Opinion: The Latest Reports from The Washington Posts ‘Capital Insider’

Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, center left facing camera, watches the time during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Capitals won 3-2 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Here is the latest reports from The Washington Posts ‘Capital Insider’.

Capitals taking opponents’ best shots during their rough stretch
Washington is 2-2-1 in past five, which have come against teams fighting for playoff spots.

Capitals keep third defensive pair in rotation
Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney and Mike Weber are in and out of the lineup.

Capitals suffer rare back-to-back losses after 5-2 setback to the San Jose Sharks
The Capitals can’t execute another patented comeback and fall to close out West Coast trip.

Capitals vs. Sharks: Game 68 discussion thread
The Capitals can clinch a playoff spot with a win Saturday. Join the discussion.

On-ice workouts ‘might be a possibility’ for John Carlson next week
Carlson joined the team on its trip to California.

Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Gretzky go on double date in L.A.
The two NHL greats have met before but this was their first time dining together.

Capitals have set a record for consecutive one-goal games
Washington has played 12 consecutive one-goal games.

The biggest reason to worry about the Caps’ playoff chances. And why it may not matter.
The Capitals have won a league-leading 21 one-goal games this season. That hasn’t always been a good thing for playoff success.

Newest Capitals bonding with teammates on West Coast swing
Road trip helps Daniel Winnik and Mike Weber fit in.

Nicklas Backstrom breaks scoring drought against Kings
The center nonethless match his goal total from last season by scoring in the overtime loss.

Capitals rally, then fall short in overtime against Kings in Los Angeles
Washington rallies with three third-period goals before Jeff Carter scores in the extra session.

Capitals vs. Kings: Game 67 discussion thread
The Capitals continue the California swing. Join the discussion thread.

Justin Williams, Mike Richards return to Staples Center
The two left the Los Angeles Kings under very different circumstances.

Capitals’ latest fourth line is tops with Coach Barry Trotz
In just four games, Jay Beagle, Mike Richards and Daniel Winnik have jelled.

How would Bruce Boudreau compare these Capitals to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team?
Boudreau coached the last Washington team that was as dominant and successful as this one.

Capitals outlast Ducks in shootout to open West Coast swing with a victory
T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom score in the tiebreaker to help beat Anaheim.

Capitals vs. Ducks: Game 66 discussion thread
The league’s best team plays the hottest team. Join the discussion thread.

Matt Niskanen flourishing on the first power-play unit
Niskanen’s shot from the point generated two power-play goals last week.

Capitals have an abundance of leaders, even if they don’t lead like you’d expect
Where there once was a leadership void, the Capitals now have more leaders than can wear captain’s letters. And they show it in subtle ways.

Capitals’ longest road trip comes at a good time
Washington’s next three opponents are the best three teams in the Pacific Division.

Ovechkin gets major penalty for boarding, but doesn’t expect suspension
“Even the referee said I get five minutes because I was heavier than him, so it’s kind of strange,” Ovechkin said.

Matt Niskanen nets overtime winner as Capitals top Bruins to reach 100 points
Niskanen’s shot from the point gives Washington its 48th victory of the season.

Capitals vs. Bruins: Game 65 discussion thread
The Capitals are hoping to avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the first time this season. Join the discussion.

Capitals lobby for Matt Niskanen to be added to Team USA World Cup roster
With injuries to the defense, Niskanen has become Washington’s top defenseman this year.

Capitals vs. Rangers: Game 64 discussion thread
This is the last meeting between the Metropolitan Division foes. Join the discussion.

Daniel Winnik is getting comfortable with the Capitals quickly
Winnik played 13 minutes and 9 seconds in his debut on Wednesday.

What’s Russian for ‘brilliant’? Evgeny Kuznetsov
Washington’s other stars shouldn’t obscure the skill of Capitals’ leading scorer.

With Dmitry Orlov, ‘take the good with the bad’
The defenseman will step into a greater role with John Carlson out of the lineup.

One week, three babies: Capitals’ family keeps growing
Marcus Johansson, Taylor Chorney and Mike Weber all welcomed babies in the last week.

I didn’t miss Brooks Laich until he returned in a Maple Leafs uniform
The Caps’ tribute video for Laich did the trick.

Braden Holtby will have his first Team Canada experience in the World Cup
“It’s pretty cool,” Holtby said. “Obviously, it’s an honor.”

How much money would you make betting on the Caps to win every game?
The Caps are a gushing geyser of very green cash for pro-Washington gamblers.

Nate Schmidt was scratched from Maple Leafs game with lower-body injury
The defenseman is listed as “day-to-day” by the Capitals.

In Brooks Laich’s return, it’s the Capitals who turn a new Leaf
Verizon Center gives ex-Cap warm embrace, then cheers hosts to a 3-2 win over Toronto.

Capitals vs. Maple Leafs: Game 63 discussion thread
Brooks Laich is already back in town. Join the discussion.

Initial World Cup rosters feature Capitals players
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov made the initial roster for Team Russia.

Brooks Laich returns to Verizon Center in a different jersey
“I wanted to make a [Stanley] Cup run, so it was definitely surprising to me,” Laich said on Wednesday morning.

Even Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire are now praising the Caps
Maybe the only skepticism that remains is deep in the heart of longtime Caps fans. And orange radio hosts.

Mike Weber makes Capitals debut and Daniel Winnik arrives in Washington
Winnik will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Capitals start slow again — but finish fast once more to beat Penguins
Matt Niskanen’s third-period score is the difference in 3-2 win over his former team.

Capitals vs. Penguins: Game 62 discussion thread
The blizzard game finally gets played. Join the discussion.

Alex Ovechkin named NHL’s ‘second star’ of February
Ovechkin scored 12 goals in 13 games.

Mike Weber to make Capitals debut against Penguins
Weber will play his first Capitals game against his hometown team.

Former Caps teammates wish Brooks Laich well, plan to shoot him in the foot
Trade of Washington’s longest tenured athlete is ‘hard for everybody to digest,’ but players say that’s just the business of hockey.

Brooks Laich makes Maple Leaf debut as he tries to ‘move on past’ trade
The former Capital said “There’s certain times where a little wave of emotion comes.”

GM Brian MacLellan on trading Brooks Laich: ‘It’s hard to do.’
Deal made business sense, especially with implications for next season, but was emotional nonetheless.

Daniel Winnik was ‘shocked’ to be traded to Capitals
Winnik is expected to play against his former team on Wednesday.

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals players tweet goodbyes to Brooks Laich
Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson have already bid Laich adieu on social media.

Why Brooks Laich mattered to Washington sports
Hockey’s happy evangelist moves on to Toronto, and Washington sports look a little bit less recognizable.

Capitals trade Brooks Laich to Toronto Maple Leafs
Laich, defenseman Connor Carrick and a 2016 second-round pick are exchanged for forward Daniel Winnik and a 2016 fifth-round pick.

Capitals acquire Ryan Bourque in minor trade with Rangers
Bourque will report to the Capitals’ American Hockey League team.

Capitals finally start fast, but can’t sustain it in 3-2 loss to Blackhawks
Washington had its best first period in weeks, but Chicago prevailed in what might have been a Stanley Cup preview.

Jay Beagle to play against Blackhawks
To activate Beagle, John Carlson is moved to long-term injured reserve.

Capitals vs. Blackhawks: Game 61 discussion thread
The two best teams play each other in a brunch hockey game. Join the discussion thread.

John Carlson expected out three to four weeks after procedure
Carlson is expected to be placed on long-term injured reserve.

Brooks Laich put on waivers
But he’s not going anywhere, at least not yet.

John Carlson misses Wild game because of lingering injury
Carlson was ruled out for same lower-body injury that kept him out of 12 games before all-star break.

Capitals finally get a power play, and Alex Ovechkin makes most of it
Winger’s 40th goal of the season ties game early in third period, and Dmitry Orlov delivers late for a 3-2 win over the Wild.

Capitals vs. Wild: Game 60 discussion thread
John Carlson is a late injured scratch. Join the discussion.

Michael Latta latest Capitals player to have illness
Stanislav Galiev will likely be in the lineup for a third straight game.

Contract talks with pending free agents to happen after the season
Forwards Jason Chimera and Mike Richards will be unrestricted free agents. Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta will be restricted free agents at the end of the season.

Here’s what Caps must do at NHL trade deadline: Nothing much
After two successful offseasons and a brilliant start to the season, there’s not a lot of work left for Washington’s front office.

Capitals’ fourth line could see some upheaval before trade deadline
The team has to clear some cap room to activate Jay Beagle.

Capitals GM says team is looking for depth instead of making a splash
The Capitals are looking for depth for a long playoff run.

The Caps won’t pull a Spurs and rest their starters
A division title is nearly assured, but there are no plans for Washington to start using strategic rest days.

Another slow start, another furious rally, but Capitals fall short
Braden Holtby was pulled after digging a three-goal hole, and the comeback falls short in 4-3 loss to Canadiens.

Barry Trotz on acquiring Mike Weber: ‘I think it’s a real good move for us.’
The Capitals’ Coach said Weber is a depth piece for what the team hopes will be a long playoff run.

Capitals vs. Canadiens: Game 59 discussion thread
The Capitals are going for a fifth straight win. Join the discussion thread.

Possession charge against Mike Richards is stayed in court
The prosecution will not move forward on charges of possession of a controlled substance.

Tony Kornheiser hopes Caps shed ‘choking dog’ label, win Stanley Cup
Kornheiser says fans can’t ignore team’s playoff past.

Stanley Cup or bust? Yeah, but one Caps veteran says it’s a sensitive issue.
Brooks Orpik says too much pressure contributed to playoff disappointment in Pittsburgh.

Jay Beagle is nearing a return, but he can’t be activated until cap room is cleared
Beagle is expected to travel with the team to Chicago for Sunday’s game.

What Mike Weber had to say about being traded to the Capitals
“You’re going to Washington with a chance to do something pretty special there,” Weber said.

Capitals acquire defenseman Mike Weber from Sabres
Buffalo retained half of the veteran defenseman’s salary and received a draft pick in exchange.

As Capitals play out the regular season, complacency is the opponent
Coach Barry Trotz tinkers with lines, Braden Holtby keeps playing, record in peril as team tries to keep its focus.

Tale of the tape: Capitals vs. Warriors
From celebrity fans to signature moves, how do the NHL and NBA’s best stack up?

Capitals are ‘going to try to do something’ at the trade deadline, Trotz says
Don’t expect “anything drastic.”

Marcus Johansson (illness) questionable for Wednesday
Johansson wasn’t at the team’s practice on Tuesday.

Sorry Warriors, but the Caps are the most dominating team in sports
Capitals have the most wins through 58 games of any team in NHL history.

Michael Latta adjusting to playing wing to stay in the lineup
The 24-year-old’s spot could be in jeopardy when Jay Beagle returns.

Mike Richards scores his first Capitals goal in victory over Coyotes
Richards and Alex Ovechkin score 26 seconds apart in the third period to give Washington a 3-2 win over Arizona.

Capitals vs. Coyotes: Game 58 discussion thread
Marcus Johansson is out with an illness. Join the discussion.

Marcus Johansson misses morning skate with illness
He’s probable to play against the Coyotes.

If you can’t enjoy this Capitals season, maybe sports fandom isn’t for you
Some local observers have opined that the regular season means nothing for this Caps team. Those people are being stupid.

For John Carlson, there’s been an ‘adjustment period’ since injury
“You can tell it was affecting his play,” Coach Barry Trotz said.

Capitals’ power play struggling with execution
The Capitals’ power play has just four goals in its last 39 chances

Why the Capitals are experimenting with new forward lines
“Just sometimes it’s a little refreshing,” Coach Barry Trotz said

Brooks Orpik’s surprise two-point game lifts Capitals over Devils, 4-3
Defenseman scores the game-winner late in the third period as Washington rallies at home.

Brooks Orpik’s surprise two-point game lifts Capitals over Devils, 4-3
Defenseman scores the game-winner late in the third period as Washington rallies at home.

Capitals vs. Devils: Game 57 discussion thread
Washington is looking for a third straight win. Join the discussion.

Jay Beagle returns to team practices
After getting surgery on Jan. 2, Beagle could be back in the lineup in a week.

Braden Holtby’s numbers have dipped slightly
Holtby has a .925 save percentage and a 2.15 goals-against average with a 36-6-3 record.

Caps’ Braden Holtby gets the HoltBeast action figure he deserves
HoltBeast figure features paws and a removable helmet.

Caps raise season ticket prices for eighth time in last nine years
The average ticket price will increase by 8 percent next year.

Move over Kirk Cousins. John Wall and Evgeny Kuznetsov are D.C.’s best passers
Wizards point guard and Capitals forward make incredible assists look routine.

Capitals sign defenseman Taylor Chorney to two-year extension
Chorney will make $775,000 in 2016-17 and $825,000 in 2017-18.

Justin Williams scores in overtime to lift Capitals over Islanders, 3-2
Reshuffled lineup produces as Alex Ovechkin scores twice in third win over Metropolitan rival this season.

Capitals vs. Islanders: Game 56 discussion thread
Washington won the first two meetings against New York. Join the discussion.

Tom Wilson growing into a greater role
Wilson’s already eclipsed his point totals from his first two seasons in the league.

Barry Trotz addresses the approaching trade deadline
The Capitals will have around $1.15 million in annual cap space at the deadline.

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