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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 the youngster was rock solid, turning back all 14 shots he faced, including a prime opportunity for Alex Tanguay from the slot. (Yes, Alex Kovalev's rebound attempt hit the post. But you make your breaks, right?)

Anyway, due to Varlamov's limited English, it was tough to get much in the way of quotes from him tonight. So I went to everyone else.

"That was pretty good, eh?," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Nerves of steel. He rose to the occasion. It was really cool."

Said Alex Ovechkin: "He's a tremendous player. I am so happy for him to get his first win - in Montreal especially."

And Brooks Laich: "To be composed in this building, in his first NHL start, it was awesome to see."

Ovechkin was so happy with Varlamov's performance, he celebrated by shoving a shaving cream pie in his face. When the media entered the dressing room, Varlamov was sitting in his stall, wiping it out of his eyes.

"It was his first game, first win," Ovechkin explained.

Some other notes/quotes/thoughts from tonight:


*With the win, their third in a row and fifth in six outings, the Southeast Division-leading Caps (39 points) are closing in on the Rangers (42) for second in the Eastern Conference.

*Sergei Fedorov, Tyler Sloan and Nicklas Backstrom all failed to finish the game. Fedorov and Sloan both left with undisclosed injuries after 40 minutes, while Backstrom departed in the third period with migraine headaches. Fedorov, of course, has been battling a bum ankle while Sloan has been bothered with a hurt heel.

The team did not provide an update on either of them, and since there is no practice tomorrow, we might not hear anything concrete until Monday.

*Michael Nylander's goal wasn't pretty, but being that it was his first in 26 games, he wasn't about to complain. "I knew it was going to come sooner or later," he said. "and it came at a good point."

*The Canadiens went 0 for 8 on the power play. "It's nonexistent," Coach Guy Carbonneau said of his PP. To be exact, Montreal's PP is 6 for 77 in the past 17 games. The Caps, of course, praised their PK, which had something to do with it.

*Backstrom's goal was his fifth in seven games, and it came on the power play, which has notched at least one goal in each of the past four games (five total in the span). The unit is up to fifth in the league.

*Varlamov wasn't the only shaving cream victim tonight. Donald Brashear nailed Fedorov with a pie for his 39th birthday.

That's all for tonight. Right now, I'm planning on checking in from KCI on Monday. But if I hear anything on the injuries in the meantime I'll be sure to post an update.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 13, 2008; 11:26 PM ET
 
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Comments

mmm -pie!

I loved that game -- except for the injuries. Looking forward to that update. Thanks Tarik.

Posted by: uncatim | December 13, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the report Tarik. Best reporter in the NHL!

The Russians OWN DC!!!

and I'm glad ;-)

Posted by: eddiepanic | December 13, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

HAHA! nice Ovi.

Posted by: elicea | December 13, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

It was a really entertaining game. Could have gone either way.

This was a pretty special week. We beat the Sens - no biggie there. But to beat Boston and Montreal is a pretty good feat.

Now before we all go saying that Varlamov is the second coming (a little late for that statement, I know) let's understand that if we brought him up there are two major hurdles to overcome.

First is cap space, and second is who do you dump? Easy statement is JT, but who would want him, and what would you want in return because who ever you trade JT to will need to make cap room themselves. All the GM's read the trades and they know who the duds and hot players are.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 13, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

HAHA! And another pie to Feds. It's pie night!

Posted by: elicea | December 13, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

@GregS.: I think another thing that everyone is forgetting is that Varlamov will get a ton of games if he stays in Hershey all year, maybe even part of next year. If he comes to Washington to sit on the bench behind Johnny how is he going to get that in-game experience? Most goalies need that AHL seasoning.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 13, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Ditto...thanks Tarik!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 13, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

*Michael Nylander's goal wasn't pretty, ...
Speak for yourself Tarik. I thought it was a great goal. Nylander might have not been scoring many goals, but many of them were scored because of his play.

Posted by: opita | December 14, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better:

You just picked a sentence of a bit of my analysis and proceeded to call it moronic when I wasn't even talking to you.

The argument equation was silly then, and is silly now. Again, equating 60 to a broken down Kolzig has no basis for comparison, etc.

And your reason for calling it such was truly moronic and completely illogical. Somehow the fact that Kolzig is 6 years older than Theo made my statement that Kolzig last year and Theo this year were both way under par for what's expected out of an NHL starter.

You mean like Chris Osgood and Marty Turco?

I'm not some dumb kid that posts 4 word completely incoherent replies on YT.

Didn't say you were.

People who talk to me respectfully get rational, measured, highly respectful responses (this is proven by months of my comments on here). When you start off by calling someone a moron that tends to get the discussion into the toilet very quickly. To pretend later like you're the innocent one is disingenuous at best.

Apparently you've re-read the beginning of all this (thank goodness), and it started by insulting the argument, not the person making it. There's a difference.

Anyway, we're done. I'm sorry that you dragged me down to your level. A piece of advice for you though. If you wanna be treated with respect you should refrain from starting a conversation with someone you don't know by calling them a moron.

Posted by: ranndino | December 13, 2008 11:35 PM

Maybe you didn't reread the discussion. So here's my quote, in fuller context. Let me know where I called YOU a moron.

"Any argument equation of Theodore to Kolzig is moronic, seeing as how Kolzig is 6 years older and is pretty much running on empty.

Call me crazy, but I'll take the coach at his word, ride the hot hand and wait on making the call on a #1. I'd rather do that than following the position of hoping that Johnson can play 35-45 more games on what could be a injury that could bother him all year long and blindly throw the other goalie under the bus."

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Back, guys - sorry having technical difficulties this evening on an old backup laptop.

Migraines? Oh oh. Not fun at all. I don't like the sound of that, either. Let's hope it's just a one-time thing and nothing serious.

Agree that keeping Varlamov and Alzner up all season may not be possible. Sloan just might be - maybe. I think we're stuck with JT for the duration, and what tonight was was a promise for the future. A big promise for the future.

Can someone please explain to me why it would be either impossible or not to our benefit to send JT down to Hershey for example?

Pie night? Must be quite a celebration. :) It is Feds' birthday, though (and happy birthday Fedorov!)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

great win, varlamov's aggressiveness may catch up to him sooner or later with the advanced scouting that exists at this level... well congrats to the kid for the win anyway.

Posted by: rh71 | December 14, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh jeez. Poor Backstrom! I've had migranes before, and those really are no fun at all! :( Poor guy!!!

QUESTION:

The Brisebois goal at 15:25 in the 2nd was after the face-off that followed the Sloan-Kostapoulos roughing penalties and the Kovalev hi-stick, all of which occurred at 15:14... how was that an even strength goal? The Kovalev penalty had yet to expire, and Washington should have been on the power play... yes?

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The minute that people call Varlamov "The Net Detective," start worrying.

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

My only worry with sending JT to Hershey is actually two-fold. While yes, he'd have to go through waivers to get there, and we'd risk someone snatching him up, I find that highly unlikely. The real problem is that Varlamov will get more ice-time playing in Hershey, and he will get the seasoning he needs to be this kind of a goaltender all the time when he comes up next season or the season after. If he's up here, he plays backup to Johnson, and that works well the way we're playing JT/Johnny now, but if we keep Varlamov up, and he starts having problems and has played too many games, then HE has to go through waivers to get back down to Hershey, and he would be snatched, no question.

The boy just beat the Habs in their own lair in their 100th anniversary year, and he darn near shut them out. I'd rather send him back to Hershey as soon as Theodore is healthy enough to play than risk losing him to waivers if we keep him and he starts having problems.

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Ok on a totally different note.

I am completely fed up with CSN coverage(not announcing). How could we miss the wild celebration on the bench when Nylander scored. Its all over Canadian TV how crazy caps went on the bench after Nylander goal and how BB had to calm them down. Those are some of the best moments for us the viewers to see. But CSN completely ignored it. Not only do I have to suffer through the NON HD CSN+ broadcast but now the actual coverage is horrible.

Does Comcast have something against Caps? 4 win team (wizards get top priority) Then Friday they showed MARYLAND against Deleware State, Maybe if it was DUKE or UNC but Deleware State? Makes absolutelly no sense especially if Caps TV ratings are up 140% from last year.

Posted by: lightshow | December 14, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I just posted War and Peace on the last thread, and got the moderator message, but the upshot was that Green didn't play as badly as people are making him out to have played, at least not as far as I can tell.

* He made 6 attempts to score (2 counted as shots on goal, 3 blocked, 1 miss)
* He blocked 2 shots (1 from Lang, 1 from Bouillon)

He didn't hit anyone, but I'd be cautious, too, given his shoulder problems recently. AND he's just played his first two games back in a couple of weeks, back-to-back. He didn't do that badly; none of his mistakes resulted in a goal for the Habs, and the bottom line is that is what counts.

In fact, Green had one giveaway all game - and got a takeaway, so I'd call that balanced, myself. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Sigh. Don't make me turn this blog around, boys.

@ranndino: Nobody dragged you to anyone's level. Nobody ever can. You went down there all by yourself. You are not a victim here. It doesn't matter if people call you names or not. They're just words, and if you respond in a calm, coherent, non-insulting, and non-arrogant fashion, you make them look stupid by taking the higher road.

Trying to get someone to admit they're wrong, if they don't want to, is an absolute waste of time and everyone's nerves, and makes you look stuck-up and self-righteous and as if you think you are G-d's gift to hockey. It's not appreciated, no matter how much it might make you feel better. Please don't do it anymore, because it just makes you look bad. Capiche?

@Section117: "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." The snark is only feeding the fire and will not settle the argument, and sometimes it's misdirected.

Maybe I should take my own advice :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"The snark is only feeding the fire and will not settle the argument, and sometimes it's misdirected."

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 12:22 AM
-------------------------------------------
But it's so much fun! It's either that or gambling.

Where's DaveUK, gotta give him grief about ManU drawing with Spurs...

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

@ irockthered

Couldn't agree more with coverage. It's pathetic.

Posted by: elicea | December 14, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I disagree I think Nyl goal WAS pretty. He knew exactly what he was doing... and he was on the ground.

To whoever knows Varlamov: is he consistent in the AHL? Cause he surely was impressive tonight, age or not. He has some cat-like moves... and they were charging him like crazy and he didn't flinch. Not that I'm sold but... one more game like this one and I WILL be sold :D

Waiting for updates on the injured :(

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

@elicea - That was lightshow, but I tend to agree anyway. CSN+ was terrible, though I did get a bit of amusment out of "Varmalov..." Made me think of marmalade for some reason... maybe I'm just hungry. ;-)

Still, CSN+ did beat watching it on the webcast. That 'bout made me crosseyed!

"Watching" on WFED AM 1300 is getting easier, but is still complicated with my 13-year-old daughter yammering in my ear about boys. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Semin was already in the box for hooking a minute earlier, so the Kovalev extra penalty made it 4-on-4 on the ice, hence the even strength goal.

Posted by: Cerealman | December 14, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

@mauree - I'd say Varlamov is doing very well up in Hershey. He's played 13 games, has a 2.34 GAA, a .909 SV%, made 288 saves, and has been scored on 29 times in 742 minutes on the ice.

By comparison, Theodore has played 17 games, has a 3.08 GAA, a .888 SV%, made 398 saves, and has been scored on 50 times in 975 minutes on the ice.

Johnny has played 15 games, has a 2.36 GAA, a .922 SV%, made 391 saves, and has been scored on 33 times in 838 minutes.

If Varlamov can continue to play consistently like he did tonight, he will do very well for us!

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

@Cerealman - Thanks!!! This is what I get for trying to read 6-point type too fast... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

HEy! What Cap peed in McCreary's cereal? What happened that made him hate the caps so much? Every time he's on the ice, he's calling penalties on the Caps and just trying to give games away. This has been going on for a few seasons, at least. That guy just has it out for this team.

Posted by: oo7 | December 14, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm no McCreary fan, but with the exception of the awful four-minute high-sticking call against Ovechkin, I thought the officiating on the calls were correct ... the Capitals were careless with their sticks a few times tonight and fortunate that their PK was so good.

Posted by: Cerealman | December 14, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Bill McCreary hails from Ontario, but I can't see him helping a team from Quebec. Maybe it's Canadian nationalism, but the folks I know from Ontario don't like the folks who speak French either... :-p

The first game he officiated, assuming the same Bill McCleary, according to NHLOFFICIALS.com was PITTSBURGH @ WASHINGTON on 3-NOV-1984...

I can't go back that far on NHL.com, and Wikipedia doesn't have anything about that game, either... but...

According to HOCKEY-REFERENCE.com, the game that night was the Capitals vs. the Devils, and the Caps won, 6-4.

I'm not sure which site is correct (though I tend to lean towards the former) and this is all speculation at 1 AM for fun anyway... but maybe - just maybe - Mike Gartner or Rod Langway sat on him and he decided to hate the Caps for all time?

I don't know; I was still in Indiana in 1984, but it's amusing to speculate, at any rate... ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov is the "Iron Curtain"...I say we dump all poor performing players and only pick up players from Russia. I love a good American-born player as much as the next person but these Russians have blessed us nicely.

Posted by: OvyNation8888 | December 14, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

@ Section117

You reveal your true self by not letting it die and carrying it over into yet another thread. I won't take the bait. We're done.

@ kittypawz

Teaching a pig to sing is exactly like teaching Section117 reading comprehension. 100% pointless. We're done.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

WooHoo
Send Three-or-more to South Carolina! We have a goalie!

Posted by: majiksea | December 14, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

On Varlamov. It is my opinion that he could play on the NHL level this season. It was my opinion before this season started (based on seeing him a lot in the RSL last year) and he has done nothing to make me change it. Quite the opposite.

Knowing how good he is made me cringe when we signed Theo, but I could also see the reasons for doing so. GMGM wanted a "proven #1" even if that proven #1 has been pretty horrendous for a few seasons now (with one exceptional spell at the end of last season).

In retrospect, at least so far, that decision was a mistake. For better or for worse we're now stuck with Theo and his huge contract even though we have better and cheaper alternatives.

I hold GMGM in very high regard and think that he's one of the very best GMs in the NHL and even though signing Theo was a mistake I could see why the prospect of going into the season with Brent and Simeon was scary. A designated #2 and a rookie who's never played in the NHL.

The most preferable thing would have been to resign Huet, but we all know how that went down, unfortunately.

Edmonton has a similar situation in some ways and they're rotating 3 goalies at the moment. While that might be OK for the 2 vets (Roloson and Garon) I'm not sure it's very good for their talented kid goalie Deslariere (spelling?). The worst thing is not just that you get into so few games, but that you also get very few shots in practice.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

@ Section117

You reveal your true self by not letting it die and carrying it over into yet another thread. I won't take the bait. We're done.

@ kittypawz

Teaching a pig to sing is exactly like teaching Section117 reading comprehension. 100% pointless. We're done.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2008 1:28 AM
-------------------------------------------
Hey I was posting that earlier fisk just in case you didn't see it. It's a shame, because up to 15 minutes ago I thought we were actually conversing, now you're just being a arsehat again.

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm happy to see that Backstrom left the game with just a migraine. While those suck it's not an injury that should keep him out of any games.

Unless it was a symptom of a concussion he might have suffered. Let's hope that's not the case. That line has picked up where it left off when Semin went down. As HNIC commentators said, "They're a handful every time they jump over the boards".

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

ranndino:
You just HAD to have the last word, didn't you?!?

117:
And I can't believe that YOU took the bait!

Let it go fellas - no one is gonna win this one. If you keep it up, a group hug might be in order, and no one wants that, now do they?!?

BTW, 117, Dave is in hiding so he may not be around for a bit. But if I happen to hear from him, I will pass on your "regards". For What it's worth, my DH is also a huge United supporter and he was none the happy yesterday. Oh, and they will tell you that "ManU" is not proper terminology (I got called out for that once ... won't make that mistake again! ;-)). Now go kiss and make up.

-Boo!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 14, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Not to be a downer, but although Varlamov played a pretty good game and got the win, the kid obviously still needs lots of work and is not NHL ready by any respect. Montreal hit 4 or 5 posts/crossbars tonight and missed an empty net once.

Most of those chances were the defense's fault, but Simeon still got beat. I would say that he probably saved 50% of those "big save" type shots, but the other 50% found iron or went in the net. Then again, that's about what I'd say Theo has been stopping recently, and that's only good enough sometimes.

Still, it's nice to have an aggressive, flaily goaltender for once, not to mention one who is actually going to be good. Looking forward to watching this kid develop.

Posted by: Raber | December 14, 2008 5:17 AM | Report abuse

*With the win, their third in a row and fifth in six outings, the Southeast Division-leading Caps (39 points) are closing in on the Rangers (42) for second in the Eastern Conference.

(Correction: Bruins lead the Eastern Conference. Bruins have 46 points, Rangers 42, Caps 39)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 14, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

In a perfect world, Theo comes back and plays well. Varlamov goes back to Hershey and gets time as the #1 goalie there. Caps cruise to the SE title anyway, so you can let off the gas a little. Varlamov (and Alzner, too, if that's how it works) can spend the year at Hershey and then come up at the end and contribute in playoffs. BB wants to keep the pressure on the boys, but he and GM both know what we all know - the caps are really fighting to see if they are 1, 2 or 3 in the East. It isn't like last year, there's no desperation.

kittypawz: I respect your attempts to settle things down. I'll keep quiet about all that since you are saying it so well. Your joke about the measuring tape was hilarious. I can just the two of them trying to puff out as you get ready to measure!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

@007

Bill McCreary's disdain of the Capitals traces back to the Koharski "jelly doughnut" incident. When the league did not take action and suspend Shoenfield for the incident, McCreary was among the officials that "held out" and had to be court ordered to return to work.

Ever since then I have wondered how it is not a conflict of interest for him to call a Capitals game. Taking for instance last night. While all of the Capitals infractions were indeed penalties and undeniable calls, why does Kovalev get three free swings before being called for one slash?

Maybe McCreary doesn't even notice he hates the Caps and it is in the back of his mind. Still, in any other business this would be a conflict of interest.

Posted by: lornemyoung | December 14, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: lornemyoung | December 14, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

@Raber

I agree with you about Varlamov... but I also want to mention that

1) he did show exceptional cat-like reflexes
2) he did show ice-cold nerves under fire (lots of fire)
3) here's what I think but can't really explain: goalies have that "something" associated with them: some goalie can get consistently 3-4 per nights and you can always argue that it wasn't their fault. Bad bounces, bad defense, bad luck. Some goalie can have hot nights, helped by circumstances, and you can always argue they're "lucky"... except they're "consistently lucky". Does this make sense?

One game is too little to decide, I agree... but I wouldn't mind see him start another couple :D

Posted by: mauree | December 14, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Varmalov was cat like for sure. Very impressive. Jose beware!!

Posted by: phrdlick | December 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

here's the way i see it, it all depends on Johnson' health. They're not going to send Varlamov back to Hershey just yet. He has earned a front row seat from the bench for at least the Islander game, and don't be suprised if he gets that start also. But before he goes back to Hershey, if he does at all, he'll get to watch from the bench to get a feel for the team. Does the team really care about Theodore clearing waivers? It's a cap hit I'm sure but the Caps were up against the wall and had to take the gamble when they signed him. I think we should thank Baby Huet for causing all these things to occur, had he not left us at the altar, we would have never signed Three-or-more which gave Johnson the opportunity to play and forced Varlamov into the lineup possibly a little earlier than they anticipated. When Varlamov was drafted so high, there was no question who the goalie is going to be on this team.

Posted by: ergoroc | December 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your informative updates. Keep up the great work and happy holidays. Go Caps!

Posted by: luvdcaps | December 14, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm with ergoroc on this one. Things work out the way they're meant to work out. Huet was a snot and left us at the altar for more money, but GMGM was completely right to not want to sign any goalie for more than two years, not with something like Varlamov up and coming in the farms. With Huet here, we'd never have gotten to see Johnny and we'd never have gotten to see Varlamov, and that would have been a crime in both cases. Besides, chances are we'd never have gotten to see Stretch suit up either, and don't tell me that that wasn't one of the special moments of this season! :)

Sure, Theodore's a problem, but he's got challengers now. He either steps up or gets benched, and don't think he doesn't know it. As others have said, it'll all come out in the wash. Let's just enjoy the ride and cheer our team.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

ergoroc: Goalies very, very, very often don't pan out. I'm sure some of the research people can put lots of stats on that. When the Caps drafted Varlamov like 23rd overall, there were "hopes" he'd be the goalie of the future. Just like there were hopes when Olie was taken 19th, although it took him eight years and had to overcome a bunch to do it. For Varlamov, it has two years. Let's not forget they took Neuvirth "just in case" about 11 picks after Varlamov.

And what's all this about Varly being "cat like?" I have five cats, and none of them are Varly-like. First, they sleep all day. Then they hunt at night and leave dead mice on the doorstep. One of them catches and eats lizards. None of the cats has ever seen ice or snow, but I doubt they can skate. (I take that back, I put ice in their water dish when it's hot. Hmmmmm - is that the comparison?)

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino: You've still got your nose in the air. Just shut up like you keep promising to do. We'll all thank you for it.

@tominfl1: Thanks :)

@Raber: Agreed he got lucky that the Habs couldn't aim on several of those. We were playing effectively with four D in that last frame, with Sloan in the locker room and Green out of gas. Fourteen shots is bad, but it could have been worse.

I like to think of it as payback for listening to the Habs fans whine online about how horrible their goalie situation is in Backstrom's goal after the first frame. Caps fandom sez cry me a river, guys. *rolls eyes* Then build a bridge and get over it.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

After Backstrom's goal in the first frame. yeesh.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

One other observation about Varlamov, before I go decorate the Christmas tree - anyone else notice that very seldom did he got after the puck in the trapezoid, and there was at least one case where a Hab got the puck free and clear because he did not?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

BTW, 117, Dave is in hiding so he may not be around for a bit. But if I happen to hear from him, I will pass on your "regards". For What it's worth, my DH is also a huge United supporter and he was none the happy yesterday. Oh, and they will tell you that "ManU" is not proper terminology (I got called out for that once ... won't make that mistake again! ;-)). Now go kiss and make up.

-Boo!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 14, 2008 5:15 AM
-------------------------------------------
Well it's not important enough for me to remember. Disappointing result aside, Liverpool is still 6 points of them, that's the important part.

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz
IIRC, that was one of things Varmalov said was different between NA and Russia, that goalies need to play the puck.

Posted by: koalatek | December 14, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung - That is a VERY interesting bit of trivia Re: McCreary. I now have to go and look it up for more detail, being the researchin' thing that I am. ;-)

So... how does an incident with the coach of the New Jersey Devils translate into disdain for the Washington Capitals? Jim Schoenfeld (who told Don Koharski that he was fat and should have another jelly donut) was, of course, the Caps' coach for a time, as well as the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, and is now the assistant GM for the New York Rangers.

It would be interesting to see if Bill McCreary's disdain for Schoenfeld extends to other teams that he is no longer a part of. If this is indeed a grudge against one coach, over an incident that took place when that coach was with a different team and had yet to be associated with us, AND has continued long since the end of that coach's association, then McCreary should never referee a Capitals game again, because the man has lost his objectivity completely.

Of course, that also goes for Don Koharski.

The incident resulted in a suspension for Schoenfeld (one game), which was blocked by a court order, so Koharski et. al. boycotted the game, and that should have been the end of it. It apparently was not, and since the incident took place in freakin' 1988, both men need to get over themselves.

But then, I am also of the mind that Baltimore needs to get over the Colts, too.

:-p

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

You should ask Poti what he did after the game. Great story and what a great organization and team we have.

The puck was flipped over the boards at the end of the game. Poti went over to the glass and asked the fan if he could have the puck to give to Varlamov. The fan threw the puck back over and in return, Poti gave the fan his stick. I thought that was pretty cool from both parties.

Posted by: _828 | December 14, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@koalatek - Re: Varlamov - yes, I remember Varlamov saying that too, and that is something he will need to get used to before playing full-time at the NHL level.

The Hershey Bears is a good place for him to do that. We do NOT want to rush this. It's like a fine wine. We savor it; we do not get greedy and gulp it down and spoil the flavor.

Varlamov had a great game last night.

Theodore had a great game this year, too.

Just think what we'd be stuck with if we based ALL of Theodore's play on the shutout he posted in Montreal, we'd be in severe trouble, considering when the Sabres shut US out, Theodore was also in goal, and that was a 5-0 defeat!

Give the boy some time before we declare him the Second Coming of Jim Carey!

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

_828: Yeah, I remember reading about that somewhere. What an incredibly classy move on both sides. Kudos to Poti for asking and for giving the stick in return, and kudos to the fan for understanding and willingly giving up the puck.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Threeormore's had Johnny after his job for five weeks: I don't think "Varmalov" is going to make Jose any more reliable. The kid is frickin' Fast--he once played an entire AHL game in 46:30--but I'd be content for him to dominate that league this year rather than rush him forth and risk his long-term development.
'course, I'm the guy who'd have Donut Night whenever McCreary came to town; I probably won't get the GM job...

Posted by: redlineblue | December 14, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Did some research on the success rate of goalies and found that 60% of the time, they work every time.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed the anti-Cap bias from McCreary. Now the question: Who do we complain to and will it do any good?

Posted by: dude_clutch1 | December 14, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Also, why do some people in here want every player to season in the minors until they are are over seasoned like my brothers chicken and biscuit stew?

Just because you are in the minors for 5 years doesn't mean you can play with big boys no matter how successful you were in the minors.

Minor league success doesn't always translate into professional success.

I'm not saying we play Varlamov every game, or any of the other youngsters, however, there are kids in this league that can play, why can't ours?

Doughty, Brassard, Versteeg, Grabovski, Bergland, Wheeler, Goligoski... Those are just rookies making significant contributions to their teams...

There are a slew of 2 and 3 players that never saw the minors and are great, great hockey players.

Enough with the training wheels already, I like trial by fire. Go get'em kids, lets see what you got.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@redlineblue: Maybe it will and maybe it won't. Won't change a thing regarding goalie lineup, if I read GMGM's intentions right, although Johnson playing as well as he is just might. I threw this out on Japers' Rink and I'll throw it out here: Given what we just saw, what does our goalie lineup look like in the next two years? Keep in mind salary and cap considerations, farm considerations, and quality of play.

I think Johnson gets a three-year contract at the end of this year if he keeps playing at this level. That gives Varlamov one more year to season in Hershey, because Theodore will go UFA in 2010 and will not be resigned. 2010 pairing is Johnson/Varlamov.

The other possibility is Theodore / Varlamov next year, but I think we'd be idiots to do that on a number of counts.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@ JSchon

We should take Theo out for a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call him again...

Great game last night - love seeing the team find ways to win the tough games. Varlamov (or Varmalov as Laughlin says it) was great and has a bright future. Last night was another one of those games where Ovie really didn't show up much on the scoresheet but was a terror out there. Full speed ahead and Tanguay is seeing that train in his sleep.

Posted by: Roose | December 14, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

I agree with the Johnson/Varlamov pairing in the future. If Johnny continues his play he has earned a contract not only for that play, but for being a true pro and taking his lumps on the bench and in the press box and not saying a word. If we could ditch Theo before next year that would be great, but under what scenario could that ever happen? Talk about a ridiculously athletic pair of goalies if that is our pairing in the future...

Posted by: Roose | December 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Did some research on the success rate of goalies and found that 60% of the time, they work every time.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 11:23 AM


Well...it's made with bits of real panther, so you know its good.

I was gonna substitute "goalie" but I figured some people wouldn't get it.

Well done sir!! LOL

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

OH!!

Tominfla- I got back late last night and read your reply that you posted. Which, took forever due to a certain cat fight that we all wish would burn itself out, and wanted to thank you. I was able to go to sleep not feeling guilty.

Hope that your daughter has a nice birthday. And since when is 60 degrees cold?

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Now that we have the story of Poti retrieving the puck from a fan, I need to go back to the recording and find how the puck got in the stands to begin with. Obviously the Canadiens knew this was Varlamov's first game, and if one of them threw it in the stands on purpose - well, that would be a rotten thing.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

lamplighter: Anything less than high temp 75 is "cold." That's my definition, now that I'm older and entrenched in the South.

I just played back the ending. I couldn't tell how the puck went into the stands. The team obviously mobbed Varly at the end. Poti was in the corner with two Habs as time ticked off. It appeared the two Habs simply skated slowly and rejectedly to their bench. So, how did the puck get from the ice, over the glass and into the hands of a fan?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read any of the threads from last nights game so if if something similar has already been mentioned, my apologies.

Varlamov was pretty awesome last night. He challenged everything and is extremely quick. He sort of flops around like Hasek used to but its exciting to see someone with confidence challenging all the shooters.

Secondly, it was only one game. I hope JT's isn't hurt badly. But if the hip lingers it will allow Varlamov more starts and to see what he actually has at this level. If he produces in most of his starts then you have two solutions.

The easiest one is to just put JT on waivers and get rid of his hit against the cap, if someone claims him they claim him.

And I know most of you on this board dislike Sean Avery. But if a JT for Avery trade could be worked out, I would do it in a second. If he acts up Brashear would kick his ass. I know you'd basically have to get a 3rd team involved bc Dallas doesnt need JT eventhough Turco isn't playing well this season.

Glad to see Varlamov was awesome last night, but one game doesn't make greatness.

Posted by: ThePat | December 14, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@kitty I think Johnson/Varlamov is next year's packet, though I've no idea how the team can shed Theodore.
@Jschon: The Caps are hardly in danger of 'overcooking' their infant Russian goalie. You're surely right about the kids skating all over the league (very much including the Caps roster), but it's not like the kid speaks English and has a ton of N.A. starts under his belt.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 14, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov played really well, and should get even better but 3 posts mean that game was very very close to being a 4-2 loss. Or maybe a 5-4 win because we hit some posts too haha. I guess it all evens out.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 14, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I totally forgot about the Schoenfeld nonsense regarding McCreary. Is that clown still holding onto something from over a decade ago? He must be, because his penalty calls are always against the Caps and he seems to try to give the opposition the best chance possible to steal the game.

Posted by: oo7 | December 14, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Fitzpatrick has more rushing yards than our entire team. Puke.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 14, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Someone said McCreary's calls were all legit. No way: (1) OV's high stick double minor (it was a Montreal blueliner), (2) the call on Semin for goalie interference -- he got shoved from behind. The flaming walrus hates the Caps and should retire because he is biased.

I'm very happy that Backs injury is not a day-to-day undisclosed lower body injury

Varlamov is a legit prospect who needs to fine tune his rebound control and positioning. Not bad, but he can get away with some unorthodox stuff in the minors that will cost him goals in the bigs.

If JT goes on waivers to Hershey and another team plucks him off -- what a gift that'd be. Not likely, but here's wishing to a Xmas gift (I'll also take Kwanza or Channakuh). A trade away of Jose and yes, Nylander, would also be welcome.

Nylander got the gwg -- awesome for the Caps. But is he worth alomost 5 mil of cap space that may force Alzner down? I say no. I'm sure others will disagree. I just don't see Nyls style working well with the Caps.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 14, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Fitzpatrick has more rushing yards than our entire team. Puke.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 14, 2008 2:00 PM

I think you're on the wrong blog!! LOL ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 14, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

lots of time to spare today, so I got the clip of the "Have another doughnut, fat pig!" Koharski -vs- Schonfield brawl and the ref's not coming out for the next game. Forgot how funny that was.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXpcb5aTnPk

But would McCreary still hold a grudge for that? Schonfeild wasn't even the Caps coach then, and the comments weren't directed at him. I just think he is the crappiest ref in the NHL.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The last thing I want Varlamov to be is "the second comming of Jim Carey". JC was a flash in the pan. Varlamov has a future here, but it is not this season. He impressed me with his quickness, and his ability to go post to post. Coverage on the short side/from behind the net is very good. He plays his angle well, and is good and cutting the angle down.As someone else metioned there is "no book" on him from the opposing teams as of yet.
In closing BB has not and will not give up on JT after 30 games.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 14, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Whatever McCreary's problem is, he exhibits it every time he refs a Caps game. THose calls last night were BS. Ovie gets a high-stick for fighting his way out of a hold? Semin gets shoved into the goalie and net? Slashes, wacks, no calls. I'd like to hear BB's thoughts on McCreary.

THis is a great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eElspvew7rw&NR=1

Ron Burgundy at the end of it...


Posted by: oo7 | December 14, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Fitzpatrick has more rushing yards than our entire team. Puke.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 14, 2008 2:00 PM

I think you're on the wrong blog!! LOL ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 14, 2008 2:19 PM


My bad, was watching the Skins debacle.

Any news on Feds or Sloan? Glad we got till Tues to have the fellas ready.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 14, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: oo7 | December 14, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

007- nice pull on the Ron Burgundy reference. How laoded do you think that guy was? I hope his buddies at the game payed his bail and medical bills at least

"You stay classy 007"

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe scrap that. I had thought that McCreary was one of the referees that walked out. It was so many years ago and wikipedia has shown me that I was wrong. McCreary wasn't involved with that. So, I apologize. I was wrong.

However, this is worse. Maybe he is just a poorly skilled referee. I searched other teams message boards and blogs and found a fairly even spread of several teams dogging on McCreary. So, maybe again there is no bias, just a lack of skill.

He is knocked in blogs and main stream media equally. My favorite is Brendon Morrow of the Stars stating that McCreary "made-up" a call.

Heck. The Caps still won though.

Posted by: lornemyoung | December 14, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Washington in the running for Sundin? This so hard for me to believe (and no, it's not just because it came from eklund):

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=18385

Posted by: elicea | December 14, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Sundin?

Will he accept a $350 a game contract? Cause we aint be got no cheddar for my man Suns...

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

exactly why It's hard for me to believe.

Posted by: elicea | December 14, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Plus, we're stacked down the middle. We don't need another center.

Posted by: elicea | December 14, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Seeing this just made that much more happy. (:

http://www.onfrozenblog.com/2008/12/14/pothier-skating-at-kettler.html

Posted by: elicea | December 14, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know who got the hard hat the last two games ? The Ottawa game & the Habs game.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 14, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If GMGM is in the Sundin mix, it's to bid up the price. The role of Swedish veteran who just-might-be-worth-it is played by Nylander, who's leaving for Chicago to make room for--hey!

Posted by: redlineblue | December 14, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I guess Suts was more expendable then previously thought. Even in Dallas, I don't see him getting anymore icetime than before.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
I agree with your assessment about Varlamov. He played a very good game. He is by no means a #1 NHL keeper yet, but he is a solid keeper in the making. I was impressed that he not only remained cool under pressure (in Montreal, of all places), but that he did not fall apart after letting one in; it would have been very telling if he had. Yes, he had catlike reflexes, but he also looked like a cat on a hot tin roof at times! Agile = good; spaz = bad. So he needs to tighten up a bit. But, my goodness, for his first NHL game he was most impressive (geez, he even got #1 star!). So he'll get there, and he'll do so just as some of our best players are peaking. Boy, if we think the Caps are awesome now, by then they will be UN-BE-LIEVABLE!
-Boo!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 14, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Varlamov also had to contend with A LOT of PK and held up well. Did he get frazzled? Maybe, but he kept it together. Hopefully he'll get more ice time so we can see how he plays consistently, but I've got a feelin' he'll be just fine. In fact, he will probably settle down and play a little better. We'll see ... too early to tell, I know, but I am looking forward to finding out!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 14, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

can someone post the link to the video of the caps bench celebrating after Nylander's GWG? they didn't show it on CSN but someone here said that Canadian Tv was all over it and I would love to see it. Thanks.

Posted by: diehardcapsfan | December 14, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, since it's the holidays, here is my "topical" thoughts on Varlamov.

He's like that shinny toy you saw in catalogs. The one that you wanted soooo much. Having the cool parents, they go out and they get it for you. You play with it all Christmas day and you are so excited. Best Christmas ever. You play with that toy so much, it breaks in a couple days. You get sad.

Then you look in the toy box and you see that crappy old set of Link-in-logs and you make the best house you ever made. You have all kinds of fun with the old toys, and wonder why you wanted the latest thing so bad.

Turns out the toys you already had were pretty cool and made you happy all along.

Moral- maybe we should keep our new toy under the tree until next Christmas.

I know, I know...."skewing old" on the link-in-logs, but hey. whatever works. I'm gonna change from Lamplighter to Aesop. I know....skewing old again. Darn it!!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought Varlamov had a great game last night, but some more time in the AHL wouldn't hurt at all. He was doing some pretty sporadic moves that would leave him off balance, and if not for some help from the crossbar would have resulted in goals. He's a great young goalie who just needs to calm down a little. Also, just because he's a talented young goalie in the Caps organization doesn't mean he's the second coming of Jim Cary. Cary was very much a "too much too young too fast" story, and a lot of that was his maturity level couldn't deal with it all. Varlamov is different, and not every good young goalie fizzles out as fast as he came in, just look at Price.

Posted by: dcfury | December 14, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Whut?

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

If Varlamov didnt have Fedorov, Ovechkin, Semin, Kozlov and Lisa Hillary I would be reluctant to have him play significant time in net, but maybe 7 or 8 games the rest of the year shouldn't be out of the question.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Lisa Hillary!! LOL!! Thats great

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 14, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

here are the highlights from cbcsports. the caps celebrating on the bench is near the end. it isn't very long but it's better than csn.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2008/12/13/nhl-wsh-mtl.html

Posted by: minicoop828 | December 14, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

i know i will get junk for this but i WISH the caps would pick up sean avery

Posted by: joshipants | December 14, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Vravamol looked like a perfect 3rd goalie for a 2-goalie pack. I wish either Johnson or Theodore was both steady and healthy, so the chance of *needing* Varlamov more than ~8 starts would be reduced. Are he and Neuvirth mostly similar in talent and development stage, or...?
Oh, and Ovechkin totally deserved that 4 minutes: Two for attacking that poor Habs D's fist with the back of head, then two for giving the same guy the ol' NHL handwash (by face)? He's gotta cut that stuff out.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 14, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Pick up Avery?

We cant pick up carry out from Chang's House of Mandarin we are so tight with the cap.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Avery?

We have a wonderful young team thats only going to get better. Avery is talented, no doubt, but he hasn't won a thing for anybody or any team.

I'm not willing to roll the dice with him, maybe Sundin, but not Avery. I don't even want Sundin. Maybe Gaborik, but what I really want is Shakira.

Posted by: JSchon | December 14, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@joshipants: Avery was, just imagine it, too big a jackass for the New. York. Rangers. Now Brett Frickin' Hull thinks Avery's locker room poison. You want him here cause what, he's famous? You're not "getting junk for this"--the fact that you proposed it suggests you've got some very good junk already!

Posted by: redlineblue | December 14, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

We don't need Sean Avery. Come on.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

You know, Avery on first thought might not be bad for the Caps. However, BB apparently had him in the minors and made some comment that he doesn't want him again. That said, Dallas is desperate to dump this guy. If the Caps can move Nylander or Theodore for Avery, I'm just sayin', you get some cap space. And, well, Avery, on a really short leash, might give the Caps some feistiness they need, kinda like a rich man's version of Cooke.

I seriously doubt the Caps will take him, but it's always in your interest to at least consider the possibilities.

I mean, let's say you trade Nylander, Theo and Mo to Dallas...the Stars send Nylander to Chicago and Avery and a #1 pick to Washington...the Hawks keep Nylander and send the Caps a #1 pick. The Caps send the #1s from Dallas and the Hawks and their own #2 to Florida for Bouwmeester.

The Caps have sent $11.35M in salary away and take back Avery and Bouwmeester, $8.75M. This allows the Caps $2.6M in space for Alzner and Varlamov.

Some might say this is the dumbest idea in the history of mankind...but then again American citizens voted twice for GW Bush. So, I say, who's the dummy - me or the American citizens?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1: I'm not even going to bite. The opening is too obvious.

Seriously, one thing you've got to consider is that Avery is a locker room poison. This team runs on emotion, on camaraderie, on their identity as a team. Destroy that, and you destroy this team. I don't think we can have Avery. We don't need the sandpaper THAT badly. If we need someone to make smartass comments, we've got Semin who speaks his mind but is at least right :)

We don't want Avery. We don't need him. We'll find a way to get who we need. In GMGM I trust - he's a sneaky old bastich.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to address how the Hawks can take Nylander given their cap situation. Obviously as part of this they trade young talent to Florida in exchange for some of those picks. Or maybe it becomes the first five-way deal in major sports history. Let's not let reality get in the way of fantasy, shall we?

This is TominFl and I approve that trade.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

If Avery joins the Caps it will be a cold day in hell.

Seriously, be happy with what you've got, because you ain't gettin anymore. THis is it. THis is our team. Its done well so far, they've kept their heads above water, their call ups have performed admirably on the blue line and up front. THere really isn;t much to complain about in Caps nation. If you want to screw all that up, add Avery. Great skills, talented offensively, only processing with one brain hemisphere.

As for Varlamov, he'll get more experience in Hershey as a number 1 or tandem than he will in the NHL. THe more experience he gets playing, the better he'll become. There's no reason to rush him. He played well last night, but was lucky too. He's got a ways to go. That said, if the issue was money...

Posted by: oo7 | December 14, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz: 90% chance you are absolutely correct. I'm just pointing out the kind of thing you can do if you REALLY wanted to.

Before people ask, I'm not on drugs. I have a fancy clearance and was tested earlier this year. I did have a few beers watching the Ravens get jobbed by the refs vs the Steelers (I think Koharski was ref) and then a cigar and now a high-ball glass of whiskey.

I'll bet GMGM has these meetings every day with staff-members projecting these potential trades. Avery, BTW, I never heard he was poison in NY.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Avery, BTW, I never heard he was poison in NY.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2008 10:08 PM
-------------------------------------------
Submitted for your consideration...

http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2008/12/when-avery-attacks-confrontation-with-snow-racial-taunts-at-nolan-showed-the-dark-side/

Posted by: Section117 | December 14, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, just for fun, I will have had it.

Trade Nyls and JT for some #1's, don't know to who. We sign Sundin and keep Varly up.

Couldn't resist a silly post of my own speculation.

Tomorrow is decision day for Sundin though.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@Section117: Holy crap. And they want to bring him HERE to a team that is as racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse as it gets in the NHL? You just know one fine day he'll open his yap to Brashear and Brashear'll leave him as a smear on the wall, and the NHL will silently applaud.

As lovely as that image is, I wouldn't do that to Brashear or the Caps. Avery needs to be thrown out of the NHL. He's an absolute d-bag and nobody wants to give him the time of day no matter how talented he is.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

And while we are trading Nylander, lets trade Semin, Kozlov, Flash, Poti and Johnson. Think of all that money we can save and how it would allow us to get Huet, Avery, #1s, Santa Claus, and every tom and dick that is not currently a Cap.
Think of the possibilities. In our lala-world we would have an exciting team to watch unike what we have now.

Posted by: opita | December 14, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon - *SNORT* I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything. "We can't pick up carry out from Chang's House of Mandarin we are so tight with the cap."

@anyone who suggests even in jest that we want anything to do with Sean Avery: HELL no, and that's *before* I saw the video tape. What. An. ARSEHAT! This team runs because of interpersonal dynamics that work well. We don't need that jerk messing us up, and that is -ALL- his loudmouth self would do.

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Please, again, leave the politics out of here? I get enough of that crap outside the hockey blogs...

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

On joshipants and wishing for Avery. joshipants never said Avery would be good for the Caps, only that he wished he'd come here. Looking for pure entertainment value (tabloid style) Avery would deliver. I'm glad that he won't get his wish.

On Lord Varlamov - the puckeaters await his return and rise to power!

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | December 15, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Section 117: Thanks for the link. I never heard any of that before. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, or now that Avery flipped his lid - it's all coming out like an avalanche. I hereby retract the Avery idea.

irock: Sorry.

"And while we are trading Nylander, lets trade Semin, Kozlov, Flash, Poti and Johnson." No, I only said Nylander. As I've said, I want to keep Sloan and Alzner.

To anyone who wants to keep the team we have now: You have to make a trade to do that. If you want Alzner and Sloan, either Kozzie, Clark or Nylander must move, with Fehr and Flash then playing regularly. If you want to keep Varlamov, Theo must go.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Just to stir the pot: TSN has the Caps ranked 21st from December 8th. I wonder if the Caps will actually drop having won 4/5 and 3 in a row because the beat Ottawa and Montreal. I'm sure that TSN does not factor in grudges against American teams with non-Canadian superstars. ESPN had the Caps at 7th at the same time in their power rankings -- so much for TSN south or ESPN north theories.

On my soapbox -- Huet for JT and Nylander for a defenseman between the Caps and da Hawks looking better and less likely all the time.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 15, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

We will not trade for Huet. Why? Because he will bring the length of contract that was a deal breaker in the first place. The cost per year was not the issue between the Caps and Huet, it was the fact that he wanted a 4 year deal, and based on Varlamov's debut on Saturday night you can see why GMGM did not want to go more than 2 years. Varlamov will be ready to take the reigns with BJ as a back-up by next season. Theodore will be an UFA (I think, because he will be a vet with only 1 year left on an existing contract) this off-season so maybe someone will want him. I doubt it though.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 15, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I do not want Huet back with his 5 year $25M contract, or whatever it is.

When we are have our entire team playing and are able to dictate our style of play, you can have a web producer as a goalie.

We went 37-17-7 with the majority of those games played by Olie and Brent. We went 37-17-7 with mostly 1 scoring line. We went 37-17-7 without Flash playing the way he is. We went 37-17-7 without any assistance from Clark and Nylander... um, and this year too.

Come to think of it... We have gone 55-37-10 without Clark either in the lineup or producing. Nylander, has a slightly less appalling record.

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Huet is much more servicable than JT. Huet can be traded away when Varlamov is ready to take over the #1 spot (see Carey Price). The bigger issue is trading away Nylander for a solid, not spectacular, defensive defender to free up Cap space for Alzner. Next year, the Caps may not be able to afford resigning Johnson with his play this year. The Caps need space to resign Flash and Semin before they are RFA's. That's my crazy scenario -- commense belittling responses, . . . now.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 15, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

Jim you can not assume that there will be willing partners for a trade in 2 years. Huet may be decent now but in two years who knows what he will be and there is still 3 yrs and $15M to contend with. There are some really awful contracts out there, Huet's is one of them, IMO.

Posted by: JSchon | December 15, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

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