Box Seats: Kareem El-Alaily


Posted at 02:32 PM ET, 11/28/2011

Why Bruce Boudreau had to go

Bruce Boudreau could never pound home the team concept to the freelancing Young Guns, who thought they were entitled to greatness without having to evolve their games or buy in to a team concept.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  02:32 PM ET, 11/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 03:03 PM ET, 10/05/2011

Capitals 2011-12 season preview: Talk is cheap for Ovechkin and the Young Guns; it’s time to back it up

The reality is that while the Capitals improved several of their weaknesses, they also failed to properly address their two most significant shortcomings: the deficiencies at center and the all-too-loose locker room culture that pervades the team.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  03:03 PM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 04:55 PM ET, 07/05/2011

Analyzing the Caps recent signings

The additions to the Caps may not have improved their regular season potential — they are still going to be roughly a 110-point team — but, they are, without a doubt, a grittier bunch that will be harder to play against come playoff time.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  04:55 PM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 05/05/2011

The core problem

That onus for Washington’s playoff failures should be placed on the Caps core players: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green. When the going has gotten tough in the playoffs, this group collectively has never responded at a superstar level.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  01:00 PM ET, 05/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 04/29/2011

Wounds from 2003 playoff collapse to Lightning linger

Washington’s 2003 playoff series with Tampa Bay was an all-too-familiar nightmare as the Caps coughed up a 2-0 lead to lose the series and help springboard the Bolts to the 2004 Cup. Now, eight years later, the Capitals finally have their chance to settle the score.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  11:45 AM ET, 04/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:46 AM ET, 04/27/2011

15 thoughts on the Caps

To say the Caps are historically an unlucky team in the playoffs is like saying that Philadelphia fans are unfriendly. Lady Luck rarely pays D.C. a visit in the spring, but she has this year.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  11:46 AM ET, 04/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 04/19/2011

Capitals must make statement in Game 4

Nervous? Do you have a worried feeling that this Caps-Rangers series - seemingly in the Caps control as recently as Sunday morning - could all come crashing down at any moment? You’re not alone.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  10:59 AM ET, 04/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 04/05/2011

Three goalies are better than one

In a perfect world one member of the goaltending trio would get hot and carry the team. But as we know much too well, nothing works out perfectly in a Washington Capitals postseason.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  10:58 AM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 03/17/2011

Giving credit where it’s due

In merely half-a-season Boudreau has transformed the Caps from a one-dimensional, run-n-gun style to a team that can employ multiple systems based on the situation and score.

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  04:53 PM ET, 03/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 02/01/2011

What ails the Caps?

Much is riding on the final 31 games of the season. While the Caps are a mere four points out of first place in the Southeast, they’re also only seven points up on ninth place Carolina. Being in the jumbled...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  12:28 PM ET, 02/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:48 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Wanted in D.C.: a centrist mindset

Want to know how to spark a hearty debate among old-school Cap fans? Ask him/her the last time the Caps had two highly-skilled, impact centers on the roster. Some may go back to 2002-03, when the Caps had Robert Lang...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  11:48 AM ET, 01/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:11 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Why the Caps need to win the division

At the start of the season I thought the Caps were a 110-point team who would play at last year’s level and only see a decline in their point totals from last season because of an improved Southeast division. Well,...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  02:11 PM ET, 01/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 09:58 AM ET, 01/13/2011

What to do with Alex Semin?

An important decision looms in the coming weeks for George McPhee and the Caps: what to do with soon-to-be-free agent Alex Semin? Extend him for multiple years? Extend him for one year? Trade him? All are realistic scenarios for the...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  09:58 AM ET, 01/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/03/2011

Truly a Classic experience

On Nov. 3, 2008, FedEx Field was overrun by 25,000 Pittsburgh Steeler fans who came to cheer their team on to victory over the Redskins. It was one of the all-too-frequent lowlights of the Dan Snyder era. On Jan. 1,...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 12/28/2010

A weekend's worth of thoughts

Perreault to Wing? We saw the best and worst of Mathieu Perreault over the past two games. He played great Sunday night against the Canes, creating chances, netting his fifth goal and drawing the Caps a major penalty in only...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  10:55 AM ET, 12/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Where's plan B?

Caps Nation seems to be split down the middle trying to figure out whether this six-game slide is a fluke due to injuries and bad luck, or if the Caps really have core issues. This being Washington D.C., I’m going...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  02:28 PM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Five Friday thoughts

Tomas Vokoun - Last night's 3-0 loss to the Florida Vokouns Panthers was the best regular season goaltending I've seen from a Caps opponent since Dec. 20, 2008, when Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki stopped 25 first period shots on his...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  11:30 AM ET, 12/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 12/08/2010

Is Johansson a viable option for second-line center?

First off I’d like to offer a mea culpa on my post last week. I misunderstood the salary cap numbers on CapGeek which consequently affected my conclusion, which was that the Caps would likely need to give up a top-nine...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  12:02 PM ET, 12/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 08:54 AM ET, 12/02/2010

The Hannan trade and its impact on 2C

If you’ve read my blog since the start of the season you know that I’ve been clamoring for upgrades to the center position and to the defense. So let me start by stating the obvious: I love the Hannan-for-Fleischmann trade!...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  08:54 AM ET, 12/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 01:39 PM ET, 11/22/2010

At the quarter turn: An improved defense?

In hockey, defensive performance can be broken down into two unique parts: team defense and goaltending. On some teams you get below average team defensive play – evidenced by a high number of shots against – that’s compensated for by...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  01:39 PM ET, 11/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 11/17/2010

John Erskine and other random thoughts

I’ve been meaning to write about John Erskine’s improved play for two weeks now and lo-and-behold he puts together the game of his life and is now getting love from all over the blogosphere. My original intent was to write...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  12:22 PM ET, 11/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 08:43 AM ET, 11/12/2010

A view from the Wahoo side of the Potomac

Some of you may recognize me as one of the Capitals Box Seats bloggers. In addition to my noted love for the Caps I also have a passion for UVa. football. Seeing that it's time for the 75th installment of...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  08:43 AM ET, 11/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Terps, Terps | Tags:  Kareem El-Alaily, Terps

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/10/2010

Thank you, Ron Weber

Ron Weber finally received his overdue induction into the Hockey Hall-of-Fame this week. Mr. Weber was the radio voice of the Caps from 1974-1997, never missing a game in 24 seasons. Many folks have sung Mr. Weber’s praises over the...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 01:26 PM ET, 11/02/2010

The most divisive issue in Caps-land

I’m ready to tackle the most divisive issue in Caps-land. Not the lack of a 2C or a shut-down defenseman, not Bruce Boudreau’s playoff coaching abilities. No, someone much more divisive. Jeff Schultz. Let’s do this. I was chatting recently...

By Kareem El-Alaily  |  01:26 PM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 10/28/2010

Analysis: Constructing a Stanley Cup winner

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/box-seats/boxseatsart/Elite%20Table.JPG

By Box Seats blogger  |  04:00 PM ET, 10/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Three Tuesday thoughts

By Kareem El-Alaily Mathieu Perreault: There are folks this week ready to anoint Mathieu Perreault as our permanent second-line center (2C). A two-point night against the Thrash plus some newfound chemistry with Alex Semin has definitely revved up the fanbase....

By Box Seats blogger  |  02:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:32 PM ET, 10/21/2010

The odds of NHL drafting success

By Kareem El-Alaily This week, Caps 2007 first round draft pick Anton Gustafsson quietly left the Hershey Bears and headed back home to Sweden. AnGus, as the fanbase calls him, struggled with injuries since being drafted, first with his back...

By Box Seats blogger  |  02:32 PM ET, 10/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 10/19/2010

More on the Caps and the media

By Kareem El-Alaily The Caps and the Media Part 2: I’ve received a lot of feedback on my last “Media/Free Pass” post, both in the comments section as well as through back-channels. This topic clearly got people worked up whichever...

By Box Seats blogger  |  02:14 PM ET, 10/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 10/13/2010

Are the Caps getting a free pass from the media?

By Kareem El-Alaily Count me as one who isn’t quite so happy with the way the D.C. media treats the Caps. But not for the historic, pre-Ovechkin-era slights the Caps had to endure when they barely registered a blip on...

By Box Seats blogger  |  12:44 PM ET, 10/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 10/05/2010

Is D.C. a hockey town?

By Kareem El-Alaily There’s been a lot of talk lately that D.C. is blossoming into a “hockey town”. The game is growing by leaps and bounds locally, the Caps have experienced unprecedented success at the gate, and the media is...

By Box Seats blogger  |  03:00 PM ET, 10/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
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Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 09/14/2010

An introduction from a Caps blogger

By Kareem El-Alaily Welcome to this experiment allowing fans to blog about our beloved Capitals. I'm honored that the Post selected me to write one of the blogs and I''m going to do my best to provide readers with relevant opinions and...

By Box Seats blogger  |  02:00 PM ET, 09/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capitals, Capitals | Tags:  1988 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dale Hunter, HTS, Kareem El-Alaily