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Thu. Apr 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Backstrom will not play for Team Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus, according to a report in Svenska Dagbladet.
Impact: Team Sweden bench boss Par Marts said Backstrom declined the invitation due to family reasons. Backstrom has had an impressive but emotional season of hockey this year. He led the NHL with 44 power-play points, tying with Alexander Ovechkin to lead the Caps with 79 points while playing in all 82 games this year. Those accomplishments bookended an Olympic campaign that ended when Backstrom was held out of the gold-medal game against Canada for failing a drug test due to allergy medication, and would have to wait weeks to ultimately be awarded the silver medal. After that roller coaster ride ended with the Capitals missing the playoffs, one could hardly blame the Gavle native for wanting to spend a little time away from the game. Although the Capitals likely face a turbulent offseason, Backstrom remains one of the safest options at his position in all of fantasy hockey. His minus-20 performance should be viewed as an anomaly, and as long as he is getting consistent playing time with the likes of Ovechkin, there's no reason to believe he won't produce solid totals next season. Look for Backstrom to be one of the first centers taken in all formats during next season's fantasy drafts.
Thu. Apr 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Orlov will play for Team Russia in the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus, Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo Sports reports.
Impact: Orlov will suit up for Team Russia after taking a significant step with the Capitals during the 2013-14 season. He requested a trade early in the year due to a lack of playing time as well as shuttling between the NHL and AHL. However, the Capitals started playing Orlov more consistently, and the promising young Russian took great strides. Though he finished with only three goals and eight assists in 54 games, the 22-year-old Novokuznetsk native has emerged as a top-four defenseman for the Capitals, logging a career-high 19:36 per game this season. Orlov will get a chance to hone his offensive skills in Belarus after posting point-per-game totals with Russia's Under-20 World Junior Championship teams. With Mike Green's future in Washington uncertain, there may be an opportunity for Orlov to claim a larger role heading into next season as the team looks for another blueliner to share the load with workhorse John Carlson. Orlov will be worth keeping an eye on in the later rounds of next season's fantasy drafts.
Tue. Apr 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Strachan was reassigned to AHL Hershey on Tuesday.
Impact: With the Capitals' season now completed, Strachan will head back to the minors to get some action before the AHL schedule comes to a close. Strachan supplied two assists and 28 penalty minutes over his 18 games with the Capitals this season.
Tue. Apr 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Grabovski wants to know "who's going to be coach, who's going to be general manager" before he signs an extension with the Capitals, Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reports.
Impact: Grabovski's unwillingness to commit to the Capitals is certainly understandable, given the uncertainty surrounding the future of general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates. The Capitals have until July 1 to satisfy Grabovski's curiosity, at which point he will become an unrestricted free agent. Grabovski had a solid season for the Capitals when he was in the lineup, as he finished the campaign with 13 goals and 35 points in just 58 games, with injuries sidelining him for 24 contests. Grabovski's offensive talent at the center position will make him an attractive candidate in free agency, so the Capitals would be wise to settle their management structure with enough time to negotiate an extension for the 29-year-old Belorussian. Grabovski will be worth keeping an eye on in the later rounds of next season's fantasy drafts regardless of where he ends up.
Tue. Apr 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Head coach Adam Oates said he needs Green (ribs) to be "more consistent hockey player," CSN Washington reports.
Impact: Green sat out the last couple of games with an apparent rib injury, and missed 12 games with various ailments this season (which is actually an improvement for the oft-injured defenseman). It's not clear how much the injuries factored into the inconsistent play to which Oates alluded, but Green continues to struggle to regain the form from earlier in his career that made him an elite offensive defenseman. Oates referred to Green as an "enigma" and wanted Green to "play correct" on a nightly basis. Green appears to be have been supplanted by John Carlson on the team's top power-play unit, and will need to refine his game to earn back those coveted minutes. Still, the two-time Norris Trophy finalist has as much offensive upside as Ottawa's Erik Karlsson or Montreal's PK Subban. If he can stay healthy and be more consistent, he may ultimately return to the rarefied atmosphere of fantasy stud. Keep him on your radar heading into next season's drafts.
Tue. Apr 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ward has been selected to Team Canada's roster for the upcoming IIHF World Championships in Belarus, TSN's Darren Dreger reports.
Impact: Ward had a career year in his third season with the Capitals. Part of one of the more formidable third lines in the NHL this season, Ward compiled career highs with 24 goals and 49 points while spending most of the season alongside Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr. Entering the final season of a four-year, $12 million contact, Ward will have plenty of incentive to build on this year's campaign, and is certainly worth keeping an eye on in later rounds of next season's fantasy drafts.
Tue. Apr 15, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Brouwer has been selected to Team Canada's roster for the upcoming IIHF World Championships in Belarus, TSN's Darren Dreger reports.
Impact: Brouwer had a rough start to the 2013-2014 NHL season, but finished the campaign strong as he finished with a career high 25 goals and 43 points, enough to win favor with the Team Canada brass. Brouwer's penchant for physical play and face-off prowess make him an ideal candidate for deeper leagues heading into next season.
Mon. Apr 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ovechkin finished the season with 51 goals en route to his fourth Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.
Impact: The Great 8 finished with a team-high 79 points in 78 games, 39 of which came on the Capitals' vaunted power-play unit. Of course, much has been made in the media about Ovechkin's ability to compile 51 goals and a minus-35 rating in the same season. His lack of even-strength production at the end of the season is a bit alarming, but no player provides Ovi's blend of goal scoring and hit production. A turbulent offseason likely awaits a Capitals team that has missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. However, look for Ovechkin to be a top-five player heading into next season's fantasy drafts.
Mon. Apr 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: The Capitals have assigned LeBlanc to AHL Hershey.
Impact: LeBlanc, who has recorded 28 points in 65 games with Hershey to date, returns to the AHL after making his NHL debut on Sunday against the Lightning.
Mon. Apr 14, 2014 | RotoWire
News: The Capitals have assigned Brouillette to AHL Hershey.
Impact: Brouillette, who recorded two points in 10 games with the Capitals this season, returns to Hershey, where he has racked up 10 goals and 20 points in 48 AHL contests to date.
Apr 13, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby stopped all 32 shots he faced, but still took a shootout loss against the Lightning on Sunday.
Impact: Holtby played great in his final four starts to end the year, lifting his final save percentage to a solid .915. It could be enough to get the Capitals to try him out as their starter again next year.
Apr 13, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby will be in net for the Capitals in their regular-season finale on Sunday, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports.
Impact: Holtby and Jaroslav Halak have been splitting time as of late, and the timeshare will likely carry over into the postseason. Holtby will look to finish the season strong on Sunday.
Sat. Apr 12, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby will likely start Sunday's season finale against the Lightning, the Washington Post reports.
Impact: Holtby's been much better of late, and he'll look to end his disappointing season on a high note. With Jaroslav Halak slated to become a free agent this summer, Holtby could perhaps get a shot at the No. 1 goalie job, though the Caps would presumably want a strong second option in such a scenario.
Sat. Apr 12, 2014 | STATS
News: Beagle scored twice in Friday's 4-0 win over Chicago.
Impact: Beagle's two goals matched his total from his previous 77 games dating to last season.
Sat. Apr 12, 2014 | STATS
News: Halak made 24 saves in Friday's 4-0 win over Chicago.
Impact: Halak is 5-4-3 with a 2.31 GAA since joining the Capitals last month. His 29 wins on the season are a career best.
Sat. Apr 12, 2014 | RotoWire
News: LeBlanc was recalled from AHL Hershey on Saturday.
Impact: LeBlanc will make his NHL debut on Saturday assuming he takes the ice. The 26-year-old center is likely replacing Marcus Johansson, who left Friday's game with an upper-body injury and has been declared out for the finale.
Sat. Apr 12, 2014 | STATS
News: Johansson didn't return after getting hit in the left hand with the puck in the second period Friday.
Impact: He will also miss Sunday's season finale.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Coach Adam Oates went ahead and ruled Johansson (upper body) out for Sunday's season finale against the Lightning, Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports.
Impact: With the Capitals eliminated from playoff contention, it doesn't make much sense for the team to play Johansson while he's at less than full health. He'll have the entire offseason to recuperate from the injury he sustained Friday night. Johansson tallied eight goals and 36 assists over 80 games this season.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Beagle scored twice in Friday's 4-0 win over Chicago, doubling his goal total for the season.
Impact: Beagle had been amazingly quiet of late despite playing with Alexander Ovechkin for several games. He's a versatile forward who skews more toward the defensive side of the puck, as he has not cracked 10 points in any of the last four seasons but sits one point away after Friday's game.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ovechkin notched a power-play goal and an assist in Friday's win over Chicago, giving him seven points in the last five games.
Impact: Detractors of Ovechkin will note that a handful of these points came in games where the Caps were already eliminated from playoff contention. Despite his abysmal minus rating, Ovechkin has been a boon for owners in leagues which reward shots on goal and power-play points, but there have been stretches where he disappears. Despite his inconsistencies, owners will need to be ready to pay a first-round price for the elite scorer against next fall.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Halak stopped all 34 shots he faced in Friday's 4-0 win over Chicago.
Impact: Halak delivered against one of the league's best teams days after a media controversy surrounding his not playing against St. Louis earlier in the week. Halak is a free agent on July 1 and he may not remain with Washington. The Caps' system does little to insulate goaltenders and Halak is will be one of several viable starting netminders on the market.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Backstrom grabbed a goal and an assist in Friday's 4-0 shutout over Chicago, giving him three goals in the last three games.
Impact: Backstrom and the Caps have defeated Chicago and St. Louis in the last week after they were eliminated from playoff contention. Backstrom is one point away from hitting 80 for the season and remains one of the league's most consistent playmakers and a tremendous bet for assists and power-play points, as 38 of his 61 assists have come on the man advantage. That minus-20 rating isn't appealing, but Backstrom's numbers are worth the hit.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Johansson suffered an upper-body injury and will not return to Friday's game.
Impact: The Washington Post's Katie Carrera indicated that the injury is a result of Johansson taking a shot off the hand/arm. For now, he can be considered questionable for the Caps' regular-season finale Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | STATS
News: All three members of Washington's third line - Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr - had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over Carolina on Thursday night.
Impact: That performance nearly matched Fehr's output from the previous 13 games (one goal, three assists). His 13 goals and 31 points this season are his most since he posted career highs of 21 and 39 in 2009-10.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | STATS
News: All three members of Washington's third line - Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr - each had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over Carolina on Thursday night.
Impact: Chimera had one goal in his previous nine games and no points in his prior five. He has a career-high 41 points this season (15 goals, 26 assists).
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | STATS
News: All three members of Washington's third line - Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr - had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over Carolina on Thursday night.
Impact: Ward has two goals and three assists in his last three games. He has a career-high 24 goals and 48 points this season.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | STATS
News: Brouwer scored two goals and the Washington Capitals routed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Thursday night.
Impact: The Washington forward has seven goals and four assists in his last 12 games. He has posted career highs of 25 goals and 43 points this season.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Halak will be between the pipes Friday against the Blackhawks, Ben Raby of Washington Capitals Radio Network reports.
Impact: After watching Braden Holtby pick up the last three starts in goal, Halak will get a chance to end the season on a strong note. He'll hit free agency this offseason and will be looking to land a No. 1 role somewhere after the Blues traded him away at the deadline.
Fri. Apr 11, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ward supplied a goal and two assists in Thursday's 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes.
Impact: Ward continues to put his previous career-best numbers for a season in the dust, boosting his goal and assists totals to 24 apiece in both categories. He's provided at least a point in three straight contests.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby will be in the net Thursday against the Hurricanes, Adam Vingan of the Washington Post reports.
Impact: Coach Adam Oates figures to split the back-to-back between Holtby and Jaroslav Halak, with Holtby getting the top nod in light of his recent success. He's won two consecutive starts for the Capitals, stopping 63 of 67 shots.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Johansson picked up two assists and went plus-2 in Thursday's win over Carolina.
Impact: On the downside, he lost 10 of his 12 faceoffs and is just 3-for-19 in the circle over the last two games. The talented 23-year-old has had his share of struggles -- he hasn't scored a goal since March and has just six assists in that 18-game span. And it's not like he's been concentrating on defense, either, as he's minus-11 in that span.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Fehr scored a goal, added a pair of assists and went plus-3 in Thursday's victory over the Hurricanes.
Impact: This was Fehr's first three-point game of the season, so don't start expecting the veteran wing to turn out big games left and right. However, he's now pushed his plus-minus back to even for the season.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Chimera busted out with a goal, two assists and a plus-3 rating in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Hurricanes.
Impact: Chimera had been mired in a slump over his past nine games, recording one point (a goal) and a minus-2 rating, but he broke out big time in this one. He now owns a new career high in points -- 41.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Brower scored his 24th and 25th goals of the year in Thursday's win over Carolina.
Impact: Because he scored the Caps' third goal in a 5-2 win, Brouwer was credited with the game-winner. This has been the best season of his career in multiple offensive categories, including goals, but Brouwer still has just 43 points on the year, which simply won't play in shallower formats.
Thu. Apr 10, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby made 36 saves on 38 shots in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Hurricanes.
Impact: All of a sudden, Holtby's looking good again, with three straight wins and a .943 save percentage in that span. Though the Caps have been eliminated from playoff contention, it's good to see Holtby ending what's been a rough season on a high note.
Wed. Apr 9, 2014 | STATS
News: Carlson recorded his 25th and 26th assists of the season in Tuesday's win at St. Louis.
Impact: Carlson has recorded 13 assists over his last 20 contests.
Wed. Apr 9, 2014 | STATS
News: Backstrom notched his second multi-goal game of the season with two scores in Tuesday's win at St. Louis.
Impact: Backstrom has six goals and 18 assists over his last 22 games.
Wed. Apr 9, 2014 | STATS
News: Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and added two assists in Tuesday's win at St. Louis.
Impact: Ovechkin became the 11th player in league history with at least five seasons of 50-plus goals, though this marks his first such campaign since 2009-10.
Wed. Apr 9, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Penner (lower body) returned to the Capitals' lineup Tuesday against the Blues.
Impact: Penner saw just 8:58 TOI in his return following a one-game absence, turning in a blank scoresheet aside from two blocked shots. With three points in 15 games with the Capitals, he hasn't quite had the impact the team had hoped when they acquired him at the deadline.
Tue. Apr 8, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Carlson grabbed two assists in Tuesday's win over the Blues, but remains without a goal since way back on Feb. 2.
Impact: Carlson has 10 goals on the year, which is solid even if he hasn't scored one in more than two months. And, hey, he does have a very fantasy-relevant 13 assists in his last 20 games. Despite a total of 36 points that doesn't light anyone's hair on fire, Carlson's career-high 205 shots so far this season point to significant offensive development -- even if it hasn't necessarily been rewarded. You might turn a neat profit on him in next year's drafts.
Tue. Apr 8, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Backstrom tallied a pair of goals -- one on the power play and both assisted by Alexander Ovechkin -- in Tuesday's win over the Blues.
Impact: It's been a disappointing season for Backstrom, by which we mean he's got 77 points, including a crazy 43 on the power play -- but a minus-20 rating and only 17 goals.
Tue. Apr 8, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Holtby and the Caps came into St. Louis and stifled the Blues on Tuesday, with the 24-year-old goalie stopping 28 of 29.
Impact: Curiously, in what's been a rough year for Holtby, he's delivered two spectacular starts against the top team in the Western Conference. This was Holtby's first time allowing less than two goals since a Feb. 8 shutout of the Devils -- and yes, that was his last start before the Olympics.
Tue. Apr 8, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and contributed two assists in Tuesday's win over the Blues.
Impact: This is Ovechkin's fifth 50-goal season, and he's now three points short of his seventh 80-point campaign. He also went plus-1, and is now plus-2 over his last three games (recording five points in that span) as he tries to avoid the dubious distinction of being the first man to lead the NHL in goals while having the league's worst plus-minus. Ovie's now minus-34, while Steve Ott's pushed past him to minus-37.
Tue. Apr 8, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Capitals coach Adam Oates confirmed that Holtby will start Tuesday night's game in St. Louis, Monumental Network reports.
Impact: Oates stated that Halak was not "100 percent comfortable" playing his former team after being traded back in March. Holtby backstopped the Capitals to a 4-1 win over the Western Conference-leading Blues back in November, but both he and the Caps have struggled mightily since then. With only one win, a 3.50 GAA and .897 save percentage over the last two weeks, Holtby is worth playing if you desperately need goaltending stats, but don't expect miracles against a Blues team that is 28-7-4 on home ice this season.
Sun. Apr 6, 2014 | STATS
News: Kuznetsov scored in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lift the Capitals to a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday and keep Washington's playoff hopes alive.
Impact: The 21-year-old Russian and 2010 first-round draft pick is showing promise with three goals and five assists in his first 13 NHL games.