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Caps Recall Neuvirth

Goalie Michal Neuvirth has been summoned from Hershey and will join the team for tonight's game against the Devils at Prudential Center.

He's replacing backup goaltender Brent Johnson, who is a day to day with an injury. The Caps are not being specific about the nature of Johnson's injury, but anyone who has watched him recently can see that something -- likely his hip -- is bothering him.

I'll have more after the morning skate.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2009; 10:38 AM ET
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Next: Bradley Odd Forward Out


Brent Johnson hurt again?? Hope it's not Theodore. He's been playing very well that last several weeks.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 3, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sad to see Brent hurt, I'm assuming Varlamov is still injured as well, hence Neuvirth? Anyone know how long he's out for?

Posted by: abuddy2004 | February 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So I take it Varly is still injured? Can one of our esteemed Hershey based commenters confirm that.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think Varlamov is still hurt. I'm interested to see what Neuvirth can do after a stint in South Carolina and then in Hershey ... and hoping I don't have to find out.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

As of this past weekend, both Varly & Cheese were both hurt with lower body injuries.

Posted by: BearsAngel | February 3, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov still has a groin muscle injury. At least that's what I was told a couple od days ago.


Posted by: el_bashir | February 3, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

It's not so good to hear that Johnny's dinged up bad enough to miss some games again. He's been a solid goalie most of the time when needed.

At least we can take comfort in the fact that we have good goalies in the minors that can jump back up to the Caps if needed in Neuvirth and Varlamov. And, of course, we've always got ol' Strecth-o, Number 80, Brett Leonhardt if needed in a pinch! :-)

Anyway, rest up and get back to us soon, Johnny! We'll need you healthy in the strecth run...

Posted by: BigRed8 | February 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

While we're on the subject of Hershey, per John Walton Hockey, will be against Hershey on April 10th.

I'm up for a little field trip to help them close out the Spectrum...

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: ewwsombra | February 3, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse


Looking at the schedule, Johnson probably wouldnt play until Feb 14th or 15th vs Florida. Things are spaced out enough Theo should be good until that back-2-back mid month.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirth is a great prospect that is being overshadowed by Varlamov. I watched the last few games he played for Hershey, and in the ECHL allstar game (not to mention the preseason game he played in), and I have to say that he is one of my favorite prospects. He is so positionally sound, and his composure in the crease is preternatural. He is the yang to Varly's yen.

His development has a bit of a different trajectory than Varly's because he played in a junior league, whereas Varlamov played in a professional league, but he has a ton of talent and is going to be a good one. I would rather not see him in net if it can be avoided, but the kid has the equanimity to do well if forced to play.

Posted by: thegr8one | February 3, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@ewwsombra: Are you posting from a military machine? Be careful with the uppercase letters, that's usually construed as shouting on the Internet.

I think we're going to need secondary scoring tonight to win this one. Crash the net = good.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Tarik - Have the Caps put Clark on LTIR? If no, why not, and when will they so they can bring Alzner back up?

Posted by: Moose16 | February 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Never a dull minute!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 3, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse


Is Steckel ready to play today? I noticed on the caps website's preview of the game, he is not listed day-to-day or anything, so just curious. Thanks!

Go Caps!!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 3, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse


You wont see Alzner up unless someone is traded. I cant see us healthy scratching a top 6 d-man, and making his trade value lower.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Bruins thinking about acquiring Tkachuk

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This seems to be an on-going injury with Brent...hip from early in the season.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Who is Hershey's goaltender, if Neuvirth is up here, and Machesney and Varlamov are both hurt? The AHL doesn't post injury updates... :-(

Posted by: irockthered | February 3, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Varly and chesse where expeected to be back skating this week. and the Bears do not play untill friday so I will guess everything with be ok with the bears and neuvirth prolly heads back to SC after this.

Posted by: cocorules | February 3, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping that steckel will be back in the line-up tonight. As for the Alzner thing...the quicker they bring him back up the less time they have to think through the rest of the season.AKA which D-men to bench.. who to trade.. cap space etc. Its a busy time for all organizations and making a hasty move wont help. While I am all for seeing alzy back in D.C. logistically it doenst seem like it is going to happen anytime soon.

Goodness.. I feel terrible for Johnny.. course he didnt really look comfortable in the crease against ottowa..made some great saves yes.. but didnt look flexible nor comfortable.. I hope that he will take the time to heal fully this time and not rush back.. we need him healthy to get deep into post-season...

Hopefully the boys will calm down tonight..less penalties from #28 and more productivity from everyone..strong D-men will help.. and for goodness sake.. go to the net!! If Ovi and Nick and Feds can have a game tonight like they did on Sunday.. I think we are in good shape..

Rocking the Red!

Posted by: -19- | February 3, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Word of the day = equanimity.

Posted by: Boo- | February 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, You lazy bum. What did Semin did to you that you must compound the myth. There are bigger offenders and you highlight Semin on your article. Why?

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse


What myth are you talking about? It's plain as day that Semin takes way too many careless stick penalties. He and Jurcina are the worst at taking minor penalties.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@ hock1

Semin got called out by THE COACH... Tarik just reports... whatchurself

Posted by: gocaps71 | February 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

FYI - Caps fans in Jersey

You can still get upper level tickets to this game.

Hottest team in the NHL, and you can buy a $40 ticket the day of the game...vs. Ovie none-the less.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


you lazy bum - watch a game every now and then.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I won't go as far as calling Tarik a lazy bum, but hock has a point. Semin is not the worse offender, you can look at the stats anyway you want to, whether number of penalties, or penalties per game, OV, Brashear, and others are worse.
I agree with hock, this is a myth which is being compounded by lazy reporting.
We have a great team, why do people need to destroy it? beyond me.

Posted by: opita1 | February 3, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not really a myth. And Semin has played less games than OV or Brash, yet his number is still high. He takes a lot of careless penalties. But gocaps71 is right. Tarik was simply reporting what the coach said to the press and to Semin. Nothing wrong with that. And this certainly isn't a case of someone trying to tear down the team. It's a report about where the Caps need to improve if they want to be a truly great team in the NHL. Nothing wrong with acknowledging your weaknesses and working to improve. Tarik isn't reporting on anything that we all don't know already.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Lazy reporting?! Semin takes soft, selfish, immature penalties at terrible times... OV takes a lot of penalties cause the guy skates out of his mind and he serves team penalties... Brash is our enforcer and catches a bad rep.

Posted by: gocaps71 | February 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

So Tarik is lazy now?

Bruce calls out Semin for taking bad penalties, drops him to the 3rd line and cuts his minutes and Tarik is lazy.....?


Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Semin got called out by the coach during a moment of frustration by BB during the game, before reviewing the game tape. According to one broadcaster, BB also called out OV, but there was not mention of that by this so called reporter. A good reporter would have followed later and asked the coach if he had re-evaluated that particular penalty and if he still felt the same way. I bet the coach would have retracted that spur-of-the-moment remark.

I take your remark as joke.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse


I love the breakdown from the last post. I think the forward lines are set now that BB has found the right pairings. I love that we have 3 solid scoring lines. That is extremely difficult to match up with.

I will forgive your man crush on Komo but I agree with you....Send them Nylander and Schultz...Just hoping Nylander doesn't bite us in the ass if we see them in the playoffs...It does however look like Nyls is turning it on a bit.

re: MISTER DAYS.....

I will be there around 6:30. I am calling up there later to get the big screen. I have about 5 people coming with me so I'll see you up there.

Posted by: numero94 | February 3, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse


I don't think BB would've retracted his comments. In fact, he didn't. Read the story. But regardless of the circumstances surrounding that ONE penalty, look at Semin's body of work. He's committed foolish penalties several times over, and BB boiled over at that point. Had to be done. Semin is too damned talented to be in the penalty box. He brings way too much to this team, and he should be held to a high standard. And I read somewhere that OV was hollered at, too, but not for taking a penalty. He was yelled at, if I recall, for his seeming lack of effort early in the Detroit game. But that's not what Tarik's article was about. And, quite frankly, it wasn't about Semin. It was about the team in general taking too many penalties.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

take the number of penalties and divide them by the games played for the biggest offenders, then post here what you found out. Is semin still at the top?

Yes. Tarik is a lazy reporter. I am sorry if you get offended by that. Post one good article that this guy has ever done. Everything is puff crap, or tidbits he hears during other reporters Q&A sessions. By the way, Bruce also called out Ovie, but did you read or hear your ace reporter say anything about that when it happened? Didn't think so.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Semin averages almost 1:30 in penalties a game. But remember, the story wasn't about penalties, in general, or PIMs, but rather about MINOR PENALTIES. Ovechkin averages slightly less than Semin. Brash has more than everyone. That's obvious. Jurcina, another guy who takes bad penalties, averages less than a minute. So right, it's looking like Semin averages more than than everyone but Brashear.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I am not saying that Semin does not take penalties, some at bad times, but so does everyone else. OV is a big offender. They all do. My gripe is the way Semin has been singled out to the point of tattooing an unjust reputation. If he wasn't singled-out on this article, why the only pictures shown are of him (so far they have posted two different ones), why singled out that his penalties were on 33 games? Why not pictures of the other offenders and why not a stat of penalties per game? I think I know why, it won't look as bad for Semin.
This guy is a lazy reporter, period.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse


I don't know you, why would your opinion offend me? I don't share your opinion, and honestly don't feel compelled to provide evidence to try to change your mind. Time to move on to a new topic and we can agree to disagree.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I think judging by the number of posters, Semin tends to be the go-to guy when you want to highlight "bad penalties", like everyone expects it from him. Everyone's inner NHL Coach of the Year comes out and they start spouting out "suggestions" that don't necessarily come out logical or sane. Boudreau gets paid a grip to coach these guys. If yelling at my favorite player is good enough for him, it's good enough for me. No need for everyone to come up with their own idea of cruel and unusual punishment for him when Boudreau already handled the sitch. Leave him be...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 3, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but if you watch the games, you'll notice it's Semin constantly taking careless penalties. It's about taking penalties that are avoidable. Semin makes those mistakes. He's still young. It's not to make Semin look like a bad guy. And it's not lazy reporting. It's based on observation. It's based on what the coach has said. It's based on the fact that players have taken Semin aside to talk to him about it. If players are doing that on their own, then you know there is a problem. So no, it's not lazy reporting. Semin, of late, has been the worst offender.

Ovechkin has made careless stick penalties, too, but I see most of his as a result of over-aggressiveness (which doesn't make it excusable) or the result of a shorthanded break away, when he ends up hooking a guy to prevent a goal (more excusable). Semin trips and hooks when he turns the puck over because he gets frustrated. He's served 45 minutes in 33 games. That's a lot. (Ovechkin's 58 minutes in 49 games is a lot.) But the story is about careless penalties, and Semin commits quite a few of those. Jurcina does, too, and that was mentioned. But he's actually curtailed his a bit lately.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The penalty I believe that Semin got called out for was the one at the end of the 2nd period of the Detroit game. If you watch the whole play, Semin tried to skate through 4 Stanley Cup Champions, ineveitably coughed up the puck, and tripped a man when he tried to get it back at the end of the 2nd period. Those are the dumb plays BB is tired of from Semin...trying to do too much by or near your own zone...cough it up...stop moving your feet...dumb penalty at end of period.

Calling out Tarik for reporting the facts on the team he is covering is asinine. Obviously, penalties are a major problem therefore a major story. If the Caps average 6-7 penalties a game in the playoffs they will be elimanated in 5 games - first round. I respect your opinions on the Capitals, but there is no need to call out Tarik. Don't shoot the messenger if the message upsets you.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Not to take sides on this issue, but I still have the video of the Detroit game and I just watched in slow motion the "penalty" event during that game. There is no way, you are going to convince me that it was a lazy penalty. And, I go one step farther, if Tarik were to ask BB about it after BB had to time to review it, I would bet he will agree with me.

Posted by: opita1 | February 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Saturday you could just see the penalty coming. Semin was trying to make up for the mistake and skating trying to make something happen. He screwed up, the coach called him on it, so be it. I am definitely in the Semin is good for the team camp. He takes some dumb penalties at times, but he is a game breaker and I would hate to see him as an opponent.

Posted by: _Mark | February 3, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse


You'd think that Bruce and the coaching staff watch tape after a game, right? Then how would you explain Semin being dropped to the 3rd line and playing 5 min less vs Sens? Looks to me like Bruce didn't share your opinion on Semin's penalty vs Detroit.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I go along with that. I stated my opinion and you stated yours. I wasn't trying to convince you of anything, the reason I asked you to name an article was simply because maybe I had been unjust with Tarik. So far I still feel the same. Lets move on.

OV has played on 49 games and has had 28 penalties or 0.57 ppg.
Semin has played on 33 games and has had 16 penalties or 0.48 ppg.
So the difference is minute, and yet it is Semin who gets labeled for bad penalties. e.g. in your words: " Semin constantly taking careless penalties", "Ovechkin has made careless stick penalties, too, but I see most of his as a result of over-aggressiveness " . You condemn one guy and excuse the other. The fact is, they both take penalties because, like great players they are, they are over-aggressive, not lazy. If Tarik was half a decent reporter peple claims he is, he would write a fair article about it. Back to the Detroit game, what about those three penalties on the last two minutes of the game. I didn't hear anyone call them lazy, and some were.

I have no idea what game you watched. I like Opita, have reviewed the tape in slow motion. There were not 4 detroit players playing the puck. - oh, heck, forget it.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I can not explain it anymore than you, we can only guess why he got dropped to the 3rd line.
Have you reviewed the tape? I will be glad to disect the play from the moment that Semin passed the puck to Green until the penalty. I would like to know at what point is it that we differ. I have the tape, I imagine you do too, since you seem so admant as to imply that is the reason he got dropped to the third line.
By the way, if you are right, and that is the reason why he got dropped to the 3rd line, then you are doing a better job than Tarik, since he has not given us that scoop. In fact you will be agreeing with hock.

Posted by: opita1 | February 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Semin reminds me of a talented and high scoring youth hockey player who has an elevated opinion of his abilities, and is roundly reviled by all the other players and parents because he is a puck hog, constantly carrying the puck too long, dangling, coasting, and then taking idiot penalties on his stupid turnovers that end up costing his team the game. It's just weird to see that one of these type of players can make it all the way to the top in the NHL. He seems like the kind of player that will help you get to the post season and then commit the costly penalty or turnover that ends the playoff run.

Posted by: siamo_stati_tutti_fregati | February 3, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It sure is weird that Semin made it to the NHL, aint it?

Posted by: opita1 | February 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

so who is playing tonight?

Posted by: opita1 | February 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse


I'm operating under the premise that BB reviewed the tape. How else do you explain the demotion?

I'm low tech, didn't record the game, don't have a way to record it at all, just saw it from my seats at Verizon.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse


I didn't excuse Ovechkin. Notice that I said some of his penalties are not excusable. I wrote that. You can read it. But Semin does take these careless penalties. As for the Detroit game, Semin tripped a guy he didn't have to. That's really the case with that call. And as Steve_R has said, you would think BB has watched the film, and he hasn't backed down from his comments. Not to mention Semin's demotion to the third line against the Sens. That's an indictment if I've ever seen one. And while Ovechkin has more penalties per game, Semin serves more PIMs per game on average.

I think Semin is a helluva player, and I'd love for him to reach 30 goals this season. He's a guy who helps spread the scoring and adds a great dimension to this team. But I think, personally, that he can work on cutting down on this careless penalties. Ovechkin can, too. But Semin's always seem to be a result of frustration, when he attempts to skate through or around two or three opposing players.

Posted by: CDon | February 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

this thread is rapidly becoming a downer. WTF??

Posted by: doughless | February 3, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am going to try to address each one of your points:

"As for the Detroit game, Semin tripped a guy he didn't have to".
You probably have not had the chance to review this tape the way I have, so I understand it is your opinion based on a quick action. I am telling you, the people that have reviewed this tape in slow motion would totally disagree with you. Unless you are willing to sit and review it there is not point in discussing it anymore.

"And as Steve_R has said, you would think BB has watched the film, and he hasn't backed down from his comments."
In his reply to Opita, Steve_r state that his opinion is based on the "premise" that BB has reviewed the tape and he "assumes" that is the reason that semin got demoted. Although, I am sure BB has reviewed the tape, it does not make it a fact that the penalty was the reason why he got put on the third line; if you have notice, BB has been tinkering with the top three lines in the last few games.

"... you would think BB has watched the film, and he hasn't backed down from his comments."
Yes. I am sure he has. But what do you expect him to do, call a press conference? If that lazy reporter was to follow-up on this issues we would know the answer. So in reality, neither you nor I know how he feels about that particular penalty. I am guessing, after reviewing the tape many times, that he will see it my way.

"That's an indictment if I've ever seen one."
Lets hope you never have to serve as a juror, if you plan to indict someone in half-ass information.

"And while Ovechkin has more penalties per game, Semin serves more PIMs per game on average"
I could write a book on this. You and I can sit here play with numbers and make them show anything we want to see. i.e. ppg: semin less than OV, minor penalties per games: semin less than OV etc. etc.

To summarize: I think we agree that both of these players (and I am sorry I had to bring OV into the discussion) are great players.

We disagree in the type of penalties that they take. You think Semin's majority of penalties are lazy while OV's is for over-aggressiveness. I think both of these guys penalties are a result of great players trying to do too much at times - over-agressiveness - and I hope they never change.

I think tarik is lousy reporter, you haven't stated your opinion on that, but I would not be surprised if you disagree.

Posted by: hock1 | February 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

okay guys..the semin arguement is getting really old..the coach is handeling it..get over it for goodness sake....

everyone makes mistakes..he isnt God..and neither are stop judging..but by all means if you think you can do better...please let me have it.


Posted by: -19- | February 3, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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