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Caps to give Matt Hendricks a turn on first line

Mar 2, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v Florida Panthers Getty Images

The carousel of left wingers to play on Washington’s first line continues to spin.

Washington coach Adam Oates is going to give rugged forward Matt Hendricks a shot to run and gun on the first line with Mike Ribeiro and Alex Ovechkin, as Katie Carrera of The WashingtonPost reports. Oates says the top left wing spot is a work in progress.

“You know what, just a change. Give someone else a shot there,” Oates said. “Kind of by committee right now until I feel that there’s a real guy who can be entrenched there.”

Among the other guys who have seen time on the first line are: Wojtek Wolski, Jason Chimera, and Marcus Johansson. With Brooks Laich still out with a groin problem, it’s been a bit of a mess to find someone who works out well on that line. Perhaps Hendricks can do what everyone else hasn’t been able to do and provide stability. He’ll get a chance to show what he can do against Winnipeg this afternoon.

  1. govtminion - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Well, everything is all fixed now. Matt Hendricks is on the first line, start charting a Stanley Cup parade route down Independence Avenue.

    Seriously, this team doesn’t need a line change, it needs blown up. Avoiding the Ovechkin question- because it’s been rehashed too often anyway- where the hell has Nicklas Backstrom been all season? That’s a lot of money going to someone who doesn’t play. Mike Green’s groin is pulled more than Ron Jeremy’s. Marcus Johannsen? Face should be on milk cartons. Matthieu Perrault got that nasty knee on knee a few nights ago in Philly, and until that point I had forgotten he was on the roster. (Brooks Laich gets a pass since he’s still out hurt, and has traditionally been the go-to guy for actually caring on that team)

    Some of these guys would be a nightmare to move at the deadline, McPhee might have to take a bath on some of it, but… they’re sure not getting it done here, so whatever draft picks you can get to start over, do it. This team is worse than just bad- Columbus is bad, but they play their asses off (like last night against Chicago). This is a team that in theory has talent, and in games just obviously doesn’t care.

    /end rant

    • 19to77 - Mar 2, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      No kidding about Columbus. That team plays the hell out of every game now. They’re losing one-goal battles where last year they were getting blown out once a week. Apparently losing Nash gave them something to prove. Shame they’re not talented enough to do it. But they’ll get there. For the first time in years, Columbus has management that knows hockey. This team has a future finally.

      Sorry for veering off on that tangent in a Caps article. I agree, the team needs some big changes. If I was GMGM I’d be prepared to move just about anyone – the busts and the no-shows obviously, but even the high-potential guys like Carlson and Backstrom shouldn’t be off-limits. Nothing on this team is working. Any option should at least be listened to. That’s the point they’re at.

  2. orangandblack - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    “(Insert name here)’s groin is pulled more than Ron Jeremy’s.”….might be my new favorite line. Nice work my friend

  3. capsfan19 - Mar 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Disappointment. Bring on next season.

    • polegojim - Mar 2, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      … which sadly has become the Caps mantra…

      It’s in their heads and they’re playing like ‘effort’ will not even help.

  4. ravenscaps48 - Mar 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Next week we’ll be calling up Ryan Stoa from Hershey to play LW…. Good lord, just give 100% and you guys will win! If they played with heart like the Blue Jackets, they’d have a lot more wins than losses

  5. blomfeld - Mar 2, 2013 at 3:43 PM


    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, only with a slight adjustment this time. You deal Ovechkin to Vancouver in exchange for Luongo “and” Kesler … straight up, no questions asked, thank you very much and have a nice day! The bottom line is that assuming the Caps are aspiring to win it all, then obviously the Ovechkin angle wasn’t the answer if it hasn’t happened by now. Here in Vancouver he’d likely thrive with the Sedin brothers and there’s absolutely no question that he’d be embraced with an almost “Beatles-like” mania! As for Luongo, he could be that one part which the Caps have always lacked … consistent year/year “stellar” goal tending. And he’d personally be very happy there as well, as his main concern for a new home is that it be in the same time zone as Florida (ie: so as not to upset his controller when he makes his nightly “check-in” calls). As for Kesler, this could be like a complete “fresh” re-boot for a career that has unfortunately stalled here in recent times for various reasons. The salaries involved would essentially cancel themselves, thus negating any cap concerns. But the best part of all would be that “overnight” both teams become legitimate Stanley Cup Contenders! :)

    ps: Don’t ever say that we LA Kings aren’t always looking out for you guys, eh ? :)

  6. watermelon1 - Mar 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    The problem is the same it’s been the last 6 years. They caps don’t have any really good defensemen. Their best defenders are their wings and centers.

    If the caps had seen it my way… And looked to trade mike green after his ONE “good” season where he scored a bunch of goals(not exactly what you look for in a defenseman)… They’d have gotten insane return for a very overrated player.

    With better defending… The puck is out of their zone a lot more often and the goal-scores can focus more on doing what they do.

    Nicklaus Backstrom has been a no-show on offense this year because he’s been so busy killing penalties like the two-way player he is.

    But hey, I agree… Eventually you have to blow it up. Can’t keep changing coaches thinking that’s going to change much.

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