2011-12 Year-End Review: Dennis Wideman

Photo credit: Clydeorama

If we were reviewing Dennis Wideman‘s season before the All-Star Break, or even in March, this would be an entirely different story. We’d talk about his almost-hat-trick, his stellar offense, his first All-Star Game. We still talk about all of those things, but there is a lot more yelling — because unfortunately for Dennis Wideman, the playoffs happened.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Joel Ward


Photo credit: John Tlumacki

The search for the mythical Playoffs Performer led George McPhee to get a little carried away bidding for Joel Ward last summer–and like it always does, Ward’s paycheck led to expectations. When the playoffs rolled around, we were all watching intently to see if Joel Ward would evolve into a Charizard or something.

And you know what? He kind of did.

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The NHL awards are always a weird hodgpodge affair of C-list celebrities and jokes that seemed funny before they were read off the teleprompter, but we got our own slice of specialized absurdity tonight, just for the Caps. In the video below, former Arrested Development star Will Arnett impersonates Brendan Shanahan — bored monotone and all — and disciplines Alex Ovechkin for a parking violation.

…Actually, we can see that happening.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Jeff Schultz

Jeff Schultz has a good, strong German name with lots of consonants, which makes it very satisfying to yell. This is fortunate, since we yelled his name a lot this season. If you yell it angrily enough, it almost feels like swearing, doesn’t it? We appreciate the small blessings.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Alex Semin

Via carrotbazooka.tumblr.com

There is no defining Alex Semin. Many men have tried and gone mad in the attempt.

This season, though, Matt Bradley helped us out by distilling the thousands of questions about Semin into only one: Does Sasha care? We spent the rest of the season trying to find the answer, helped by scientific bar graphs, endearing drawings, and caps-locked hashtags. Yet here we are in what could be the last few days of Semin’s career with the Capitals, and we still don’t have the answer. Does Sasha really care? Perhaps we’ll never know.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Mathieu Perreault

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

This year, Mathieu Perreault did a good deal to shake off the labels of streakiness and inconsistency that have plagued him, scoring at a better clip and sticking with the team all year long. Now, all he needs is a six-inch growth spurt to shut up critics altogether. We think he’s got it in him.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

We could write whole essays about Alex Ovechkin‘s season. We could write a three-act play, we could write a bestselling series of novels about our namesame, the Russian Machine, and the ups and downs of his career.

But don’t worry, we didn’t, so don’t be afraid to click past the jump. Mostly it’s a lot of gifs of belly patting, which accomplishes the same effect anyway.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Dmitry Orlov

Dima meets the Caps Fan Club, freaks out.

Dmitry Orlov was a surprise — but unlike most of the surprises we had this year, he was a pleasant one. The Russian rookie got his chance early on in a difficult season and never looked back, shooting and checking his way to our hearts. We’re almost glad his first season is over, though, because we weren’t sure his nose was going to survive.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Michal Neuvirth

Photo credit: Nam Y. Hun

Michal Neuvirth is the most patient goaltender in the world.

He had every reason to believe that he would be the starting goalie this year, and there was a slight hiccup in that plan when the team brought in veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun. Disappointing, of course, but Neuvirth didn’t pitch a fit about it, he just put his head down and tried to work harder. Neuvirth struggled this year, but when Vokoun struggled as well, Neuvirth was always there to step in.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Brooks Laich

Brooks Laich celebrates

Photo credit: Rob Carr

Brooks Laich took his jack-of-all-trades role to a new level this year, spending time on wing, center, and even playing one game on defense when the team was in a tight spot. Perhaps his most memorable moments were the ones that came between play, however — every time Laich was knocked down, he got back up. We’re not using that figuratively, this guy is resilient.

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