Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Report Card: Eric Fehr

Uno Seis in yo face? Ehhh, not quite. Not this year at least.
Today I give you the eighth installment in my "report card" series, as I continue my evaluation of each Capital through this past regular season and playoffs. Today's player is oft-injured power forward Eric Fehr, who finished his sixth season in the organization this year.

Stats/Season Summary: Fehr played in 50 games this year, recording 10 goals, three of which came on the power play, and 10 assists to go along with an even +/- rating and 16 penalty minutes.  For the third consecutive season, however, he was plagued by shoulder injuries, missing 32 games with what has become a chronic shoulder problem.  Almost all of his games missed came between mid January and mid March, after he re-injured his shoulder in a game against Vancouver.  Despite his injury woes and inconsistency, however, Fehr scored two of the biggest regular season goals of the year; those would be both the game-winning and insurance goals in the Winter Classic. Grade: C+
Role Play: Fehr was given, at the start of the year, primary third line minutes and a shot on the power play, but again, could not find his consistency and then got injured to compound the problem.  Bruce Boudreau needed Fehr to step up as the year went on and the Caps suffered injuries and players' production declined, but the winger was not able to get it done before he got hurt.  The shoulder never fully healed, so I give him a large amount of credit for coming back and trying to gut it out.  But the fact remains that he was benched for the first three games of the playoffs and continues to fail to live up to the expectations that made him such a high draft pick. Grade: C
Playoffs: As I mentioned above, Fehr struggled so badly towards the end of the regular season that he was a healthy scratch for the first three games of the Rangers series.  Once he cracked the lineup due to Mike Knuble's injury, however, he stuck until game four of the Tampa series after Bruce Boudreau called him out following a brutal performance in game three.  In total he played in five games, scoring one goal to go along with a +3 rating and no penalty minutes. Grade: C-
Future Potential: Fehr had successful shoulder earlier this month, and he has now had multiple procedures on that one shoulder.  He is signed through next season at $2.2 million, and he has skill, so if he's healthy, he's going to be on the team, and depending on other moves the Caps may make, could compete for a top-six role.  There are some reports that he won't be ready for the start of training camp, however, and that could impact his ability to be ready for opening night.  He does have the skills to be a force, and he'll be 26 when the season starts.  With Fehr, it's all about health. Grade: C+
Here's some video of that second goal in the Winter Classic.

The next report card will be posted on May 16th, and will feature defenseman John Erskine.

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