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Backstrom skates, Varlamov suffers minor setback

The Capitals were back at Kettler for their morning practice after a lengthy West Coast trip in which they lost to San Jose and Los Angeles.

The good news for the team was first-line center Nicklas Backstrom participated fully during the first portion of practice. Backstrom missed the final 39 minutes of Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Kings because of a migraine headache, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Backstrom has left several games over his career because of migraines, including once last season against Montreal. He has not missed a game in his NHL career, which began with the Capitals in 2007.

The bad news concerns goalie Semyon Varlamov, who suffered an apparent setback on Sunday while on a conditioning assignment with the Hershey Bears.

Making his first start since a groin injury on Dec. 7, Varlamov stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 4-1 win against the visiting Adirondack Phantoms, and while that ailment did not give him problems, he spent extensive time receiving treatment after the game for another minor injury.

More to come later on both Backstrom and Varlamov.

By Gene Wang  |  January 4, 2010; 11:04 AM ET
 | Tags: Nicklas Backstrom, Semyon Varlamov  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning roundup: Done with the west coast
Next: Alexander Semin leaves practice early


Great to hear Backstrom is back skating.

Discouraging to hear Varlamov has another injury. Minor or not - this getting discouraging about Varly not being able to stay healthy. I'm really starting to wonder about the goaltending situation beyond. Not hitting the panic button by any means but with Varly this young and being injured this much - what happens as he ages???? I'm just sayin.

Heal up Varly.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | January 4, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd like to see Varly back up...the current G situation is tenuous.

Let's get rolling this week - two winnable games at home.

Glad to see Nicky back.

Posted by: saintex | January 4, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

In fact, the next six games are a good set of games to roll up a lot of wins. Focus.

Posted by: saintex | January 4, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I was listening to the NHL channel on Sirius on the ride in this morning, and Ted was on. Good interview and spoke a lot about the Clark/Juice trade. Not sure if anyone else heard it and can confirm or deny this, but the way he was wording his statements, it made me think that a deal was already in place for Backstrom. Something to the effect of: "... and signed Backstrom and also Semin for just one year..." I found it rather curious and was wondering if perhaps he just mis-spoke, or if they have something put together. I'm assuming the former, but would be ok with the latter.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 4, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse has a pretty good write-up on Varly's performance last night. Seems like he looked okay till the end...

Posted by: OverTheBoards | January 4, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if I'd blame things on the goaltending....We were horrible all around in front of the net minders in the last three games. They can do only so lose 2-1 in the last one in LA.....With this offense and a lengthy 5 on 3 we should have had more than one goal. Also the fact we've been so good in the first period all season and then the last three games I don't even think we have a combined 10 shots on goal in the three is much more concerning than the goal tending....

Posted by: rdiehljr | January 4, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

We go out west every year around this time and we never do very well. Thankfully we don't have to do it again.

Here's to a great game tomorrow and I think we will see a C on someone's jersey.

Posted by: pkendrick | January 4, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Totally OT and minor thread jack...

regarding the ever present need for a physical defenseman...

What about Andy Sutton from the Islanders?
on pace for 221 hits, 6,6", 245lbs, $3 mil cap, UFA...

he plays on a bottom five GAA team, yet has only a -2...

What about his skating, positioning, overall physical play?

Anyone? thanks!

Posted by: FrankM73 | January 4, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Halfway home and on 54 points. On pace to match last season's number and I think this team is considerably stronger.

Looking forward to the second half.

Posted by: saintex | January 4, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, so Varly got his one game conditioning in at AHL level. According to Irbe report he had good movement and looked sharp. Whatever the latest injury is, its time to get him the heck out of Hershey and back where he can be looked at by our team personnel. Bears trainer grandfathered into position from way back in the day when that was acceptable, not being licensed is too risky to be treating our star G. Hope it's not serious. thanks to tess2201 for the updates from up there - much better than reading hershey local paper.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | January 4, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this minor injury to Varly doesn't turn into a couple weeks as well. At least he didn't reinjure the groin injury. They need him healthy down the stretch. They just don't play as well in front of Theodore or Neuvirth for whatever reason.

Posted by: thrh1 | January 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I was also at the game is Hershey, Varly looked good from where I was sitting
( right behind the goal for 2 periods)
Didn't notice any ingury. He looked good

Posted by: jono57 | January 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So no news on what Varly's injury is? Just that it is not the groin? Does anyone know if it was at least upper or lower body?

Posted by: aglatfelter | January 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I hope Varly isnt becoming another DiPietro.

The team seems to play their best in front of Varly (they obviously have more confidence in him than Theo). Ideally, if Varly's health was reliable, Neuvirth could be a great bargaining chip at the trade deadline, but given Varly's health issues (this yr and last) it might be too risky to part with Neuvirth just yet.

Posted by: chombie13 | January 4, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov has way too many injuries to risk trading Neuvirth. And Neuvirth's trade value isn't close to what it could be next year. He may even step up and take the starting job. He's a better positional goalie than Varlamov, though he has been getting better. I wouldn't want to pick one of them yet. Still both way too young for goalies to know their full potential.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 4, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

why don't you people actually wait for the news before going into a full panic mode???

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy will continue to prove his Virth. The only thing that concerns me about Neuvy though is that at this point in his career he's more likely to give up big games. Of course he's much more consistent then Theo.

Neuvy seems to be the type that will have 2 or 3 games with 1 or 2 GAA then give up a 5 or 6 goal game. He'll obviously get better but for now he's still learning the pro game. Of course the injury concerns with Varly show all the more reason why we need to keep Neuvy around for a while. Holtby is doing good down in Hershey but it doesn't seem like it's a good time to bring him up now.

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

live tv and live score for free

Posted by: d1g00f | January 5, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

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