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Boudreau: 'There's a Tremendous Rivalry'

A few quick notes and quotes from this morning's practice:

Back-to-Back Concerns
Simeon Varlamov has never played games on back-to-back nights as an NHL goaltender. But he's going to have to do that next week, when Games 4 and 5 are played 24 hours apart in Pittsburgh and then Washington. And if you remember, there was some concern early on about Varlamov's ability to recover between games because he expends so much energy.

"It is tough," Varlamov said through Slava Malamud of Sport Express, who was kind enough to interpret today. "It's much better for a goalie to get a day off so you can recover from the previous game. With back-to-back, there is negligible time. But I'm not overly concerned about it because both goalies are going to be in the same situation."

Boudreau said he's not concerned: "He's only played 13 games this year. So I've got to believe that he's as rested as he's going to be."

Boudreau on Expectations
"We've accomplished one round win," he said. "If that's our bar, that now we feel we've had a successful year, then we've all had the bar too low. Our goal is to be the best team in June. Obviously, there's a tough opponent in our way. But we'll try to muster up the energy and beat them."

Boudreau on Varlamov
"I don't know if he can get rattled," he said. "It doesn't look like he's a guy who gets too emotionally up or too emotionally down. I've seen him for a short amount of time, but I think he'll be fine."

Boudreau on the Hype
"There's a tremendous rivalry," he said. "How it's going to play out, it's two teams that are going to go at it pretty hard. [The Penguins] want to get back to the Stanley Cup finals where they think they can win. And we want to get there for the first time in a long time."

Asked if it helps that the teams -- and the star players on both sides -- have a healthy amount of dislike for one another, Boudreau added: "I don't think it hurts."

A History Lesson
Boudreau said that the Caps' dismal 1-6 record against the Penguins in the playoffs means nothing to him and his players.

"Maybe to [the media] and the fans," Boudreau said. "All winning streaks have to come to an en end, and usually all grief-stricken fans have got to be excited one day. So hopefully we can turn it around."

Boudreau on Ovechkin, Crosby and the Hype
"They've almost been forced into saying negative things about each other," Boudreau said when asked about Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. "There's not a lot of it going around. Last time they were here, there was a little confrontation, [Crosby] said 'I don't like what he does,' and boom, it was built up into way more than it is."

"I think they are just two superior athletes that go at it because superior athletes want to win and are overly competitive, and those guys both are," Boudreau added.

Ovechkin on Facing Crosby and Ovechkin
"It's always nice when top players face each other," he said. "It's great for the fans. Fans want to see players. Fans want to see how you are going to play against each other and who is going to win, so it's pretty cool."

Asked about the perception that the league promotes Crosby more than him, Ovechkin cracked, "He's superstar. Me, I'm just like you guys."

Schultz Update
Jeff Schultz, who hasn't played since suffering an undisclosed injury in Game 1 against the Rangers, only practiced for a few minutes today. When asked about the defenseman's status for the second round, Boudreau said Schultz won't be ready to play, "not in the first few games, anyway."

Torts Apologizes
"It's a bad mistake by me," John Tortorella told reporters in New York, referring to the water bottle-tossing incident at Verizon Center. "I regret it. I put the New York Rangers organization in an embarrassing situation. I'm embarrassed by it. I am an intense person, which is a positive, but it also turns into a negative sometimes."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 30, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
 
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Comments

capitals playoff record with schultz = 0-1.
capitals playoff record without schultz = 3-2.

capitals playoff winning percentage with schultz = 0.00
capitals playoff winning percentage without schultz = 0.60.

Posted by: nwilson2 | April 30, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
I don't want to drag out the Torts water bottle incident any longer than necessary, but did he ever apologize to the lady he hit? It seems like he owes her at least a private apology.

Posted by: AndrewKB | April 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@bhound69 (from the pacifiers comment in the previous thread):

perhaps....but Caps fans are so creative in expressing absurdity, I expect to see it kicked up a notch or 10, since, you know, the evil empire is coming to town for the playoffs.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else have trouble with the caps presale? I didn't have a problem in the past, but I went on at 11:01 and the only seats I could get were center upper deck. by the time the surcharges kicked in, I can buy them cheaper on craigslist. On the flip side, since there really is no profit in reselling tickets (unless your reselling your Season Tickets) we might see a lot less penguin fans in the building.

Posted by: Natstural | April 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@nwilson2

I think there's another important change you didn't mention. Varlamov.

Posted by: washcaps | April 30, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

the "problem" with the pre-sale is there aren't that many seats available in the first place. Nearly all of the current STH, and people who bought STH for next year, also bought playoff tickets. The Caps have to old some tickets aside for players' families, NHl dinks, etc. So when you get down to it, there's probably only a handful of tickets available to the public.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 30, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Do you think if you stop asking about Schultz, Tarik, then BB will forget he's on the team and not try to play him ever? That might be best. Keep Schultz benched until he discovers he's 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds.

Posted by: CDon | April 30, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if you could update us on Brent Johnson . . . ? And if he might see ANY playing time in this second round?
Thanks

Posted by: holliden | April 30, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

How many people thought GMGM was smoking dope when he said that they didn't need a deadline move in part because he thought Pothier might be back and could make a difference? I know I thought he was dreaming. Kudos to GMGM again.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | April 30, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Well Redbirdie I must agree. While I find myself to be a very calm individual, like my ex the Pens bring out the worst in me and yes I tend to lower my maturity level a bit when it comes to the Penguins. I don't hate anything in this world but I can confidently say that I truly hate the Penguins and every fan I've ever known of theirs. I don't discriminate though, I can't stand any of them, I hate em all! Losing 6 out of 7 playoff series against them can do that to you though I guess. I've been with this team way too long to not carry my emotions on my sleeve when it comes to these dumb birds!
BTW, what parents would name their baby boy Sidney? He was supposed to be a girl. Explains a lot doesn't it?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | April 30, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, there's a tough opponent in our way. But we'll try to muster up the energy and beat them."

I love BB but quotes like this don't envoke the utmost confidence. You're going to TRY to muster up the energy? Hey, don't try too hard, maybe you'll pull something.

He must have said that sarcastically, I can't imagine they will go into this series with concerns about their energy level.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

RedBirdie

I agree, already got a pacifier at the last game... I'm expecting more. The bar is now raised.

as per buying playoff tix- the pens blog is "reporting" that a lot of the tickets online are fakes because people are trying to trick them. they are either a) paranoid or b)caps fans/ted are scheming again. Either be careful if your buying tix!

Posted by: mrszilla | April 30, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree team's history means jack. I'd say the same thing if the Caps had never lost to the Penguins in prior playoffs. That plays absolutely no role while they're on the ice - these are all new players who only care about that night's game.

On being a fan - it means we sit through both ups and downs. We win a game, they win a game... the ragging will never end. Just enjoy the games folks. I can't wait for play to begin... who cares if losing means they get to talk sh!t until the next time... enjoy the damned game... you know there is always a next time win or lose.

Posted by: rh71 | April 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hatorade for Pigsburg in Verizon.
My son knows 3 things about hockey:
1) Ovechkin is #8
2) Let's Go Caps!!!!!!
3) IF the caps are not playing, we root for anyone except pigsburg.

The reason his name is Sydney: When his parents told the nurse 'cyndy' for first name, the nurse thaught she did not understand the parents accent and assumed it must be the closest transgender name to cyndy so she wrote sydney. His parents still call him 'Cyndy Pussycat Crosby'

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 30, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, there, Tarik--

WHO says Varlamov has to play games 4 & 5? There's no 5, yet.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | April 30, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

you'll love the conversation I had with my mom (who is on vacation, sans TV, internet, or newspaper)

Mom: "Thank you for the text, so who do the caps play?"

me (darkly): "THEM"

Mom: "oh, oh no. I'm so sorry."

me: "THEY are going to lose."

Mom: (says something to my dad int he background) "Your father wants to say something."

dad: "I hope Brashear comes back and pounds that little snot nosed punk! Ok, sweetie, love you, we're off to the beach!"

me: "Um, ok......"

Pens fans already have the stick up their butts regarding anything funny. Japer's posted Ovie's comments that Steinberg posted ("He's superstar. Me? Just like you guys." when asked about Crosby),a nd the pens fans are already doing their "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH" routine and "he's a diva! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" routine. What's the deal, like do you have to have your sense of humor removed and replaced by a very large stick shove up your rear and then turned sideways to live in the sorry excuse for a city?

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 30, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ovie "Me,I'm just like you guys." He's the best #8. On and off the ice. This should be a tremendous experience at the VC.
Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 30, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for this one. I was in high school when Nedved hit that OT winner in 1996. What a great night that was.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | April 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's cut Boudreau some slack. I think he's just downplaying it. The Capitals hate the Penguins so it won't be an issue about them mustering up the energy. It'll happen.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Moose33

BB did this when he was in Hershey too. It's a way not to give the opposing team any bulletin board material. If to the press he almost compliments them, he doesn't tick anyone off. He/the team knows what they have to do to win this series.

@CDon

While I too wonder if Johnson is getting healthy or not. Why are you concerned about him getting playing time. Varly has been great since coming in game 2. Why would we need Johnson at this point?

Posted by: CentralPACapsFan | April 30, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie : I know what you mean. I just had a really easy time getting them last round. I already have my tickets but I share them with 3 others so I was trying to help them out.

Also I would think it would be relatively hard to fake even the ticketmaster e-tickets. What would not be hard to do is download the PDF, and then sell that PDF to multiple people. Anyone got a link about "ticketfraud".

My assumption was that the password got out early, and that the caps don't really check to see if your Zip Code is on file with them since the purchase process doesn't appear to interact with their website. IE they don't take your STH number when you buy extra tickets.

Posted by: Natstural | April 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"I regret it. I put the New York Rangers organization in an embarrassing situation. I'm embarrassed by it." This is the best quote from Torts and the most positive aspect of his personality I've seen. Good for him. On my part, apology accepted.

I love Boudreau's comments: blunt and to the point, yet without being arrogant or beligerent. You sense that he is telling you facts without involving his ego. His ability to be both bold and dispassionate is his great strength as a coach I think.

Posted by: caraveli | April 30, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

pdf files are pretty easy to break. Unless Ted and ticketmaster have souped up the security, buying 1 real ticket then breaking security on the pdf download to get the code behind the doc to change the information to make multiple tickets is pretty easy.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 30, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

cadlecreek1: You must also teach your children that the phlyers are to be despised.

Posted by: uncatim | April 30, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

pensblog is pretty funny. lots of good photoshops, which i guess is what you do in pittsburgh on a saturday night. i like the banner of cindy and guerin laughing about semin doing the bongo routine. good thing there is no visual evidence of cindy fighting like a tool.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 30, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

-uncatim

It was hard when the flyers were playing the pens. He always asked who to root for, so I had to let him root for the flyers over the pens. He pretty much gets, root for the caps and everyone else is hated. It's OK to have a leafs sweater and a Habs puck but they don't get any love.

I still would like to knock the last couple teeth out of Clarks mouth. Ust something about that oragne and black that still pisses me off.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | April 30, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The big things to watch for on tickets:

1. If you ordered them from ticketmaster and then go to your account and print them, you won't have problems. Even if someone did the same thing, bought a seat, and then tried to duplicate it, they'd have to kow the correct bar code to add for the right seat. I'm pretty sure that section 413, row M, seat 14 has a specific code. You can just slap the code from your other seat onto a doctored .pdf for that seat and make it work. I think.
2. If you purchase tickets online (primarily at craigslist) and they want to e-mail you the .pdf, be careful. At that point you have nothing but paper and an e-mail address. The best option is to meet them at the game and have them walk into Verizon with you nnd through the scanners. Once you are in, you are good.
3. If you get it sent from someone's Caps STH account (ticketexchange or otherwise), you are probably good.
4. Can't vouch for any of the agencies.
5. I've sold on craigslist and everyone has always been very cool.
6. Even if the password got out early, it couldn't be used until 11am and tickets did go quickly.

Good luck, be careful, and we'll all have a blast.

Posted by: saintex | April 30, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@centralcaps, agree with both your points, BB just being smart, why needlessly rile up the oppo - I was here in the Butch Cassidy / Hanlon eras [errors], BB is the real deal - the dude is a hockey genius, I'm starting to think.

Who cares about Johnson, seriously - and props to Theodore [whom I've criticized in the past, TBH] for his class throughout this.

Posted by: govtimbo | April 30, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

i'm good friends with the woman torts hit with the water bottle. ...he did call her on tuesday morning and apologize to her. .. funny thing was she wasn't sure it was him and kind of blew him off. . . then she traced back the phone number and realized it was a new york number, and also checked her voice mail and found he had called her on monday too. . . so she's pretty sure it really was him. . .so then she felt kind of silly for not taking his apology more sincerely ...oh well, as far as she is concerned, its done and over. ...she is just happy caps won!!!

Posted by: madmax521 | April 30, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

to add to saintex,
i typically email tickets to friends, etc through the caps web site. you should have no problem if you get them directly from the caps website or ticketexchange.

however, i do know people who have bought physical tickets on stub hub only to be rejected at the gate cause the bar codes were cancelled. this happened because the sth who sold the tix also sold them via ticketexchange. once they are issued via ticketexchange or the caps web site, the physical ticket bar code is cancelled. the good news if this happens through stubhub, you will be reimbursed...but you will miss the game...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 30, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@madmax

Thats awesome and good for Torts for call her..

She should say that she would accept his apology if he sat next to her in Game 1, and heckled the living hell out of The Pens bench with us...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Do people actually pay $1500 (asking price) to sit on the glass, thru the TixExchange?? Just wonderin'

Posted by: bhound69 | April 30, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

How soon will Staney Cup tix be available?

Posted by: bhound69 | April 30, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

According to every hockey pundit I've heard so far we are the underdogs in this series. I think that's the way we and BB should play it. I think we have home ice and if we win the first two IMHO we have a good chance of prevailing in the series. This is a tall order since they'll be coming here to win at least one.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 30, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

for those wondering about Johnson: we saw him the other day and he's still walking with a noticable limp. i wouldn't worry too much about Johnny making an appearance this off-season.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | April 30, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

madmax, if she spoke to Caps management maybe they could get a message to Tortilla for her (if she wants to follow up).

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Officiating will be key in this series as both teams have strong PP's and Cindy Crosby has been known to get a few calls his way. Hope they allow the more physical play like in Game 7 vs. N.Y. as the Caps are the stronger, more physical team. I hope the refs don't protect the Pens tops guns like Crosby and Malkin as that would be a definite advantage for them.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Here we go with the reporters asking the questions to start stuff. They are looking for a sound bite. I like how Ovie answered about whether the NHL promotes Cindy more. He says "He's superstar. Me, I'm just like you guys."

Just remember the Russian machine does not break. The whining machine will break.

Posted by: capscrazy8 | April 30, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

CentralPACapsfan
Actually the Johnson question was mine. I agree that Varly has been doing a great job. But should he get roughed up, or just worn out I was wondering what the potential backup situation could be? Theo is awesome but inconsistent . . . so I was wondering. No other reason, just nosey.

Posted by: holliden | April 30, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

on the glass...

I had a couple of Row A seats on the glass pop-up during the sale this morning - especially if you search for a single. With fees it came right to $400 and I just couldn't do it. I got a few steps in and back out. Someday I'll sit down there and it would be great for the Pens series but I couldn't pull the trigger. I think the prices on ticketexchange are outragous. I know they are STHs and I guess they are trying to undent the wallet but really, I sit in the 400 corner (413) and last round we only paid $19 per game. It's $21 this round. Just saying...

Posted by: saintex | April 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Johnson? Why would we ever put in brent? He hasn't played in 12 weeks? Absurd.

Posted by: JSchon | April 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Johnny was at practice today. Theo and Varly definitely got the majority of the shots but towards the end Johnny got some practice time in with the boys...

Posted by: kyl1 | April 30, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the Capitals playoff record without Schultz (or with Varly) be 4-2?

Posted by: larryn703 | April 30, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

holliden:

why on earth would they use Johnson vs. Theo. Theo is better than Johny inconsistencies and all. He would do fine if Varly got hurt and he had to back him up for a period or two, though I hope this doesn't happen.

Posted by: caraveli | April 30, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

everyone is entitled to ask questions, whether somebody else deems them absurd or not.
It was my first question to this site. And now I know not to ask another.

Posted by: holliden | April 30, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

One thing different in 2009 for Caps/Pens is true home support. I no longer live in the area, but have attended dozens of Caps/Pens games through the wretched '90s, and it was sickening to see nearly half the stadium black and gold, with a lot of lusty 'Here we Go Penguins, here we go!' chants.

Well, not in 2009! With (finally) more than 15K CAPS fans locking in tickets early, and rowdy bandwagon jumpers getting in the action, I fully expect a RED house for this series.

And it will make a difference, assuming no serious injury to Ovie. How the D played as the Rangers series wore on, combined with how this team gets 'up' for strong opponents, are very good signs indeed.

Caps in 5.

Posted by: wxdancer | April 30, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

How could you say Washington has the advantage in nets? Varlamov is a decent prospect, nothing like Fleury. Varlamov will crumble.

Posted by: SC87 | May 1, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

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