capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Ovie, Theodore Walk Away With Hardware

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‘Theodore Warms Up’
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

Last night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, the Washington Capitals did not come away empty-handed. Both winger Alex Ovechkin and goalie Jose Theodore (who won’t be back this year) nabbed individual awards, with Ovie also being elected to his fifth-straight First Team All Star honor.

Theodore won the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy, which honors the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Theodore, who lost his son Chace last year to respiratory complications, created the “Saves for Kids” charity to benefit the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in DC. “Obviously, it was a tough year emotionally, but I’m really proud of the way I handled myself,” Theodore told NHL.com. “Then winning this award just brings back some tough memories or good memories, it depends, but it’s tough. With all the support I had, it was just fun to see people around me that cared for that.” He presented a check for $35,000 to Children’s at the beginning of May after pledging money for each save, win, and shutout he made during the season. The donation also included matching donations and support from the Capitals organization and fans.

Ovechkin led off the awards ceremony, winning the Ted Lindsay Award (formerly the Lester B. Pearson Award) as the players’ MVP for the third straight season. However, Ovie didn’t collect his third Hart trophy (the NHL MVP) as expected; that honor went to Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.

Mike Green was a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy (outstanding defenseman) but lost to Chicago Blackhawks Duncan Keith.

capitals hockey, Special Events, Sports Fix, The Features

2010 Eastern Quarterfinals: Capitals vs. Canadiens

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‘DSC_6297′
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

Finally.

After what seemed like weeks of waiting – ever since the Olympics were over, really – the Washington Capitals finally enter the NHL postseason. First opponent in the opening salvos of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals?

The Montreal Canadiens.

The Caps desperately want to get the right skate forward this year; after last year’s rough start dropping the first two games at home against the Rangers, it’s something the team is aching to move past. And by all accounts from various team sources the last couple of days, they’re not only aware of it, they’re chomping at the bit to roll.

Despite the Habs’ recent struggles, however, the Caps cannot enter the series tomorrow taking Montreal for granted. True, the Habs enter the postseason after only notching three wins in their final 11 games. And true, forward Michael Cammalleri hasn’t been nearly as effective in his first nine games after knee surgery, nor has the netminder situation been anything spectacular. No team enters the NHL’s “second season” not wanting the prize at the end of the two-month campaign.

Let’s not kid around – both of these teams want the Stanley Cup. Montreal, to start its next century off right after last year’s dismal failure to celebrate their 100 years in style. Washington, to finally grab the golden ring of hockey that has been oh-so-close only a handful of times in its young (relative to Montreal) hockey existence.

So let’s look over the keys to Round One, starting here in the District on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

FLASH! OO-OOH…

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‘Semin Scores!’
courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

A healthy scratch in Monday’s loss against the Stars, Tomas Fleischmann made quite the impact when he returned to the lineup in last night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Banging home a ripping shot from the right circle in overtime, Flash scored the game-winner and brought the Caps within one game of clinching the Southeast Division.

The Caps had quite the list of scratches for last night’s contest, no thanks to the very full roster of talent now on hand as team prepares for the playoffs. Boudreau has been rotating players through the scratch list in a delicate juggling act to work in new players and keep the team as rested as possible for the playoff run a little over five weeks from now. “I don’t like doing it but as long as we can, we’ll keep rotating guys in and out of the lineup to keep them fresh and sharp,” commented Boudreau after the 4-3 OT win. “The players don’t like it, but they understand it. They know what the common goal is, so they’re doing it for the common goal.”

Jose Theodore knocked away 28 shots against a struggling Hurricane team that showed some fight in fits and starts. Defenseman Mike Green had two power play goals, increasing his season total (and league lead for defenseman) to 17. Alex Ovechkin added two assists in his points race and Alexander Semin opened the scoring with his 31st of the season on a great backhand shot, fed by Brendan Morrison.

It was a reunion of sorts on the ice as well; former Caps defenseman Brian Pothier was on the ice for the Canes, and former Canes Joe Corvo and Scott Walker suited up for the Caps. The players were exchanged in a last-minute trade deadline rush only a week ago.

The Capitals can clinch the Southeast Division with either a loss by Atlanta tonight or garnering a point in Friday’s home contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Daily Feed

Condolences to Jose Theodore and Family

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‘Theodore, Presented by Slapshot’
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’

Our sincerest condolences to Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore and his family; we got word this morning that Jose and Stephanie’s two-month-old son has died.

There are no other details at this time, not that we need them. Everyone here at WeLoveDC sends the Theodore family our sympathies and condolences during this difficult time.

Arlington, Fun & Games, Sports Fix

Capital Summer

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Slapshot at Game 7
Modified; originally uploaded by clydeorama

Now that the dust has (partially) settled, let’s look at the Capitals. Yes, that’s right, I said Capitals. Hockey in July.

Because the summer is when a team’s foundation is made.

First off, Brooks Laich and Shaone Morrisonn elected to take the team to arbitration. Nothing to get worked up over, just that Ted’s going to pay a bit more for their services if things proceed as normal. Laich wants about double of his current $725,000 salary.

Matt Cooke has gone north and signed with the Penguins. Not terribly surprising, after Matt Bradley signed his three-year extension back in May. Continue reading

News

Capital Frenzy

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Wow, busy week across the NHL. Lots of moves with the July 1 Free Agent Turkey Shoot, and the Washington Capitals are right in the thick of it.

McPhee managed to re-sign Mike Green on Monday, June 30, effectively sealing up a potential weak spot and relieving many diehard Caps fans. So one less headache to worry over when Tuesday hit.

And hit it did.

Biggest news? Smoking-hot goaltender Christobal Huet bolted for more money and a suddenly very dangerous team in the Chicagoland area. Can’t blame the Blackhawks there – missing the playoffs by three points with an average goalie squad made any potential FA goalies legitimate targets.

Unfortunately, it forced McPhee to take a Vegas-sized risk by approaching – and signing – Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore for a more-than-modest two year deal worth $9M. BIG risk. HUGE. Now, if this was 2003, then it wouldn’t be a big deal (ok, maybe it would be, considering his lackluster play the next few years) – but despite his sudden transformation from mediocre back to the old Hart and Vezina winner with the ‘lanche last season, it really remains to be seen which Theodore the Caps got on this deal.

The goalie situation really is crucial to the Caps’ success in the next year. With Huet bolting for more lucrative waters and Kolzig “bolting” to Tampa (for what will probably be his final year or two of his career) as a mentor for the Lightning’s fresh-faced netminders, the play of Theodore is going to either sink or rocket Capital play. All the offense in the world isn’t going to matter if the goalie position is leakier than Montgomery County’s water lines.

There’s still more signings and moves to be had, for sure, as McPhee is still faced with UFAs Cooke, Fedorov, Bournedienne, Arsene, Riazantsev, Stana, Morgan and Werner. It will definitely be an interesting summer on ice.

Green Winds Up, courtesy of clydeorama