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Acta Non Verba

By Rodger M. WoodRight after two straight losses to the tough Western Conference San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, Caps players had a much publicized team meeting, In which they discussed roles, performance consistency, and ice responsibilities.They realized they have one of the most talented teams in the NHL, but must play consistently harder before they’re going to beat the tougher teams in the league.Fans have heard these promises before, which are worthless without follow up, corrective action.“Mea culpa” or “my fault” is nice to hear, but does nothing to resolve the problems.A better model for Caps players would be the one the Marines use, which is “Acta Non Verba,” or “actions not words.”Every time our talented millionaires lose, we hear another excuse and get some promises.I think it’s high time the fans see improved play first, get the wins, and then hear about why.

Caps Sleep In 4-1 Loss

By Rodger M. WoodDJ King18,398 fans at the Verizon Center Saturday afternoon matinee were again shortchanged when the home team stopped playing halfway through game and lost to the harder working Los Angeles Kings 4-1.Scoring an unassisted goal at the 1:06 mark of the first period, Ovie gave fans false hope. Today’s outcome wasn’t different than the past six contests against Western Conference teams, in which the Caps were beaten decisively.Back to normal after the goal, the Caps played decent defense for a period and a half, but then gave up again against another tough opponent. Kings forwards swarmed harder and harder on the Caps goaltender, Semyon Varlomov as the game wore on, and whose big tough defensemen knocked Caps forwards on their butts.Perhaps our European stars, Alex O, Niklaus Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Marcus Johanssen, Michael Neuvirth, and Semyon Varlomov can’t cope with the Western Conference’s rugged game.Near the end of the first period, DJ King tried to energize his teammates, taking on Kings Kevin Westgarth in a rugged heavyweight battle, and throughout the game, by hard checking opponents, crashing on net, and shooting the puck, but his good effort did’t help.While King’s plus/minus was zero, All Star defenseman Mike Green and Jeff Schultz’ was a -3, indicating they were on the ice for three of the Kings goals, and forwards, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, and Mathieu Perreault a -2, indicating they were on the ice for at least two of the Kings goals.Before the Caps go West next week to face the Phoenix Coyotes Monday, Anaheim Ducks Wednesday, and San Jose Sharks Thursday, maybe some of our Caps need to be sent back to Hershey where they will not be traumatized by such tough competition.In summary, the bottom line this afternoon was Kings 4 Caps 1.Ottawa’s Good Center Mike Fisher Traded to Nashville: Needing a good second line center badly, the Caps lost out again, when former Caps GM David Poile traded a 2011 #1 draft and a 2012 conditional pick (third or second, depending on how many rounds Nashville wins) to Ottawa for two way center Mike Fisher.

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Caps Take Off Night against San Jose

By Rodger M. WoodAlexander SeminComing off successively strong two way wins against conference rivals Tampa and Pittsburgh, the Capitals once again decided to take a night off Monday to lose at home to a hustling Western Conference challenger, San Jose Sharks 2-0.As in the other seven games they were shut out this season, the Caps showedvery little of the infamous rhyming game virtues, spark and heart.It’s also a possibility they just weren’t tough enough after two days rest to cope with the very big tough defensemen protecting the Sharks blue line.Highly rated rookie defensemen, John Carlson, Kurt Alzner, and the Caps first line forwards, Ovie, Niklaus Backstrom, and Jason Chimera were on the ice for both the Sharks goals from the Caps blue line midway through the third period.In any event, they lost again with only the excuse that coming off a six game injury, $6.2 million dollar man, Alexander Semin, was not yet in game shape.If that was case, why did they send Jay Beagle, who gave the Caps 100% spark and heart all of the time for lots less money, back to Hershey the day before.Penguins Matt Cooke Suspended Four GamesPenguins Matt Cooke, who tried to injure Alex O with a knee to knee check in Saturday’s game, was suspended by the NHL for the 4 games for a hit from behind on Columbus’ Fedor Tyutin on Tuesday night.

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Fans are split on trade deadline moves.

Is Stars Brad Richards Coming to the Caps?There are some wild rumors circulating around the Caps are considering a trade of right wing Matt Bradley, one of the rookie goaltenders, Semyon Varlomov,Michal Neuvirth, or Braden Holtby, and a #1 draft pick, for Dallas center and leading scorer, Brad Richards. Richards leads the Stars in scoring with 22 goals and 39 assiststhe 2010-2011 campaign.

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Caps Blank Penguins

By Rodger M. WoodBrooks Laich 1The Caps played tough two way hockey for three periods to shut out arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 in their own version of the Super Bowl at the Verizon Centre Sunday afternoon.While the Penguins had difficulty mounting any offensive attack without star centers Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who were on the sidelines with injuries,the Caps, spurred on by the aggressive play of its second, third, and fourth lines, sent wave upon wave of offensive attackers on Penguin goalie Marc- Andre Fleury, who had to resort to acrobatics to keep the puck from going into the net.Taking advantage of the Penguins not covering up the point, Brooks Laich, assisted by defenseman John Erskine’s slap slot, scored the go ahead and eventual game winning goal at the 18:22 mark of the first period.Center Marcus Johansson victimized the Penguins with a flashy shorthanded goalwhich gave the Caps a 2-0 lead early in the second period.Mike Knuble’s pay off for an injured face and hard work was an empty netter at the end of the game to make the final score 3-0.In his first start since January 18th, Caps Michael Neuvirth blanked the Pens with 22 saves for the Caps first Penguins shutout at home since 1990 – 1991 season.The win didn’t come without any costs as Caps all star defenseman Mike Green took a shot in the head near the end of the first period. While Green said it was only a cut, he didn’t return to the ice in the second period and was under doctor’s observation Monday.The Penguin/Capitals rivalry became even more heated when Penguins Matt Cooke, who has a reputation for dirty play, tried to take Ovie out in the third period with a leg check.Hats off to Caps Matt Bradley for trying to get a piece of Cooke in the last minute of play, but unfortunately, he will have to wait until the end of upcoming road trip before he can exact due process.Earlier in the third period, engaging him in a wrestling match, Wilkes Barre call up Tim Wallace fought Caps David Steckel in an obvious attempt to make Steckel pay for an accidental blind side hit on Sydney Crosby in the Winter Classic.The Caps return to the ice against Pacific Division second place San Jose at home Tuesday night.

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