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Boudreau: Varlamov could begin skating this weekend

This morning's practice was optional, and many of the team's stars such as Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin did not participate. Coach Bruce Boudreau also did not skate, so today's update will be a little shorter than usual:

*The Caps left immediately afterward for a three-game Southeast Division swing that will make stops in Atlanta, Tampa and Florida. The Caps are (mostly) healthy, are playing well and depart with a 14-point lead. If they manage to sweep the three games, they really can demoralize the teams chasing them. So this is a pretty big trip -- and they're approaching it as such.

"Every chance you get, you want to put room between yourself and the next team, because you don't want to give them any opportunity if you can help it," Boudreau said.

Tom Poti said: "These are four point games. We want to try to bury these teams and finish them off."

That's going to be the focus of my story for tomorrow's paper.

*Semyon Varlamov was spotted wearing a brace on his sprained right knee (MCL) this morning and a weight belt around his waist. So he's working hard with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. But Boudreau still isn't sure when the 21-year-old goalie is going to return, but he's hopeful it won't be much longer.

"I think he's going to start skating this weekend and hopefully the week after that he'll be ready to play," Boudreau said. "That's my hope."

*Because the team was shorthanded this morning, the players spent most of the 45 minute session having some fun while playing three-on-three - cross-ice, like mini mites.

*Brooks Laich came onto the ice 5 minutes before any of his teammates and stayed out 15 minutes longer than anyone else, firing shots into an empty net. Laich's got two goals in his last 22 games and appears to be trying to "work" his way out of the slump.

*Michal Neuvirth debuted a new mask this morning. Don't expect to see too much of a difference - from a distance it appeared to be Hershey Bears themed - but it does incorporate more red on the front.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 8, 2010; 1:07 PM ET
 | Tags: Brooks Laich, Semyon Varlamov  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning roundup: The finishing touch
Next: Caps have travel trouble, again.

Comments

I find the astronaut as freaky as the dude that comes in the full red body suit. Some other goof hits a block of wood with a stick and the dude in the full body suit dances to the beat. That's just friggin' weird.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know who was sitting with McPhee during last night's Sens/Caps game? Normally, McPhee is in his cave, alone, motionless. Were there any scouts from other teams in attendance at the game?

Posted by: Matt23185 | January 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

trade Theo for the astronaut!

Posted by: butcherbaker | January 8, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I like the Astronaut Guy! Basically, those of us who are from California deal with winter cold in one of two different ways:

1) DENIAL: e.g., my former boss at Nordstrom, who would go outside in a blizzard dressed in a tropical-weight suit without batting an eye.

2) OVERKILL: (I fall into this category): e.g., those of us who would wear a NASA space suit if we could at this time of year. Never mind that it takes up to 4 hours to get dressed in one and you have to drag your climate unit along with you--those damn things are down good to -400 °F!: , which is pretty f****** cold any way you slice it!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know where I can get Caps captain letters for home jerseys? Captain letters from hockey web stores do not match.

Posted by: vsmartin007 | January 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Let the astronaut skate on the 3rd line with Morrison and Fehr!

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hope Jose plays Sat and either Tues or Wed, regardless of Varly's condition. Seems to make sense to play Jose/Neuvy before next Friday.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 8, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40, have you tried the pro shop at Kettler? They may have the correct Captain "C".....maybe give them a call to find out?

Posted by: PhilR | January 8, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, when will Backie get an "A" on his jersey? He is showing a lot of leadership potential lately....

Posted by: PhilR | January 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@vsmartin007

You can get a C at Kettler. Last year when I bought my Feds jersey at VC they were out of A's but I got one later at Kettler.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

one may obtain any authentic NHL lettering and crests at

www.rivercitysports.com

they do the actual jersey for most NHL teams, etc...call them and ask for the "C" in the Caps font...they'll most likely have it.

enjoy.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am heading down to Atlanta this weekend to visit a friend but happened to time the visit for a Caps game. Has anyone been to Phillips Arena and am I to anticipate getting bounced when I cheer LOUDLY for our guys (not that I really care but need to know if I should take my medical insurance card for the trip to Emergency Room)

Posted by: AADCDERM | January 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@AADCDERM

You will be one of 2000 people there.

Kovalchuk is gone...the people dont care in Atlanta.

It's like Washington used to be, but now that the Caps are good, all the Rangers and Penguins and Flyers fans cheer for the Caps and have the best of both worlds...total scum..all of them...

Posted by: SA-Town | January 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Lots of 'characters' at the Phonebooth for Caps games; my favorite has to be the baby sneaked behind the post game interview w/ Lisa Hillary... this ussually means we won :)
And yeah, the astronaut is kinda creepy

Posted by: guer_j | January 8, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Backs get the "A" when we are rid of Poti (who, admittedly, played well last night).

I hate Poti.

Posted by: JSchon | January 8, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

should brooks or brads get the A over nick?

Posted by: _stevo | January 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

latest rumor - astronaut = owner of the rocket bar. I have seen the astronaut at the rocket bar a few times in full astrowear before games.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

jschon, dont look now, but that's two good games in a row for poti. he was really good v montreal. needed to do a double take on who that was. havent seen a dman wearing number three like that since, well, lets not go there.

the key is whether he will stay out of the box on OT in the playoffs and/or stop kicking the puck in the net at bad times.

i also thought erskine played well again although number 71 almost undressed him once down low. he again got caught w/out a stick and had to take a wrong handed stick from a forward. i thought he played better with it...he lost a glove too for a while. guy's a one man yard sale out there.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

nick wore an A some last year if i recall correctly.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 8, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Just moved to San Diego so Kettler no longer an option but got the last two they had at www.rivercitysports.com. Thanks @netminder71.

Posted by: vsmartin007 | January 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I like Laich for the "A".

Posted by: dccitizen1 | January 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@Matt23185: I'm pretty sure it was the video coach who was sitting with GMGM in his box -- Blaine Forsythe (sp?).

Posted by: cort1000 | January 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@ AADCDERM.

I am in Atlanta and will also be at the game. Section 111 wearing an Ovi jersey. No medical insurance needed. Should be plenty of Caps fan there with you!! :-)

Posted by: capsfanNtheATL | January 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I like hearing that from Poti. We have to go for the jugular on this trip. A 18-20 point lead would be dang near insurmountable.

BTW, AA, please, be respectful. Lets show our class as visitors and be better than the jerks who come into our building.

Posted by: EricS2 | January 8, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

vsmartin007: I just got a Varlamov from River City Sports. They sent me small instead of medium. Due to mistake, and me willing to keep jersey. they're sending now also a Backstrom for $140 vs normal price of $195. I called an asked how to much to throw a home "C" (for my Ovechkin, so I could upgrade myself) in with the order, loose (the "C" is different home vs away jersey, so you muct specify). Anyway, he said it would be $10 for a loose C. I thought that was really high since they do name and numbers for $70 with sewing. But, since I was getting discount, I accepted it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@EricS2

I agree wholeheartedly with your point of respect at an away arena. It is like being a guest at somebodies house. You can still have fun as a guest in their home but can't necessarily go down to the fridge at 2am in your underwear and eat the rest of the cold pizza!

Posted by: AADCDERM | January 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@ I am heading down to Atlanta this weekend to visit a friend but happened to time the visit for a Caps game. Has anyone been to Phillips Arena and am I to anticipate getting bounced when I cheer LOUDLY for our guys (not that I really care but need to know if I should take my medical insurance card for the trip to Emergency Room)

Posted by: AADCDERM | January 8, 2010 2:16 PM

I went to the CAPS game agaisnt the Thrash at Phillips a couple years ago when we were fighting for the playoffs. Game was awesume! Phillips arena is very nice, very cold, very quiet (for the most part). Fans are o.k....Hope you have fun there!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Funny thought: My 79 yr old mother in law has come to a few games with my kids and I. Anyway at the gate Verizon security has checked her purse as if she was a terrorist. Just wondering if they make Astronaut guy remove his dome?! The guy could have a mini keg in that thing! Maybe I'll come as the Michelin Man with a 12 pack and snacks inside. Also you gotta feel for the person who has the seat behind Astronaut guy!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I don't recall having heard from Horn Guy the last couple of home games at VC. Anybody know what happened to him?

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Was at the game last night and on Tuesday night, and I believe horn guy was there doing his thing on both nights...he was also holding a Caps/Olympics sign both nights...

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 8, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@VsMartin,

Lucky you. I'm a San Diegan by birth, (Hence why I'm a Kings Fan.) and a Washingtonian by necessity.) Enjoy San Diego. Not much hockey there, but there's some.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 8, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

But I do not think I saw or heard the guy who rings the big cow bell. Both nights felt relatively loud though, so I may have just missed it.

They played the "unleash the fury" video last night, with the normal huge reaction, and then later on they played the "victoryyyy" video with little reaction (atleast last year that video, although not as popular, garnered more reactions....though I do not remember them playing both videos on the same night...)

Speaking of the videos, I think it is Capsfan75 who says that she never sees a win when the Caps play "The Hockey Song" video. They played it against Montreal...so, hopefully you were there to witness that, and perhaps the jinx has been broken?

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 8, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to Caps at Lightning next Tuesday the 12th?

I just got 4 tickets on the Lightning ticket exchange on their home page. Right on the center line, sect 301 (upper deck) row K seats 3-6. Only $27 each with the $2 service charge. Very reasonable for center ice ticket. I suppose this is the season ticker holder exchange place.

They also have 4 tix sec 101 row C. That might be front row (sometimes A and B don't exist there due to benches). Only $150 each!

If your name is Kennedy or Gates, scarf em up!

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is the hockey song should not be played ever again at a Caps game.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

he was also holding a Caps/Olympics sign both nights...

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 8, 2010 3:44 PM |

That was very cool. Pretty stoked they unleashed the fury last night too. Normally they don't play it unless its a close game- but I'll take it anytime I can get it.

UtF --> Jungle = baller

Posted by: Fro_ | January 8, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is the hockey song should not be played ever again at a Caps game.

Posted by: capsfansince74

I kind of agree with that, but I think it is something the kids like, or families...some people get into it, and I guess thats what they are hoping for...though I thought it was funny when they used to play it and changed "Bobby scores!" to "Bonsai scores!" at least.

All I know is that the past two games, there were some major positive energy/vibes going through that building :)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 8, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

since we have some young strong defenseman in our pipeline

can we now trade Mike Green for a 'tough stay at home defenseman'?

Posted by: Nats1924 | January 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@ kcbrichmond

They check all bags and purses, so your mother was in no way targetted :)

RE Theo's "lack of performance"

Do you think you'd better by sitting on the bench? If they play him as rarely as they do, that won't help him. Everyone ignores Neuvy's bad games. There's an excuse for those, but if we lose a game with Theo in the net, it is surely his fault..?

RE astronaut

Whatever makes our fans special! There are thousands of people in Caps gear, not as exciting. Although it is pretty random.

Posted by: RusCap | January 8, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think the CapsRap is pretty amusing. Have ya'll watched this? Maybe they could play this at Verizon. The guy who made it said he hasn't been a longtime fan, but he did his homework inlcuding Gartner, Langway, Bondra, Hunter, and the Essa Tikkanen miss.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

RusCap
I wasn't implying she was targeted, just humorously wondering if Astronaut man has to remove his dome/helmet/mask to be checked?....

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 8, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps are going to have a nice problem on their hands when it comes to extending the contract for Backstrom. He's now clearly developed into an elite center and is probably the 2nd most important player on the team after Ovechkin. Semin and Green are very skilled, but neither is as irreplaceable for the Caps. Fleischman is also in the conversation as one of our top players.

It's time the Caps seriously made a move to sure up the defense with a tough stay blueliner who can clear out the crease. That's still someting that is missing on defense even with the improvement of Schultz . I'd hate to see them trade any of the young talent, but it may be a necessity to get a strong veteran defenseman for the playoffs.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond

Gotcha, you just mentioned the "terrorist" :) I wondered about that too but they don't do pat downs on winter coats, which I guess defeats the whole point anyway. He could bring an extra person inside :) He has good seats, I'd be willing! Just kidding..

Posted by: RusCap | January 8, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Lucky you. I'm a San Diegan by birth, (Hence why I'm a Kings Fan.) and a Washingtonian by necessity.) Enjoy San Diego. Not much hockey there, but there's some.

Posted by: oldtimehockey

Yeah, sitting out by the pool enjoying the sun. Second time living in SD and yes, we are lucky. Went to the Caps/Kings game last week, pretty good experience which would've been better if the Caps won.

There's enough hockey here, son's already in a league at the Kroc Ice Arena. Just need to figure how be home by 4pm to catch the Caps games live on Center Ice or DVR it.

Posted by: vsmartin007 | January 8, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Do you think you'd better by sitting on the bench? If they play him as rarely as they do, that won't help him. Everyone ignores Neuvy's bad games. There's an excuse for those, but if we lose a game with Theo in the net, it is surely his fault..

______
I do not always think when Theo losses, its his fault...oftentimes, when he losses, the D are having a rough night as well. However, I feel that he, more than Varly or Nuevy, contributes to the mess in front of him on those nights. Often times he makes it even harder for the D in front of him by not having great rebound control...

That is not to say that Nuevy or Varly are better with their rebound control (though I kind of think they are a slight upgrade), but when they give up a bad rebound, they either make a good second save (often times) or, when they don't at least then the fans can look at it and say that those two still need to season their games a little...they are not veteran goaltenders who earn millions of dollars at this point in their careers...At this point, its not about excuses, I just think that losses or off nights are just easier to swallow when it is Varly's or Nuevy's,

That being said, I think that I would rather have Theo stick around this year, or shop around for another veteran before the playoffs... Though it sounds exciting and even doable to go into the playoffs with a Varly/Nuevy duo....I think the Caps are too close to the Cup to make that sort of gamble.

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | January 8, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I made the big screen when the played the hockey song on tues nite, so Im all for it and my chance at 3 secs of fame! Though I wouldnt mind seeing the caps rap on the big screen

LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: malujoker | January 8, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's wait a couple of weeks with Pothier back in the lineup before calling for another trade to fix the D. I thought we played very solid last night, Pothier seemed to be the missing piece we needed back and the pairings really seemed to click. He's maybe the unsung MVP for the back line. I know he's not the physical presence everybody wants, but last night the sum was truly better than the parts.

Posted by: LouLewis | January 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Another note on Pothier from the Ottawa link in the morning links:

"Former Sens defenseman Brian Pothier suited up after missing the past 11 games with a rib injury. A lesser light among the Caps’ stars, but they’re just 7-6-1 when he doesn’t play and 19-5-5 when he does."

Posted by: malujoker | January 8, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I love Laich...he is so passonate about his game! You'll break out of this slump soon Laich...RELAX!

Posted by: capscoach | January 8, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

HP1's Power Rankings:

1) Devils
2) Blackhawks
3) Sharks
4) Caps
5) Sabres

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | January 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman said it best in the previous post. The problem with Jose is that games like last night's don't happen regularly. Like he put it, "The problem is that his ratio of games like these to "Threeormore" games is roughly 1:3."

I want him to play tomorrow but there's that possibility that he won't play well and goes back to being "Threeormore." He must be more consistent. And tomorrow will be big for him (assuming he plays) since Atlanta can really score. (Even though they just snapped their 9 game losing streak last night.) They're still dangerous.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

As Bill Parcells always says you are what your record says you are... doesn't matter which goals that Theo gives up are his fault and which aren't.

Varly, Theo and now Neuvy have the same team playing in front of them and they have significantly different records... it's kinda foolish to think those records are just coincidences.

Posted by: joek443 | January 8, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Saw that Hillary-distracting "baby" last night and she looks about 4 or 5 now. Nearby fans should shower the parents with undrunk beer.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | January 8, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

@The_Stanley_Caps

I was there and heard "The Hockey Song" played during the first period against Montreal. I guess that jinx is finally broken. (Note: they were tied 0-0 at the time.) While I haven't kept a running tally, I think most of the times I recall hearing it were during third period.

I also notice that capsfansince74 does not like that song. (A fan of the team even longer than me.) A (now former) coworker of mine, who's as old as me, would like it retired as well.

In any case, glad that jinx is broken. So the song will annoy me much less.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@Nats1924

I assume you're kidding about trading Green for a STH defenseman.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1

No surprise to see us ranked behind the Devils and Sharks in the power rankings. At least we're ahead of Buffalo.

I don't recall what site it was -- maybe Sporting News. But they had their grades for each team. The Devils got an A+ (no surprise). Buffalo was given an A. The Caps got an A+ (yes, this was even after our West Coast disaster). I personally would have given the Caps an A-. Yes, it's a good season so far but with some of the real heartbreaking losses where we had the lead and blew it, either regulation or OT, I don't think an A+ is quite in order.

Carolina got an F, I believe. The Pens got a B+, which seemed a bit low but that's what happens after 4 or 5 game losing streaks.

(There was a link from Japers site on Monday or Tuesday to those grades.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@CapsCan75

We were also at the game and when they played The Hockey Song I thought of your jinx concerns but I wasn't too worried. The Caps were playing with confidence and Theo had already made some solid saves. Glad the jinx is now broken tho' I think my son prefers the song.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I think a B+ is fair for the Pens. They are REALLY not playing up to their ability. But I have no doubt that they will rebound.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Philips Arena is awesome.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 8, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

I guess the time to play that song is in the first period of a game, like Tuesday. Just not the Third Period.

So your son likes that song.

At least the jinx is broken when playing it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@malujoker

So Ottawa has taken notice of the Caps' performance with and without Brian Pothier. (Obviously, we're better off with him than without him.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Who will they play in goal? Will it be Jose? Or will it be your boy, Michal? Or do you still consider him your boy?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

What can I say--he's nine. I think it's kinda hokey but my husband likes it too. Takes him back to his younger years.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

He likes Hockey Monkey too. Great song for the younger crowd--preteen I mean.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Bears at Manitoba tonight...end of the 1st, 0-0.

Holtby in goal. Backup is some local dude named Stefan Drew. Bacashihua was unable to make the trip to Canada due to "visa problems." WTF?

Canadian fans are booing John Carlson whenever he touches the puck...I love it!

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201

I wonder -- what kind of Visa problems is Bacashihua having? (Did he just manage to miss out on the fact that we now need passports to go to Canada or what?)

JB hasn't played goal for Hershey for awhile. He played none of the 3 games last week (and maybe part of one the previous week.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

End of the second...tied 1-1.

Bears goal: Andrew Gordon
Moose goal: Matt Pettinger

@CapsFan75: I have no idea what Cash's problem is. I would think the team would have ascertained at the beginning of the season that he had a passport. My thought is maybe it was an older passport that had expired and no one noticed till now.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

End of regulation...still tied 1-1 and heading for overtime.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

BEARS WIN! Bears win in a 7-round shootout to run the winning streak to 11 games (ties a franchise record).

Posted by: tess2201 | January 8, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

bears win in shootout! 2-1

Posted by: dc33 | January 8, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Aww, looks like Carlson had a chance to end it, but way to go Andrew Gordon for the final winner! Way to go Holtby!

Congrats Bears!

Posted by: malujoker | January 8, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Great job by the Bears! They don't even need Neuvirth at this point. They're winning without him. (LOL)

Did anyone ever think that a 20 year old goalie would essentially start playing just about every game for the Bears? When's the last time, Cash (who I refer to as Chihuahua) was in goal? No times last week. Maybe a brief appearance the previous week. And he obviously won't be appearing this weekend.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's time for the world to end when Tampa Bay is leading New Jersey by 3 goals about midway through the game.

Here comes the lighting and thunder. And fire and brimstone.

In reality, a lighting failure on one side of the arena caused the game to be suspended. They waited for nearly 2 hour to see if they could restore power and even consulted with the NHL but no luck. So the game is suspended and no word as to when they will play. (NJ plays tomorrow.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 8, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

With 3 really good young goalies all barely old enough to buy a beer legally, should we consider trading one for either a good stay at home d or a top rate defensive forward?

[been reading CI for a while now, but finally decided to post. Long-time caps fan, back to the days of Robert Picard, Guy Charron, Paul Mulvey, and "Guaranteed Win Night" games. Although have to admit i kind of lost my way during the post-Cup finals down years. But restored faith is usually stronger than the original so I will not stray again]

Posted by: Gould23 | January 9, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Crazy day at ice rinks today. NJ/TB have the game suspended due to lights going out and at The Mellon today the Pittsburgh college hockey showcase was delayed two and a half hours because there is a cherry picker stuck on the ice before Robert Morris upsets #1 Miami.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 9, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Crazy day at ice rinks today. NJ/TB have the game suspended due to lights going out and at The Mellon today the Pittsburgh college hockey showcase was delayed two and a half hours because there is a cherry picker stuck on the ice before Robert Morris upsets #1 Miami.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 9, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

enjoy the live score
http://www.nowgoal.com/30.shtml

Posted by: d1g00f | January 9, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

"been reading CI for a while now, but finally decided to post. Long-time caps fan, back to the days of Robert Picard, Guy Charron, Paul Mulvey, and "Guaranteed Win Night" games."

Too funny, Paul Mulvey lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid and lived across the street from one of my best friends. I went to high school with his daughter and she is sweet girl (contrary to Paul's reputation). First time I have seen his name dropped on this message board.

Posted by: eorr | January 9, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Everyone in the neighborhood knew that you don't mess with "Tall" Paul!

Posted by: eorr | January 9, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil and the other supporters of Volchenkov

What do you think about the guy, playing 18:39 min, -3, with 3 sog - the same number as Backstrom, Gordon and Fleischmann, after watching him play against our offense? Is it this, what the Caps need? Can you characterise him as a shut-down defenseman ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 9, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: I assume it's Theodore since he had a good game on Thursday. He always says he needs to get into a rhythm. He deserves tonight's start. Let's hope he takes advantage of it. Yes Michal is still my boy.

Oh yeah, thanks to Tampa Bay for beating NJ!

Posted by: rachel216 | January 9, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Unfortunately: "Lighting failure halts Devils-Lightning" ...(http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=512949)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | January 9, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

With 3 really good young goalies all barely old enough to buy a beer legally, should we consider trading one for either a good stay at home d or a top rate defensive forward?
Posted by: Gould23 | January 9, 2010 12:30 AM
-------------------------------
Not yet, in my opinion. I mean, how do you know which two to keep and which to send packing? I think they all need more time (like a year) to sort out this situation and see who is going to emerge as the top two. Right now Varly seems to be injury-prone, but when healthy he could be a #1. And we haven't seen enough of Mikey and Holtby to pass judgment on them yet. These three kids just need time to develop and I hope GM and BB are patient enough to wait it out.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 9, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Tess:

I think you're probably right about waiting a year. Next year could be Varly/Mikey here with Holtby in Hershey in case either of the top 2 get injured. But it sure is a nice "problem" wondering about how to deal with 3 good young goalies.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 9, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

With 3 really good young goalies all barely old enough to buy a beer legally, should we consider trading one for either a good stay at home d or a top rate defensive forward?

Posted by: Gould23 | January 9, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say they have 3 really young goalies just yet... outta those three the only one who has any real trade value is Varly.

And he's also the only one who has proven anything in the playoffs. We've had a goalie not too long ago who even won the Vezina but couldn't do anything in the playoffs so I wouldn't say Neuvy has really proven anything just yet.

Posted by: joek443 | January 9, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@AADCDERM

Phillips Arena is so tame. I've been to about 20 games in Atlanta and never had anything said to me, even while wearing my Ovechkin shirt. Lukewarm fans.

I'll be there tonight cheering from the nosebleeds, and I expect a pretty big crowd, but you won't hear from the fans unless there's a penalty or somehow ATL scores.

Posted by: Cerealman | January 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@Cerealman

I didn't think Atlanta's primary problem was offense. They have Kovalchuk on their team. I thought defense and goal tending were more issumatic for them.

Anyway, I hope you see the Caps beat Atlanta (who has not been Hotlanta, as of late, both in the weather and in the team's recent play).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Great to see a Paul Mulvey name-drop!
I believe Paul is one of the unsung heroes of the local hockey scene. When he opened the Reston Rink, interest in hockey exploded in northern Va. I can't begin to list all of the things that he did to help grow youth hockey around here. He then went on to partner in the Ashburn Rink.
Not only was he a huge, though quiet, influence on the area, he's a true gentleman and always insisted on respect and love for the game of hockey.
Paul deserves some kind of official recognition for his contributions!

Posted by: gewhiteva | January 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@eorr & Gould23

You guys bring back many memories of the olden days for the Caps.

I remember Paul Mulvey. And Guy Charron and Robert Picard and "Guaranteed Win Nights".

I remember that at the time they had Picard on the roster, they had a goalie named Bedard. (So when Erik Bedard was on the Orioles, I was reminded of the old Caps).

BTW, we have our regular poster who went to school with Jeff Halpern.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1 - I haven't gotten off the A-train. I don't understand the comparison you are trying to make with Backstrom, Gordon, and Fleischmann. He is absolutely one of a very small number of d-men in the league I would characterize as "shut-down," certainly way more than anyone currently on the Caps. Did you see something during the game that would lead you to think otherwise? Did you see their horrible goal tending? Over the course of the season, he has a strong +/- on a mediocre team with bad goal tending.

Posted by: zmega | January 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@gewhiteva

Gee, I never realized that Paul Mulvey was responsible for building the Reston Ice Rink (i.e. Skatequest) or that he partnered for Ashburn. I know both rinks are rink partners with the Caps and sell Caps related stuff. (And I go skate over at both places. Yes, I recommend ice skating as great exercise and plan to skate over at the Reston Rink in a few minutes after grabbing some lunch.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

That must be a sad commentary on the state of the Eastern Conference, if a mediocre team with bad goaltending, like Ottawa, is in the middle of the 8 playoff bound teams. (Unless Ottawa is about to implode, given the absences of Speeza and Alfredsson.)

Another sad commentary on Eastern Conferences can be seen on ESPN's mid season report cards. Several playoff contending teams in the EC got poor grades.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Any updates coming? There are reports on twitter that Neuvy (the new kid) will be in goal tonight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 9, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan - In terms of points, Ottawa is tied for 16th in a 30 team league, and only one point ahead of the 8th Eastern playoff spot. So maybe "average" is a less harsh characterization. I don't get to see that much of them, and they certainly miss the two players you mention. But statistically, their goaltending is one of the worst in the league (27th in goals allowed 5-on-5). Every indication that I have seen indicates that Volchenkov is one of the few bright spots on the team.

Posted by: zmega | January 9, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a better indicator of Ottawa's goalie situation - Elliott and Leclaire are ranked 42nd and 46th in the league in save percentage.

Posted by: zmega | January 9, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

It looks to me like they are showcasing Neuvirth for a possible trade. I disagree with the previously made point that Varlamov is the only Caps goalie with trade value. Maybe Irbe wasn't up in Hershey recently just to work with Varlamov.

Posted by: zmega | January 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea Paul Mulvey had any connection to the area....that's awesome.

Capsfan...I also thought of Jim Bedard when Erik was on the Orioles. I don't think there's any relation, altho both are from Canada.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 9, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

【 live score】 and 【odds advise 】
http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 10, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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