Screengrab via @CarrottBazooka

Since Alex Ovechkin has opted out of the All-Star Weekend (and has better things to do anyway), Dennis Wideman is now Washington’s lone representative in Ottawa. While Wideman is perhaps slightly less likely to don a hat and sunglasses and do trick shots, he’s a Capital, so we love him all the same. We’ll be covering Wideman’s foray into the glamorous life of an All-Star, so check back for updates, because let’s face it, you’re already bored without hockey.

Dennis Wideman was picked in the 15th round with the second-to-last pick that could be used on a defenseman, before only Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. This means that we can get hipster now if we want and call him underrated. We knew Dennis Wideman when he wasn’t cool. Logan Couture was picked last overall and won a brand new caaaaarrrrr! Somehow it just wasn’t the same without Ovechkin there laughing and taking pictures.

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Jonathan Hayward

You know the deal: Doug Johnson. Puck Buddys. Twitter.

The Puck Drop: Well, that was unpleasant, Caps.

That “nervous feeling” we had?  A little too much rest, a little too little regard for the opponent? That, combining with a too many penalties, snapped our garters and our streak. Lookie here, Canada: we tried being nice, and you had to go and dump all over our parade. We obviously need to approach this in a different way.

The Set Up: If you’re anything like us – and frankly, what are the chances of that? – you’ve always had a secret crush on Vancouver. It’s like Portland, but with less smug. And more Olympics. So we were seriously pulling for the Canucks to smear Boston’s smelly faces all over the ice last June, which they didn’t. (They did sort of try to riot, however, which was really very cute.) But now it’s different. City-crush be darned; we want the Canucks, and we want to break them, especially after that Edmonton nonsense with the Jonas Brothers Line, and that brick-wall Japanese netminder of theirs, Kabuki something.

And we just might get them. From last year’s highs the Canucks have fallen… well, not to new lows, but certainly somewhere in the mid-level yawns. 4-5-1 is not the start of a championship season. Pucks on net seems to be the biggest problem; in only 10 games so far they’ve been shut out three times. So….

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Marcus Johansson Washington Capitals

Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz

Head coach Bruce Boudreau is not shying away from having Marcus Johansson center Alex Ovechkin on the top line, so it’s time to put the sophomore Swede under the microscope. Specifically, what can fans expect him to produce in his second season?

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Stephen Weiss

When I posted my thoughts on which second-line centers might be a fit for the Capitals, many of you asked me: “What about Stephen Weiss of the Florida Panthers?” So I am going to use that as today’s collective Feed the Machine question and see what the numbers say.

The first step is to take a look at what it is going to cost in terms of the salary cap. Since Washington has $6,686,351 in cap space at the deadline, Weiss’s $3.1 million cap hit should not be an issue. Plus, he is under contract through the 2012-13 season so it is important to note that this wouldn’t be a rental.

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A Portrait of supposedly the 9th best Center in the NHL, Nicklas Backstrom. (Photo by Al Bello/Editing by Ian Oland of RMNB)

Adrian Dater had an interesting post naming the top 10 centers in the NHL. As you would expect with 30 teams, each with 4 centers, some big names were omitted. The ranking is also subject to much debate. Take a look:

  1. Sidney Crosby, PIT
  2. Pavel Datsyuk, DET
  3. Henrik Sedin, VAN
  4. Jonathan Toews, CHI
  5. Mike Richards, PHI
  6. Evgeni Malkin, PIT
  7. Mikko Koivu, MIN
  8. Joe Thornton, SJS
  9. Nicklas Backstrom, WSH
  10. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA

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Now the Real Show Begins. Bruins Beat Caps 4-3 (SO)

Jason Chimera Gets Chippy With Tim Thomas

Alex Ovechkin is held pointless against the Bruins. Bummer. (Photos by Nick Wass)

Alex Ovechkin is held pointless against the Bruins. Bummer. (Photos by Nick Wass)

The last game of the season is a curious thing. The playoffs are a sure thing, and the only matters left to question are individual achievements and not getting injured. So then, was today a bust?

The Boston Bruins, filled out by AHL call-ups, bested the Washington Capitals in 65 minutes of hockey and three rounds of a shootout.  Whatever. We’re over it.  Upward and onward.

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Hart Trophy Should Be A Two-Horse Race

It's a two-horse race. Will Henrik Sedin win the Hart Trophy this year? (Photo by Harry How)

With the regular season winding down it’s only fitting we should start seeing opinions on who should win the Hart Trophy, “given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team.”

Edward Fraser feels there are a quintet of contenders while Ken Campbell argues Henrik Sedin deserves to be included in the conversation but doesn’t deserve to win it. Tim Morgan thinks both Gaborik and Lundqvist deserve nominations but when it comes down to it, based on previous voting, it is shaping up to be a two-horse race: Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Sedin.  (Sorry Sidney, maybe next year?)

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