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Capitals Insider: December 7, 2008 - December 13, 2008

Caps 2, Canadiens 1

Simeon Varlamov's debut couldn't have gone any better. The 20-year-old was impressive in making 32 saves in a hostile environment, on Hockey Night in Canada, against a Montreal team that's capable of breaking out at any moment. I thought that moment was going to come in the third period, but...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 13, 2008; 11:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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Fedorov, Sloan, Backstrom To Trainer's Room

Sergei Fedorov, Tyler Sloan and Nicklas Backstrom are all in the trainer's room with injuries. I hope to have an update after the game....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 13, 2008; 9:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
 
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Morning Skate Update

The first 24 hours of Simeon Varlamov's NHL career have been a whirlwind. Last night, he arrived on the Caps' bench midway through the first period of their 5-1 win over Ottawa. And tonight, on Hockey Night in Canada, at Bell Centre in Montreal, before the biggest and most intimidating...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 13, 2008; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (228)
 
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Varlamov To Start

Simeon Varlamov will make his first NHL start tonight in Montreal, Coach Bruce Boudreau just announced. More in a few minutes....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 13, 2008; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Caps 5, Senators 1

On a night when Verizon Center was abuzz with goaltender talk -- if they were healthy, where they were, how fast they could get to Verizon Center or if they'd make their NHL debut -- Brent Johnson earned his fourth straight win and the Capitals showed their offensive might to...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 12, 2008; 11:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Varlamov Is In The House (Updated)

I just received word from the Caps that Simeon Varlamov has arrived at Verizon Center and he'll be on the bench shortly. Moments ago, the Brett Leonhardt was shown on the screen above center ice (sitting on the bench, of course) and acknowledged for making his NHL debut. Leonhardt tried...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 7:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
 
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Theodore Hurt; Varlamov Recalled (Updated)

Here's the latest on the Caps' goalie situation. You might want to take a seat. Jose Theodore is, in fact, hurt. He is day-to-day with a hip flexor. I'm not sure when this injury happened. The Caps have summoned Simeon Varlamov from Hershey and he hopes to arrive from Houston...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
 
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Neuvirth Update

Okay, official word here at VC is that Michal Neuvirth will not make it to Washington tonight. I'll have more when the situation becomes more clear....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Neuvirth to Washington?

Reports out of South Carolina have goalie prospect Michal Neuvirth headed to Washington today. The Caps are not acknowledging any move (s) yet. But that might explain why Jose Theodore came off the ice after only 15 or 20 minutes this morning. Usually the goalie who is not scheduled to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Boudreau On Tonight's Lineup

Bruce Boudreau didn't really shed much more light on the injury situation when he spoke to reporters moments ago. But it does look like Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov will play tonight. "There's a good chance," Boudreau said. "They're going to take warm-up and we'll see. We haven't made that...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Update on Green, Poti and Fedorov

Mike Green just said he feels "great" and hopes to play tonight against the Sens. But before he receives medical clearance, the defenseman said he's got to take a strength test. Tom Poti also said he feels good enough to play after taking yesterday off to rest his sore groin...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Injury Update

Brent Johnson, Tom Poti and Mike Green are all on the ice and participating fully. All three look good, but I won't know their status until after the morning skate. I can tell you this: Sean Collins is still here. So that likely means the coaching staff has some reservations...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 12, 2008; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Morning Reading List

To return or not to return. The Caps already received a hefty chunk of good news this week when Alexander Semin and Tom Poti came back against the Bruins. It's possible Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov could be the next players to make their way back on to the ice...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 12, 2008; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Green, Fedorov Getting Close

Both Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov said they hoping play tomorrow when the Caps host the Senators at Verizon Center. Green said today was the first morning since getting hurt that he woke up with no pain or stiffness in his shoulder. He also took his first slap shot since...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2008; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (192)
 
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Johnson Not Skating

Brent Johnson isn't skating this morning, a few hours after aggravating an old hip injury in the first period of Wednesday's 3-1 win over Boston. Johnson said after the game that he isn't too worried about it, adding that the only thing he can do is rest it and hope...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2008; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Morning Reading List

Brent Johnson's stellar performance in the Caps 3-1 win against Boston yesterday is the focus of Tarik's hard-copy edition story. Johnson has won his past three starts, stopping 79 of 83 shots for a .952 save percentage during that stretch, and has posted a 2.37 GAA and .918 save percentage...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 11, 2008; 8:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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Caps 3, Bruins 1

Although neither Coach Bruce Boudreau nor Brent Johnson will do anything but joke when the phrase "No. 1 goaltender" is brought up, Johnson certainly played like one tonight in the Caps' 3-1 win. He stopped 33 of the Bruins' 34 shots, many of which came on good scoring chances or...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 10, 2008; 11:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Tonight's Lineup

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't confirm tonight's lineup or which players might be back from their injuries when he spoke to the media, but here's what the lines look like in warm-ups with Alexander Semin, Tom Poti and Tyler Sloan all skating. Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin Giroux-Nylander-Kozlov Osala-Laich-Bradley Brashear-Steckel-Gordon Morrisonn-Collins Poti-Sloan Alzner-Jurcina Johnson...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 10, 2008; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
 
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Morning Skate Update

The injury situation and the lineup are a little murky since the Caps have chosen to go all top-secret about everything this morning. The players wore only black and white jerseys and they never separated into lines or 'D' pairings. I guess they're looking for any advantage they can get...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 10, 2008; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
 
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Osala: 'It's A Big Day In My Life'

Oskar Osala knew his time would come, and that it would likely be this season. But the big winger was still shocked when the call finally came yesterday. "I got to the rink and I saw coach and he told me GM [Doug Yingst] wanted to talk to me," Osala...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 10, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Osala Recalled; Fleischmann Hurting (Update)

Oskar Osala is on the ice for the morning skate, but Tomas Fleischmann is not out there. I'm not sure what's wrong with Fleischmann, but I've noticed him limping with ice taped around one leg after the past few games. He's also had ice on his shoulder. The lines are...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 10, 2008; 9:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Morning Reading List

As we wait to find out which Caps, if any, might be coming back from their injuries tonight against Boston, here's a story from Dan Steinberg on Karl Alzner. Radio play-by-play man Steve Kolbe also caught up with Alzner recently and you can listen to the podcast here. *ESPN's E.J....

By Katie Carrera  |  December 10, 2008; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Morning Skate Update

Coach Bruce Boudreau just said he's not sure which, if any, of the injured players will return for tomorrow's game against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins. But he was pleased to see that they are making progress. "I'm optimistic that they are looking better - they actually participated in practice today,"...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2008; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
 
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Caps Getting Healthy?

Several of the injured Caps are participating fully and appear close to returning. Mike Green (bruised shoudler), Alexander Semin (upper torso strain), Tom Poti (groin muscle pull), Tyler Sloan (heel) and Eric Fehr (shoulder) are all out there. Alex Ovechkin is not practicing, but that's not a new development. He's...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2008; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Morning Reading List

Tarik will have updates from this morning's practice, but in the meantime lets take a look at the Eastern Conference leading Bruins who hit Verizon Center on Wednesday. The Bruins have just one regulation loss in their past 16 games and snagged their 10th straight victory at home last night...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 9, 2008; 7:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Lepisto Sent Down

The Caps just confirmed John Walton's report out of Hershey that defenseman Sami Lepisto has been assigned to the Bears. The move comes one day after Lepisto had a tough night in Carolina. But more importantly it means that one of the Caps' regular defenseman will probably be ready to...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 8, 2008; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (144)
 
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Morning Reading List

The Capitals missed out on a chance to take a commanding lead of the Southeast Division with yesterday's 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes, who Washington now leads by just four points. This week won't get any easier for the injury ravaged Caps as they have to play three games in...

By Katie Carrera  |  December 8, 2008; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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'Canes 3, Caps 1

In the words of Coach Bruce Boudreau, tonight's 3-1 defeat in Carolina was "disheartening." Yeah, Michael Leighton had a really good game in goal for the Hurricanes. And yeah, there might have been a different outcome at RBC Center had Alex Ovechkin scored on the penalty shot or had Sami...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2008; 9:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Tonight's Lineup and Pre-Game Notes

Jose Theodore will get the start tonight in Carolina, and the latest injury (Eric Fehr, shoulder) has forced some changes to the Bears' Caps' lineup. Here's what it figures to look like tonight against the 'Canes: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov (Back together again) Fleischmann-Laich-Nylander Giroux-Aucoin-Gordon (Giroux and Aucoin were linemates in Hershey)...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
 
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Caps Recall Giroux

The Capitals' transformation into the Hershey Bears continues ... With Eric Fehr hurt after his left shoulder collided with the glass in the second period of last night's 2-1 win in Toronto, the Caps have recalled forward Alexandre Giroux. Washington now has the AHL's leading scorer (Keith Aucoin, 36 points)...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 7, 2008; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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