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...
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...
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...
Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens
NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
First Game – April 15, 2010
Verizon Center (Washington, DC)
Washington Probable Line Combinations
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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. ...
The Washington Capitals hope to get a lift tonight against Atlanta (7 p.m. Verizon Center) when all-purpose forward Brooks Laich returns to the lineup after suffering a freak facial injury in practice last week. Washington has gone 1-1-2, including setbacks in three straight, with Laich out of the lineup and have struggled noticeably on special teams and in their own end in his absence.
"There are so many situations in games when I need something and look to Brooks," head coach Bruce Boudreau said recently. "Lately when I've looked for him he hasn't been there. It really shows you how much it means to us to have him in the lineup."
Laich most likely will step in for either recent Hers...
By Scott Lowe
Over the past three seasons the Washington Capitals have developed into one of the rare professional teams that seems to really care just about every night out. Sure there have been times in which maybe they have become a bit too enamored with their talent – overpassing, trying to make the perfect play, making low-percentage choices in the neutral zone – but the effort always seems to be there.
Some might point to their recent 0-2-1 “skid” and first-period struggles as evidence that the Caps are becoming complacent, having already locked up the top seed in the East and with a six-point edge over San Jose in the race for the President’s Trophy. But upon further r...