By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
After a victory late in the regular season that included two goals by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom was asked if it felt like the "good old days" when the franchise cornerstones powered a high-scoring team. "It depends how it is in the playoffs," he said. "And we weren't that successful in the playoffs in the past."
In 16 games since Johansson began skating with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin going into Thursday night at the Ottawa Senators, the 22-year-old Swede had four goals and 12 assists.
When the Washington Capitals raised four straight Southeast Division champions banners to the rafters of Verizon Center, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Alexander Semin led the charge. Semin is gone to the Carolina Hurricanes, and the rest of the 'Young Guns' are a little older now but still dangerous when they're on like they were Tuesday night.
This week the Hurricanes signed Alexander Semin to a five-year, $35 million contract, the longest and most lucrative of the mercurial winger's NHL career. It's a bit more of a risk considering the tenure, but it's one Carolina made after Semin's strong performance so far.
The mercurial Russian was booed pretty much every time he touched the puck. He got four shots on net. He didn't play badly. He didn't play great. He was just kind of there. In short, he was more of a factor before the game than he was during the game.
After building up a reputation with the Caps of being a supremely talented winger with inconsistency in his game and his habits, Semin is making the most of a fresh start in Carolina.
"Some nights you didn't even know if he was going to come to the rink," Brouwer said. "It's tough to play alongside guys like those because you don't know what you're gonna get out of them."
He got chances with the Washington Capitals, including last season, but now Aucoin isn't just a call-up. Claimed off waivers by the Islanders, he has three goals and an assist in six games this year and is starting to show the kind of offense he can provide at the NHL level if given the chance.
Alex Ovechkin is used to working with fellow skill players like Nicklas Backstrom and, in the past, Alexander Semin. But when the Washington Capitals step onto the ice Tuesday night at the Ottawa Senators, it's likely he'll again start on a line with grinders Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb.
When the Washington Capitals' season ended in 2010 with a stunning first-round loss to the Montreal Canadiens, general manager George McPhee faced the question. After Bruce Boudreau's run-and-gun Caps dominated the NHL for most of the regular season, it was all over in seven games. No Stanley Cup, no nothing. If the best team in franchise history can't win it all, how soon until the "window of opportunity" closes on Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals?
The Caps are expected to sign Eric Fehr to a one-year contract as soon as the NHL opens for business and the right wing passes a physical, a team source said Saturday. The deal will count $600,000 against the salary cap, and Fehr will be paid that pro-rated amount for a 48-game season.
The NHL lockout is over. After 119 days, it finally came to an end Saturday night as the league and NHL Players' Association signed the memorandum of understanding.
This was the decade of Alexander Semin. He spent over 10 years as Washington Capitals property, from the draft in 2002 until Thursday's signing with the Carolina Hurricanes.
When Nicklas Backstrom missed 40 games last season, the Washington Capitals called on Mathieu Perreault to help fill that hole. When no moves were made at the trade deadline, the Caps called on Jay Beagle to become a shutdown center.
George McPhee flashes a deft poker face often, not willing to share his plans for the Washington Capitals before he makes a big move. That could be the case this offseason, or the general manager could be calmly blunt about not wanting to spend a lot of money in free agency.
"I'll just say that every game is different," the understated Semin said. "You approach and play every game different. Today, I just decided to shoot it, and I scored."
"You can't turn pucks over against these teams like Tampa Bay that play that style. You've got to chip and chase," he said. "You want to dangle guys and it looks good on TSN but you turn pucks over, it'll cost you games."