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Capitals Taking It Easy With Varlamov

The Capitals are being cautious with rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov, who left practice early and is nursing a sore groin that he injured during the first preseason game against Carolina.

"We didn't want to push him too hard we just needed a second goalie for the shots so we asked him to come out then go get treatment," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's a very minor thing but like everything else we don't want to rush him."

Boudreau added that Varlamov had such a strong performance against the Hurricanes that he would have likely gotten significant ice time in another one of these early preseason games if not for the injury. But at this point, Boudreau said he's not sure how much more time Varlamov might see considering that Jose Theodore and Brent Johnson need to be in game shape.

**Center Nicklas Backstrom looked strong skating at full speed in today's drills and said afterward that his ankle feels fine. General Manager George McPhee said Backstrom is expected to play tomorrow in New Jersey barring any sort of a setback.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 28, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
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Posted by: capsfaninslovakia | September 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

thanks tarik, i was wondering why varlamov left early and was not really himself. better to be careful with this guy, he is a stud

Posted by: O-V-P | September 28, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Is it just by coincidence that who ever's "1st" never seems to have anything of substance to add?

Posted by: jak | September 28, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Awesome news about Backstrom -- or should I panic and find some overpriced goalies to replace Varlamov? And while we're at it, let's trade away Nylander and Federov, umm and Schultz and Alzner, oh, I can't forget Jurinca. Did I get all the people many bloggers here want to throw away?

Posted by: JIM | September 28, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

JIM: You forgot Erskine and Flash. XD

Posted by: this space for rent | September 28, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It's reassuring to hear any news about Backstrom.

Posted by: ephperson | September 28, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...I don't recall Varlamov even playing in the 2nd Carolina game.

Posted by: Jill | September 29, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Too bad for Varlo. Well, what Bruce said here confirms that we're going with Jose and Brent as 1 and 2 to start the season while Varlamov will start the season in Hershey.

BTW, everyone is so surprised with how good Varlamov has performed in camp. I told you guys this kid is NHL ready. He was the starting goalie for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, a team that ended up going all the way to the finals in the Russian Superliga last year. RSL or now the KHL is no junior league. He had a great season and they pushed Salavat (the Red Wings of the RSL and now KHL) all the way in the final.

I predict that Varlamov might be up with the big club rather sooner than later this season. Theodore as our #1 is my biggest concern going into the season, especially considering our D. I'd expect a lot of high scoring games. We're a bit like Tampa. Very deep at forward, but questionable D and goaltending.

Posted by: ranndino | September 29, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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