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Caps Breeze Past Bruins in Opener

The Caps got the season off to an explosive start tonight thanks to Alex Ovechkin and, uh, Brooks Laich, who both scored two goals in a 4-1 victory over the Bruins at TD Garden.

Jose Theodore stopped 19 of 20 shots and looked solid in his first full (non-preseason) game since being benched against the Rangers last spring. Boudreau said earlier today that Semyon Varlamov will start Saturday in the home opener against Toronto, but it's not like he hasn't changed his mind before. So here's a question:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  October 1, 2009; 9:36 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps 4, Bruins 1

Comments

First Go Caps!

Posted by: hbcapsfan | October 1, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

The NHL.com event summary says the Caps had ZERO giveaways.

Wow! That's rare for any team but particularly this team.

By the way, can anybody explain to me what constitutes a giveaway? Because if the Steckel misplay that led to the shorthanded goal wasn't a giveaway, I don't know what is.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 1, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Theo had a very strong game, but i think Varlamov should play Saturday, I feel strong about having both goalies ready and fresh through out the season, it will pay on the the play-offs.

Posted by: hock1 | October 1, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Why the "uh" before Brooks Laich?

Posted by: capsfan83 | October 1, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Just because it was only two people that scored.

Posted by: amorris525 | October 1, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Start Varly and than evaluate who is hotter 8)

P.S. Caps special units were awesome tonight.

Posted by: Hazz | October 1, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Good game all around and Saturday can't come soon enough. Out west, nice to see Sakic's number retired the first game since his retirement - what a way to honor him.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 1, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

That "uh" is unprofessional.

Solid game by the Caps D. Very impressive showing. I hope for consistency and not playing down to the Leafs.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 1, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Why the "uh" before Brooks Laich?
==================================
Because Brooksy is a ladies man ;)

Posted by: Hazz | October 1, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Why the "uh" before Brooks Laich?

Posted by: capsfan83 | October 1, 2009
---------------------
Sounds like Lindsay is surprised that Brooks had two goals. If he keeps on camping out near the goal crease like that all season he'll get plenty more.

Posted by: tess2201 | October 1, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Great game Caps! Theodore looked good! I'm still a little worried about Erskine carrying the fighting load after his concussions... Go Caps!!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 1, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't be surprised. Laich scored 20 plus two seasons in a row.

I just read on NHL.com that the Caps hadn't won a regular season game in Boston since 2000. So, one game into the season and a streak broken. Excellent!

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 1, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

they won without chris bourque? unbelievable...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 1, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

That's the way, the way, the way, I Laich it, uh huh uh huh. (Sung to the tune of a certain hit by "Casey and the Sunshine Band" back in 1975.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

I detect the sarcasm there.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

what do they call a giveaway? wasn't the only bruin goal the result of a giveaway?

that goal wasn't officially a shortie but it might as well have been

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Another poll:
Were the Caps that good or the Bruins that bad?

Posted by: --Boo-- | October 1, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75

Sorry, but it is KC and the Sunshine Band.

I am a music geek.

:)

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 1, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Caps were that good IMO. They were aggressive and really played hard all night. The one goal against was a blip.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 1, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

At least no vs. bs. On Sat .

Posted by: IceNutz | October 1, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

capsfan,
yep. and it's officially the last time i mention that guys name...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 1, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps looked amazingly good for a season opener. If they played with that much energy tonight, what in the world will the energy level be like Saturday night after the banner's raised? (Wish I could be there in person to see, but I'll be glued to my TV for sure.)

Posted by: wocoliz | October 1, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I think matthew barnaby has really become a good analyst on espn. I thought they would dump him this year after melrose came back but listening to both of them right now on espn news, he's better than melrose.

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Caps were good, but it did seem like the Bruins were trying to learn how to skate again. They were falling all over the place, all tall and linky nerds diving all over the ice. Bunch of tall dorky nerds wearing big B's on their chests.... that's what I saw...

Posted by: ejohnsto | October 1, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if my daughter would get upset if i choose to watch the caps game on saturday instead of attending her wedding recpection - i know how my wife would react
guess i'll just have to tivo it and be happy with that

if woods is the reason the d played the way they did tonight - i'm looking forward to watching this group the second have of the season

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

frankly I don't see a point of this poll on varly or theo for sat.. that will only be game 2 of 82. does it really matter?

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

just read on NHL.com that the Caps hadn't won a regular season game in Boston since 2000. So, one game into the season and a streak broken. Excellent!

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 1, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that's correct. Caps were 3-0-1 against boston last year (1-0-1). Perhaps it's Regulation win.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 1, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing about the poll. I mean let's be honest, with Neuvy on deck, this is likely Theo's last year. May as well get Varly some practice for when he's the main netminder next year with Neuvy filling in as 2nd.

Posted by: ejohnsto | October 1, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

cool the flames are back to their old firey RED jersey.. always thought that was a really cool uni.

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

NHL.com was indeed talking about regulation wins.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 1, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

What's up Caps fan. It's Jonathan from Ft. Myers, FL. Good to be back with you. I didn't post as often as I liked last year but I'm looking to put a POST GAME OBSERVATIONS post after every game this year. Now I may not get to see every game but I'll be watching most of them. What a start to the season tonight.

POSTGAME THOUGHTS
All the Theodore haters - stay silent. Or if you must speak - yea he hasn't been up to par but at least for one night - give him credit. He stuck in there. Let's hope it's consistent.

Mark Recchi - the wreckin ball got WRREECCKKEEDDDDDDDD by the Ovechkin freight train. Loved it.

Knuble - he's going to be a beast this year.

Defensive play - it was solid - did a good job and had to withstand some flurries but overall - not bad. Looking forward to Coach Woods defensive style he has in store.

Brooksie and Ovie - getting it done. This was a statement win. The key is not to come out and crap the bed in the home opener on Saturday night. Time to come out flying and burn the Leafs.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 1, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan

Haven't studied the spelling of a certain band lately. But they play that song after every Caps victory in Verizon Center, not just the ones that Brooks Laich stars in.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The Caps won their first game. All seemed so right! So why all the picky little comments about this and that? It seems as if some people are never satisfied. I bet if the Caps never lost another game, and won the Cup some of you folks would still be looking for something else to complain about. Is it all in good fun, or are you just that unhappy, weird, anal? I quess I am doing the same by commenting, but I came to read theses some great comments about my Caps, and instead find all these strange little remarks. Are you people okay? Are you happy your team won tonight, and looks like everything we've hoped for? Hello?

Posted by: coastallp74 | October 1, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers


Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 1, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse


almost forgot about that song from the old Caps' radio broadcast... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

yep. and it's officially the last time i mention that guys name...

---------------------------------------

Last time you mention which guy's name? CB, who's no longer with us? Brooksie?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps looked a little sloppy/shaky in the first period. A lot of time was spent in the Caps end of the ice and not the Bruins, and the passing didn't impress me then, but maybe I was just jittery. They looked great and comfortable with each other for sure in the third.

I was sorry Theo didn't get the shutout. He looked pretty good to me. Knuble was hustling---excellent! Backstrom, Ovie, Greenie, Semin, et al---GREAT to see everyone on the ice again! Thanks Laich and Ovie! Nice toughness, Erskine, but I didn't like to see the helmet come off.

Let's go CAPS on Saturday!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 1, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

@Jonathan6

I see you're resurrecting one of the old Caps slogans.

(TominFla's another Florida fan who follows the Caps and posts here.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

didn't realize Knuble was gonna play a big role on PK, he looked really good

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess I am doing the same by commenting, but I came to read theses some great comments about my Caps, and instead find all these strange little remarks. Are you people okay? Are you happy your team won tonight, and looks like everything we've hoped for? Hello?

Posted by: coastallp74 | October 1, 2009 10:40 PM

Quoted for truth.

Posted by: jpbryant | October 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Yes, your daughter would be upset if you chose watching the Caps over her wedding reception. (As for me, neither of my daughters are in any position to get married. The eldest is busy traveling and does not have a stable, permanent job and the youngest just started college.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

coastallp74:
based on the last week of posts - what you are reading is sarcasm - here's mine

anybody else notice that schultz has a better +/- than both erskine and pothier?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@coastallp74

I must admit, we sometimes have a rather negative group of posters. We have a few "regular" trolls who only seem to post when things go badly.

Anyway, I am happy about the Caps win. The boys looked great.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

cool, a brawl in the Flames/Canucks game after another great hit by Phaneuf

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

@coastallp74,

Yeah, I'm reasonably happy but it's a long season and this is only the first game.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 1, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I thought #55 had an awesome game tonight.

Just sayin'.

(preempting the Schultz-haters)

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 1, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Last year, Schultz had a better plus minus rating than all our D-man except Mike Green. This is the guy who's so badly maligned by Caps fans that they been known to rejoice when he's injured.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd start Theo...He earned it with a solid game tonight.

Posted by: A-Contrario | October 1, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 - you're the first to pick up on the old slogan. The team brought the old logo back with a new look. I'm bringing the old school song back. :) Let's Go Caps. Let's Go Caps. I believe I spoke with TominFL on here near the end of the season last year when I went to a Panthers game. Great times.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 1, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin

Except #55 wasn't playing tonight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

I agree with you that Varlamov should play. Let's keep both guys fresh and ready for anything.

With Theodore's contract about to expire and Neuvy in the wings at Hershey, I assume Theodore will probably not be with us next year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 1, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

wow 695 votes as of 10:55. I must say I'm a tad impressed.

Great to see an opening night win. I agree with the people who said it above, let's not nit pick this too much, especially if you're a general DC area fan, we don't have a lot to be excited about elsewhere. SO to all the cheefs, SC1907's, windjamma north/south/east/west out there, suck on it.

Posted by: superpaqman | October 1, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

An NHL on the fly commentator said the Cap's PK only gave up 1 shot on 5 Bruin PPs. That's pretty good, I hope they can keep that up.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 1, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

capsfan,
the one i wont speak of anymore has initials CB and his dad's jersey hangs from the rafters at TB BANKNORTH TD ONLY SOMETHING GARDENS.

was ice breakers goal shakers before the "stand up and clap for the washington capitals" song? i think i had that and "bullets fever" on two sides of a 45 back in the day....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 1, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

joek443: I will agree with you on your earlier comment. Caps still need a Mark Tinordi type. -boo- asked if it was the Caps good or Bruins bad - both is the answer. B's had some early chances and missed the net. Later the Caps scrambled on D. A "Tinordi" would help. Move Nyles and then get the Tinordi type to solidify the Playoff run.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 1, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
i actually like schultz - i think he does just fine and will get better - he may never be a #1 dman but then again he won't have to be paid $4-6M a year either. it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he rode ovi, semin, backstrom and greens coat tails to 5 or 6 SC's.
i'm really looking forward to the wedding on saturday and have no intentions of trying to catch the game live - although i might have to tease her about making sure i have a tv i can watch :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 1, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75: That's... the point ;)

Posted by: snakegriffin | October 1, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1,

"Moving Nyles" is easier said than done apparently.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | October 1, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The only reason to play Theo right ow is to make Varly earn his shot every inch of the way so he stays focused and motivated. Theo is a good guy and I definitely feel for him right now but it should be abundantly clear by now that you can't go to him in the playoffs and therefor the Caps need to try and develop one or both of Varly and Neuvy as soon as possible and right now they've both earned a shot. If Varly proves steady most of the season and they can find a team to take Theo or ratehr pay a team to take him, then that Cap space would be sweet come deadline. Fortunately his contract is up after the season so it might be doable come deadline. I wish Theo the best until then and if he does really well for some reason it will only raise his value more but there would have to be some complete rebirth or something for him to inspire confidence come playoff time.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | October 1, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I think matthew barnaby has really become a good analyst on espn. I thought they would dump him this year after melrose came back but listening to both of them right now on espn news, he's better than melrose.

Posted by: joek443

ESPN Analysts are terrible and Melrose is the 2nd worst (behind Burnside). Did anybody catch Melrose and Barnaby on ESPNNEWS after the game. They were talking about their predictions and they were asked why they didn't have the Pens going back to the finals. Melrose said "It's just really hard for a team to make it 3 years in a row". The next question was about Detroit and he said "I could see them back in the finals again". What a retard.

Anyway, great game boys. Theo looked strong, D looked solid, really looking forward to Saturday.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 1, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Jonathan6,

we didn't have cable when I started following the caps so used to listen to Ron Weber every game on WTOP and later WMAL and watch them on WDCA few times they used to be on... thnks for bringing back that song, immediately brought a smile to my face as soon as I saw that :)

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Great game. A few things I frowned out, but they diminished as the game went on. Which is a good thing. Minus the brain fart on the Bergeron goal.

PP and PK both were really good tonight.

That penalty on Ovechkin was funny. 2 minutes for Ference pushing you into Thomas.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 1, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

melrose picked the hawks and the flyers to meet in the finals and the hawks to win it all...

barnaby picked the caps and the sharks to meet in the finals and the sharks to win it all.

the point I agreed with barnaby is that the caps still need to learn to battle, especially on defense, every game in the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | October 1, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@ joek443 - My pleasure. I'm 33 so I use to listen to Ron Weber. I had the pleasure once of having lunch with him. He was an amazing talent and always broadcasted games with the best. I always remember him saying - "it's been a 2-point night." :) Ahh the memories. :) Glad I brought back the smile.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 1, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Solid effort tonight, workmanlike. Guess Laich has been paying attention to Knuble during preseason...exactly the kind of goals we need to score. I thought the top line did a good job of puck possession and creating good chances more than being too cute with the puck, at least for this game. Pothier had a real strong game in my opinion, was skating real well. Same for Chris Clark, who set up Steckel at least twice with some nice hustle play. Stecks will start to bury those eventually.

There were some missed coverages and Steckel's giveaway on their goal was pretty bad but other than that a very nice start on the road. Can't complain when the top line combined for 8 points tonight. I think it's great for Laich to get off the mark early on too. Still have scoring in reserve with Green and Knuble let alone what Flash or Fehr will provide when they come back. All in all very pleased.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | October 1, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

What a game! Even better considering I have Laich, Ovi and Nicky on my fantasy team :) Looking forward to many more games like tonight this season!

I feel a bit silly asking about this here, but I told a friend I will give it a try....I am going to the game this saturday and (if I get the green bobblehead) have already promised it to my nephew (who lives out of state...he is a huge green fan). My friend, who cannot make it to the game (due to business commitments), begged me to see if there was a way I could grab one for her. I told her I could try asking here, seeing if there would be anyone who may be willing to part with one this Saturday. I have an Ovechkin bobblehead (from last season) that I would be willing to offer in return (for any who missed out on that one). So, if anyone is at all able to help me out, please shoot me an email. (Oleegoalee at hotmail dot com).

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | October 1, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I was going to grab Laich in my fantasy leagues, but auto drafters got him and wont trade him.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 1, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

A couple things I noticed tonight

1. Clarkie is REALLY good along the boards. Every time I saw him battling he came away with the puck.

2. I want to know the official stats on Nicky's takeaways. He always seemed to be there to either break up a Bruins rush by stealing a pass or simply picking their pockets.

3. ShaMo played very well, played the body and moved the puck. He is coming looking like he was playing in the playoffs last year. He and Greenie really make a good pairing.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 1, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

a solid victory over a team that has slipped, without Kessel, it aint happening in Boston. This caps team is scary gopd this year, barring injuries, this team beats last years team records, the difference is simple, instead of a baby Koslov and a Federov along for the ride, we have Knuble and Morrison, which is grit. Did Federov ever wear the A for us?

Posted by: ergoroc | October 2, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Start Theo....as soon as he falters, start giving Varly opportunities to win the job.

Posted by: C-way | October 2, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

You absolutely start Varly on Saturday night. To start the season it should be 60 Theo 40 Varly split. The best case scenario is that they both play well and the Caps are able to move Theo. That would clear up 4.5 million in cap space allowing the Caps to make a move at the trade deadline.

Removing Nylander and Theo would give the team a lot of room to make some moves.

Posted by: srobert1117 | October 2, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The poll question is kind of loaded. I don't think Theo's confidence will be shaken with Varly starting Saturday, since Varly was announced before the Boston game took place. So, it's obviously not performance related. Maybe BB merely wants to baptize both goalies under fire in the first two games. Either stick with yes/no and let the voters fill in their reason why or come up with more choices and reasons for those choices.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | October 2, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I serioulsy doubt that Theo will get his contract renewed at the end of the year. So, Varly needs to start getting almost half the starts to see how he may be able to hold up over the course of an entire 55-65 start season. There are some questions about his durability and before Theo is gone, the coaches have to see if Varly will be able to shoulder the burden next year.

Posted by: DrCapsFan11 | October 2, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

OK- the "uh" was rude and I think that the player who got the very first Caps goal of the season and also got 2 goals and an assist should be mentioned 1st. Its almost like, if a goal isn't scored by someone named Alex its not as good a goal. So Laich gets screwed again. No "A" then treated like a second class person. Tired of it.

Posted by: Varly | October 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@capt_kirk_in_az

I think possible also to tivo the wedding reception, it's just a matter of priorities. All in all, I'd probably do the reception, (esp if there is cougar sign visible..).

As for the Knuble thing - he's a terrific pick up but we have 82 games to play BEFORE the playoffs and the man is 37. What this means is that we shouldn't be giving him top line minutes for all 82 games. We may try rotating Clark into his role to keep both of them fresh and viable.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 2, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I maybe in the minority, but if the Capitals are to win the Stanley Cup this year or in the coming years, it will have to be with Varly between the pipes. I'm sorry, but I do not think Theodore can carry us there before his contract expires at the end of this season.

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | October 2, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Theo should start. He is the starter, and played great. In my opinion you play the hot hand until they are tired, or play a bad game, then you start the second and he plays until he's tired or has a bad game. Ride your hot streaks in goal!

Posted by: rovingbandit | October 2, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Things in goal should be kept competitive.

Theodore hasn't yet proven that he is the #1 goalie despite his experience.

Meanwhile, Varlamov isn't likely to be up to a 65-70 game season in his first full campaign at the NHL level.

Theodore played fairly well last night, but he wasn't really challenged for long stretches.

He was lucky at one point in the third period that a shot from Lucic went up over the crossbar because he was beaten to the short side.

The breakaway?

That's Boudreau's style. He allows for the occasional odd man rush the other way in running his aggressive style.

Theodore came very close to stopping that breakaway shot by Bergeron and it would have been a nice save for him to record.

Posted by: leopard09 | October 2, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Start Varly not because he is the future but because we are playing Toronto not Boston, and we are playing home not Toronto. A good game to start any #2 net minder.

Posted by: jgprentice | October 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Nah. Let Varly start. This is going to be an all-out fight for the net, and that's what Boudreau wants. He's giving both guys a chance to stake their claim to backstopping this team in the playoffs, and may the best goalie win. Bold? Definitely. But it'll pay dividends come March and April.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 2, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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