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Ovechkin questionable for Friday; fading Caps lacking confidence

Jan 23, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

From NBC Washington’s Adam Vinigan:

Considering that goal came just past the halfway mark of Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Senators, Alzner’s assessment says a lot about his team’s collective mindset these days.

Winless in their last six, and with their odds of making the playoffs having fallen off a cliff, the Capitals could also be without Alex Ovechkin (lower body) again Friday when they kick off a five-game road string in New Jersey.

“Tough to say right now,” coach Adam Oates said when asked about his captain’s status, per CSN Washington. “We’ll have to see how he feels in the morning. If he can skate [Friday morning] we’d consider putting him in.”

The Devils are just one of the teams that have passed the Caps in the standings. Games against red-hot Columbus (Jan. 30) and Detroit (Jan. 31) also loom large on Washington’s upcoming trip.


  1. davebabychreturns - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Be interesting to see what George McPhee does at the deadline this year.

    With no extension, is he a lame duck as GM the rest of the way?

    I remember it being a huge storyline as the Canucks declined to extend Brian Burke and went with Dave Nonis way back when, is this being talked about in DC?

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      (Although that was the same spring Burke wasted a bunch of assets trying to find a replacement for Todd Bertuzzi after his indefinite suspension so perhaps it doesn’t exactly prove that a “lame duck” is going to sit on his hands..)

    • cdalton2690 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Very few in DC like GMGM. However the one person who likes him the most is the Owner because they have been friends since before McPhee even started as a GM with the caps. 95% of caps fans wanted Mcphee gone years ago and it only gets worse Forsberg for Erat and Latta, Not resigning Matt Hendricks, musical goaltender this year are the most recent examples. Sadly I don’t see things changing GM wise any time soon. When the owner is a good friend those relationships usually trump everything else.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        The Goaltending musical chairs has nothing to do with GMGM. What does however is most of his trades and signings. Hamerlik anyone? Erskine resigned? Hendricks not? And how many players has he traded for that stay a cap after that season. Like 1/5. its pathetic. Hence y i pray we dont empty hershey for more rentals this year. Also, if the Caps miss the playoffs, GMGM finally is fired. How could he not? Well, technically he just wouldnt be extended.

  2. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    This team needs to get re-organized (well after Fridays game against New I’m a Devils Fan).

    When players are requesting trades, something wrong is happening internally.

    • govtminion - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      In the interests of being fair (and I do agree with you, for what it’s worth), look at the two current trade requests. You have:

      Erat- Who demanded his way out of Nashville not a calendar year ago, got traded to the Capitals (in what increasingly looks like a truly awful trade), played a few weeks and the playoffs with his new team, and then… what was it, two weeks into this season he started demanding out of Washington as well? I’m not sure I’d blame this on the Caps- maybe for getting him in the first place, I guess. But this seems more like just a guy who just isn’t content wherever he plays.

      Neuvirth- Look at the Caps goaltending- not this year, but over the last, what, five years let’s say. Look at all the goalies Neuvirth has played alongside. Varlamov, Vokoun, Holtby, Grubauer… in every case, Neuvirth has had the opportunity to take the starting job, and in every case he’s ended up the backup to the other guy. Why? No idea- when an opportunity comes up, he just seems to wilt. But when it happens over and over like this, it’s obvious the guy is never going to become a starting NHL goalie, at least not here. Time to give him what he wants, send him somewhere else, and go with Grubauer and Holtby- and hopefully for Neuvirth’s sake he does better with a change of scenery. Right now though there’s three goalies fighting for two jobs in Washington, and despite Grubauer being in Hershey right now I’d have to think Neuvirth is the odd man out.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        i guess orlov’s goes away because he plays all the time now? want to take bets on whether or not he re-signs with the caps? this is his final year of his entry level deal…they kinda screwed him earlier this year and now it looks like the caps will be lucky to make a wildcard slot…

  3. Stiller43 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Odds of making the playoffs having fallen off a cliff?

    Theres 30+ games left and theyre out of 2nd by 5 points…

    • Jason Brough - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Click the link.

    • stakex - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      That’s true, but when you consider the facts…. the Caps are becoming a long shot to make the playoffs. While they have been in free fall of late, all the other teams around them have been on fire. You point out that they are only out of 2nd by five points…. but it was just a couple weeks ago when they were secure in second with a multi point cushion. That’s called moving in the wrong direction.

      Last but not least, the Caps simply aren’t a great team. If Ovechkin gets even hotter, he might be able to get them rolling a bit…. but even that won’t be enough if they get anymore games behind.

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