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Friday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Devils Game Day

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Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Previews of tonight's throwdown at the Rock, Joel Ward earns a Masterton nomination and more.

Elsa

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Because everyone loves a good bracket, we've rounded up 64 of the Caps' failures and pitted them against each other. The feel-good post of the year! [Rink]
  • There are times when Adam Oates's lines seem... suspect. But at this point, is there an "optimal" lineup for the Caps? [Rink]
  • Previews of tonight's battle in Newark from VogsNHL.comAP and Peerless, and be sure to check out our SB Nation pals over at In Lou We Trust for the other side of tonight's matchup.
    • The Devils' road to the playoffs is even steeper than the Caps, but they've got their eye on the team that's one point ahead of them... the Caps. [Devils]
    • They've also been working on the shootout, because they're now winless in 11 tries this season. [Fire & Ice]
  • Congratulations to Joel Ward, who was selected by the Washington chapter of the PHWA as a nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. [Monumental video@jrandalward42@kcarreraSporting News]
  • News and notes from today's pre-flight practice:
    • In general. [Monumental video (OatesBrouwerRinkside Update/Johansson), Caps OT]
    • On Wednesday, Adam Oates called out his captain for quitting on a play. Yesterday he made no apologies for it, and said Alex Ovechkin needs to hold himself accountable. [CSNW]
    • He also said Ovechkin needs to improve at even strength, as #8 is stuck in a 16-game streak without a point at five-on-five. All that time with Jay Beagle probably had nothing to do with it. [WaPo]
    • Of course, considering Ovechkin has been the only one on his line scoring at even strength, period, the burden may not be squarely on his shoulders. [TSN]
    • Breaking: Defense is still a problem for this Caps' team.  [CSNW]
    • Defense: Broken, as the team will again be without Jack Hillen and Patrick Wey on the blue line this weekend. [CSNW]
    • As the Caps crawl toward the end of the season, their playoff push is hampered by guys playing as individuals and not as a team. 76 games in. 76. [WaPoExpress]
    • And about that playoff push... it got a little tougher last night. Yikes. [NHL.com]
  • The team's season is just bleeding away at this point. Slow, painful bleeding. [Peerless]
  • Meanwhile, there is no joy in Mudvil-, er, Washington these days. [WaPo]
  • Talking George McPhee, Adam Oates and everything Caps-related with the Capitals Hill gang. [Capitals Hill]
  • When things go south, all eyes turn to one man. So... how do you solve a "problem" like Ovechkin?
    • Stop playing him with a guy who has just 14 assists in his career! [PHT (video)]
    • Strip him of the captaincy!! [SI]
    • TRADE HIM!!! [WaPo]
  • Revisiting the Caps' power play and just how reliant the team has been on their work with the extra man. [News from the Nosebleeds]
  • The goal of just about every NHLer is simple: win a Stanley Cup. So what would make them want to come and play in DC? [Talk the Red]
  • Prospect chatter:
    • Caps' prospect Riley Barber will return to Miami University of Ohio for his junior year next year. [MU RedhawksSBN College HockeyTHW]
    • With his WHL season over, Caps' prospect Chandler Stephenson may be making the trek to Hershey soon, as he's close to signing an entry-level contract. [Leader-Post]
  • Scoping out this summer's Swede-heavy draft class, including a kid whose name might appeal to a Caps' scouting staff that likes the legacy picks. Tiny Circles! [NHL.com]
  • Watch as Dustin Penner's skillz get put to the test in a series of intense physical and mental battles (and a fair amount of smack talk). [NBC4 (video)]
  • Finally, happy 61st birthday to Rob Murray and happy 33rd to Garret Stroshein.