While Habs' nation waits to hear whether it will be Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price in goal for tonight's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Washington, Bruce Boudreau pondered the history he and the Caps' organization have with Price.
Boudreau's Hershey Bears faced Price and the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2007 Calder Cup Finals, falling in five games. Price was outstanding in the series, ultimately earning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.
"We played five games against him, I think we averaged 42 shots, and they won in five games," Boudreau said yesterday. "He was quite a difference-maker at that point, and he still is. We know he's a good goalie. If ...
By Scott Lowe
After a convincing 5-1 road victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Washington Capitals are beginning to look like the dominant team that ran up 121 points during the regular season. Perhaps the most encouraging thing for the Caps at this point, however, is that they still haven’t hit on all cylinders.
Washington coach Bruce Boudreau certainly pulled the right strings to get help get the Caps on the right track at the Bell Centre Monday, inserting Boyd Gordon back into the lineup as the fourth-line center and starting Semyon Varlamov over Jose Theodore in goal. All Gordon did was win 11 of his first 12 faceoffs en rout...
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:
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...
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...