Thursday Caps Clips: Returning to Form

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 18: Michal Neuvirth #30 of the Washington Capitals smothers the puck in front of Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 18, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Capitals defeated the Devils 3-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Welcome back, Alex Ovechkin. You should plan to stick around for a bit. [WaPo, NYT]
  • "It’s always amazing how much smarter a coach looks when his best players play their best." Indeed. [CSNW]
  • ... and it's interesting that the best players played better apart. [Puck Daddy, WaPo]
  • Don't look now, but Michal Neuvirth has put together a nice little string of games ... [WaPo, WashTimes, DCEx, CSNW]
  • ... which may ultimately benefit Tomas Vokoun. [KOL]
  • Why has Sarge been stripped of his stripes? [CRtC]
  • Brooks Laich dropped in on Marek vs. Wyshynski to talk about concussions, why he hasn't watched any of 24/7, and his grandfather's hockey shorts. [Puck Daddy]
  • Laich also did a phoner with Friend o' the Blog Danny Rouhier, filling in for The Junks. [106.7 The Fan (audio)]
  • And Mike Knuble chatted up LaVar and Dukes. [106.7 The Fan (audio)]
  • At the 30+ games-played mark, a look at the NHL's remaining strength of schedule. [On the Forecheck]
  • Details emerged yesterday about some of the terms of Dale Hunter's coaching contract. [106.7 The Fan, WashTimes, WaPo]
  • And by the way, his London Knights are playing well under new head coach Mark Hunter and remain the top-ranked major junior team. In case you were wondering. [CHL.ca]
  • Fan frenzy at Kettler makes the Post's top pictures of 2011. [WaPo]
  • Here's your handy guide to the 2012 World Junior Championships. [FanPost]
  • Team Russia prepares to defend its gold medal with Evgeny Kuznetsov its Captain and only returning member. Two medallist teammates and two potential members of this year's squad perished in the Lokomotiv plane crash this summer; the coach and players are still wrestling with the loss. [Globe and Mail, National Post]
  • For the first time in 15 years, the NHL is widely available on Russian TV. [RMNB]
  • Finally, news you can use: John Walton made the welcome announcement that his game call will now be broadcast in real time inside the Verizon Center on 87.9FM via low-power transmitter. [Capitals Voice]

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