble Fleischmann-Belanger-Semin Laich-Morrisoin-Fehr Chimera-...

Caps' Leaders Emerge in the "Nick" of Time

By Scott Lowe The Washington Capitals enjoyed the finest regular season by far in franchise history, and they did it with a high-flying, high-powered offense that easily was the highest-scoring in the NHL en route to capturing the Southeast Division, the Eastern Conference top seed and the Presidents’ Trophy. Because of that unprecedented regular-season success it’s possible to see how the Caps might enter the postseason with a “my way or the highway” mentality and the confidence that if they just maintained the status quo everything would be fine. It’s possible to see how that mentality could creep into the locker room, but in this case it’s not entirely understandable. No...

Caps' Game 2 Lineup Changes

It appears as though Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau will be juggling his lineup a bit for tonight's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals aganinst the Montreal Canadiens. Perhaps looking for a spark or maybe a little more offense up and down the lineup or maybe some veteran leadership in the dressing room, Boudreau appears to be leaning toward dressing versatile veteran center Brendan Morrison and playing him on the second line at center instead of Tomas Fleischmann. Fleischmann will be returned to his customary left wing position, most likely on the third line. Ah, the luxury of what baseball manager Earl Weaver used to call "deep depth." The question is, who sits? Appar...

It's Time for Ovechkin to Step Up

By Scott Lowe It’s time for Alex Ovechkin to step up, and he knows it. After being held without a shot for only the fourth time in his career, Ovechkin has taken the blame for his performance in Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Montreal and seems ready to make amends immediately. If past history is any indication, when the fiery Russian puts his mind to it, he’s usually able to take his game to a new level, no matter what the matchup. That was the case two years ago when the hockey pundits lauded the job that Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was doing to limit Ovechkin’s offensive contribution. And last year when Sidney Crosby turned it on in Game 2 of the co...

For the Caps It's Time to Simplify

By Scott Lowe In scanning the blogosphere – at least the D.C. version – there are a lot of people saying that the Washington Capitals controlled play and dominated in the shot, hit and faceoff department in last night’s Game 1 NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal overtime loss to Montreal. No need to panic is the battle cry. Washington was the better team. Once a game gets into overtime anything can happen, and the Habs capitalized on an opportunity. That’s playoff hockey. A closer look, however, reveals that last night’s 3-2 Montreal victory was truly a tale of two games, and the lesson that the Caps need to learn can be found easily enough by watching the opening 20 minutes o...

Caps - Habs Playoff Preview

Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals First Game – April 15, 2010 Verizon Center (Washington, DC) Washington Probable Line Combinations Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble Laich-Fleischmann-Semin Chimera-Belanger-Fehr Bradley-Steckel-Gordon The Fore-word: Brendan Morrison has practiced as part of the first line this week, taking the ill Nick Backstrom’s spot on Tuesday and alternating with Mike Knuble on Wednesday. Knuble was picked up to provide a physical presence up front during the playoffs and to create space for Backstrom and Ovechkin. Clearly Knuble (29 goals) is a lock to play, so it appears as though Morrison, who tailed...

Out With the Old, In With the Habs

By Scott Lowe Maybe this is just what the Washington Capitals need. Fair or not, whenever April comes around discussions about the Caps seem to revolve around past playoff failures, most of which occurred in the late 1980s or early ‘90s and featured players who are old enough to be the dads of some of the guys on this year’s team. And yes there have been some epic collapses by teams with rosters consisting of Hall of Fame-caliber players such as Rod Langway, Mike Gartner, Scott Stevens, Peter Bondra and Larry Murphy. But when you look at Washington’s playoff history, one thing jumps out at you: They haven’t faced many different opponents. You see Pittsburgh, the team that h...

The Case for Mike Green

By Scott Lowe For those of us with the good fortune of watching Mike Green play defense for the Washington Capitals on a daily basis, it had started to become pretty easy to take him for granted. You could pencil him in for a point or two every night along with about 25 minutes of ice time – very active up and down ice time, no less. Oh, and if the game went into overtime you could be pretty sure that Green would either score the game-winner himself or play an important role in the deciding tally. Ho hum. Perhaps Green has become a victim of his own consistency. Despite his high level of play, for most of the North American hockey media, there always seems to be questions about his o...

Caps in Good Shape Despite What "Experts" Say

By Scott Lowe When you follow a team all your life and since its inception, it's hard at times to be objective. In the case of the Washington Capitals, after years of playoff disappointments, many of their followers - inlcuding me - tend to expect the worst this time of year. Lately, many in the national media - and now even Columbus Blue Jacket forward R.J. Umberger - have jumped on the anti-Caps bandwagon. Several NHL media types have labeled Washington "this year's Sharks," and Umberger last night said that the Caps wouldn't strike fear in any of the Western Confernece teams because "they don't play the right way." Let's address that ridiculous comment first. Based on his - an...

Caps vs. Blue Jackets In-Game Blog

We'll give this a try for tonight. Game just started and my Direc TV feed for the game has gone out. Just as the puck was dropped. Caps going for a club-record 51st win tonight and to drop their magic number to one point in the quest for the President's Trophy. Jason Chimera returns to Columbus after being traded to the Caps just after Christmas. He has 33 combined points for both teams this year. Okay. The video is back. Here we go ... First Period My feed is out again. It's a Comcast SportsNet techincal issue. Unbelievable. Ok we're back now. Matthieu Perreault sent back to Hershey and Chimera bumped up to third line again. Thedore huge save on Nash with about 14:45 left. ...