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Capitals breakdown: John Erskine

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Capitals breakdown: John Erskine

CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: John Erskine
John Erskine
Position: Defense
Age: 31
HtWt: 6-4, 220
Games: 28
Goals: 0
Assists: 2
Points: 2
Penalty Minutes: 51
Plus-Minus: Plus-3
Average Ice Time: 12:05
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 2-year, 3million contract 1.5 million cap hit in 2012-13

Strengths: A tough-as-nails veteran, Erskine is willing to defend teammates at the drop of a hat and although he is a part-time player he has no problem holding teammates accountable. A hard hitter, Erskines biggest asset is his ability to keep opponents away from the front of the net.

Weaknesses: After playing 73 games in 2010-11, Erskine was a part-time player under both Bruce Boudreau and Dale Hunter. His lack of mobility makes him a defensive liability, especially in todays game.

Memorable Moment on the ice: On Dec. 1, in Arron Ashams first game against the Capitals since knocking out Jay Beagle in a lopsided Oct. 13 fight, Erskine sought retribution just 5: 27 into the game. Erskine, who was not in the lineup on the night of Oct. 13, took a hard punch to the face before finishing off Asham, who had set up a Penguins goal 6 seconds earlier, with a flurry of punches. I saw it happen, Erskine said of Ashams knockdown of Beagle, but that didnt really have much to do with it. We went down 1-0 and I wanted to get the crowd back into it.

Memorable Moment off the ice: After Jan. 18, when Erskine was hit with six minutes in penalties on one play a double-minor for high sticking and two for elbowing Montreals Matthieu Darche the burly defenseman dressed for just four more games the remainder of the regular season. During his time in Dale Hunters doghouse, Erskine was asked if the coach told him what he needed to do to get back in the lineup. Who? Dale? He hasnt talked to me one little bit, Erskine replied. I talk to (assistant coaches) Deano (Evason) and Jimmy Johnson here and there, but thats about it.

2012-13 Expectations: Its hard to imagine Erskine fitting into the Capitals plans for next season. If another team is looking to add some gritty depth to their blue line, the Caps likely would take a low-round draft pick for Erskine. If not, theyll keep him around as a defensive insurance policy.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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