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No Rhyme or Reason This Season!

By Rodger M. WoodBrooks LaichThere’s just no rhyme or reason to Capitals hockey this 2010-2011 campaign. You don’t know which team will show up any given night, especially at home.For proof in the pudding, the Caps took Friday night off at home, losing to the injury plagued New York Rangers 6 – 0, then came back to life late in the second period at Uniondale the next night to beat the youthful New York Islanders 3-2. I may be a little bit slow sometimes, but I just don’t get it, unless our talented crew is dogging it some games or intimidated by the other team.There’s nothing much good ever to say about a lack luster 6-0 loss. It was the 9th time the Caps were shut out this season, and the second time they were devastated by the Rangers. Compared to his Penguins shutout the Monday night before, Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth looked like night and day, stopping only 22 of 28 Rangers shots. Maybe, Rangers coach John Tortorella knows a magic formula for sparking a young team against the big bad Capitals, or the Capitals players just don’t listen to Coach Boudreau exhortations anymore.The Caps also didn’t play much better the first two periods against the Islanders, who jumped off to a 2 – 0 lead by the 0:33 mark of the second period but flying down the ice, crashing in on Islanders’ goalie Al Montoya, like superman to the rescue, Caps right winger Brooks Laich resuscitated his teammates midway through the second period with his 13th goal of the season, assisted by defenseman John Carlson.In the first six minutes of the third period, Mike Knuble tied the game, assisted by Laich, and Marcus Johanssen, and Alexander Semin put the Caps ahead to stay, with his 22nd goal assisted by Ovie.When Caps goalie Semyon Varlomov complained of a sore knee before the morning skate, Neuvirth was put back in the nets a second game in a row and stopped 29 of 31 shots.Apart from last night’s third period comeback, more good news is the Caps added a couple players to the roster.They claimed “guter deutschen Hockeyspeiler” Marco Sturm from waivers. Caps broadcaster, Craig Laughlin described Sturm, 32, as a top six forward, if healthy. Sturm missed the first 34 games this season with a lower body injury, but scored four goals, 5 assists in 17 games played. He has scored 20 or more goals his past seven NHL seasons, and 238 goals, 237 assists, in 872 NHL games with San Jose, Boston, and Los Angeles.Also, 19-year Caps #2 2009 NHL Entry Draft pick, and standout defenseman on the Russian gold medal winning team at the World Championship last month, Dmitri Orlov signed a professional tryout contract with the Hershey Bears. Chances are he’ll sign a contract with the Caps and be available for the big club in the playoffs. He’s described as a big tough skilled defenseman, who can help the team on the blue line and the power play.The Caps return to the ice against the New York Island at the Verizon Center Tuesday night, March 1st.

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