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Caps recall Semyon Varlamov

The Caps have recalled goalie Semyon Varlamov, who started in Hershey on Sunday and made 26 saves in a 5-4 comeback win over the Baby Pens.

Varlamov, who has been rehabbing a lingering knee injury, is practicing with the team at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The 21-year-old hasn't played for the Caps since Dec. 7.

"I thought he got better as the game wore on," Bears Coach Mark French said after Sunday's win. "I don't know what the game plan is. As far as I know, his health throughout the game was fine."

More to come.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  February 9, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
 | Tags: Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: To beat the snow, Caps seek shelter in... Canada?

Comments

Varly!!!! Welcome back.....Theo has been great, but it will be nice to get Varly back in the rotation.

Posted by: adamkatzen | February 9, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Finally. Lets hope he hasn't lost his pre-injury touch.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hooray! It's honestly gonna be strange seeing him in net... haven't seen him in soooo long!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

OK, we had a roster spot open (supposedly it was being held for Alzner), and now we have 20 skaters and 3 goalies!?

You can have three goalies for a day or two, but that's it.

Is the plan for Neuvirth to go back to Hershey for the Olympic break? Both Varly and Neuvy can be optioned. Varly will be in Vancouver. Neuvirth could use work to stay sharp. Varly must be kept on NHL roster I'm guessing for Olympics. Neuvy then is odd man out just like Alzner.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

When you look at Varlamov's stats this year, it's insane. He put up those numbers before the streak.

A team that is supposed to have questionable defense/goaltending had a goalie in the top 7 of GAA and save % before his injury.

I don't know about you, but if I wasn't a Caps fan, I'd be pretty scared.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

A fan posted on Japers that they watched the "Sports Job" show with Junior Seau and Seau was helping the Caps equipment manager pack Neuvy's stuff for Hershey.

So, I assume he's Hershey bound. Hopefully, Michal will get out before the snow hits hard.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

For one, I hadn't considered that Koivu or Ott would be available, but also, I was looking more at filling the second line center spot that Flash has been occupying, and I think Plekanec would be a fantastic fit. It will be interesting to see if Flash plays and develops some chemistry with Plekanec for the Czech Republic during the Olympics.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 9:47 AM |

Ah, okay. I see what you're saying. But when I call for a center, I am thinking more of what tom described. More of a PK, 3rd line checking center, rather than replacing Flash on the 2nd, and moving him down.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

capsfan, that show was recorded before the season opening game....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 9, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

CF75: Is that Junior Seau show live? Are they showing Neuvy's stuff being packed now or are they replaying Neuvy's stuff being packed on one of the endless back-and-forths from the past?

As good as Neuvy's been, I guess it's clear they still have him behind Varly.

Phil: We disagree slight on Kovy value, but we are dead on agreement on center need as in "defense first."

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

SO which of the two teams has a less "aggressive" offense. Not necessarily less shots, but I think Varly should get his first crack at whatever team has the least amount of net-crashers/screeners/etc.

Probably..Ottawa?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Everytime I see that rerun of "Sports Jobs," I marvel at Bradley's willingness to request a smaller jockstrap. I think doing that on national television takes (ironically) rather large cojones. I wonder if he was dared to do it.

Posted by: SuzieInMD | February 9, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Phil: We disagree slight on Kovy value, but we are dead on agreement on center need as in "defense first."

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 9:59 AM |

I'm not saying he's worth that much money, but I think a team will offer it to him. I don't think Kovy only cares about money though...the only teams who can offer him the money ATL was are teams like ATL, and it's obvious he wanted out of ATL.

He's worth 8.5 mil/yr, I'd say. Little less than Crosby and Malkin, but he also puts up way more goals than both of them. But I can see LA or ATL re-offering him upwards of 10 mil/yr.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The GM and coach both like the team as it is. I am hoping, because of that, we see NO moves before the deadline. Not perfect, but perfect enough to put together the streak, put up serious numbers, improve on the PK, significant comebacks in several games, tighter D, etc... save the trades for after the season. These guys have worked their tails off for us and put on quite a show - they ALL deserve the chance in the playoffs.

Posted by: gonchpup | February 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Ah, okay. I see what you're saying. But when I call for a center, I am thinking more of what tom described. More of a PK, 3rd line checking center, rather than replacing Flash on the 2nd, and moving him down.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I was thinking of moving Flash back to wing, and having him play on a line with Plekanec and Semin and moving Laich down. If we needed a more physical third line, I'd consider having Laich center Fehr and Chimera.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

That "Sports Jobs" show was from the first game of the season. It has nothing to do with what's going on right now.

And welcome back, Varly!

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | February 9, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo
I think I picked that up from JSchon then. (about moving Flash down) I don't think Laich is well enough at center to fill that checking line void.


Maybe we need to see BMo come back up? He was great the first few weeks, but has seemed to fizzle out. He was brought in to be that 2nd line center, lets see how it does again.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Put me in the camp that feels that any team is capable of upgrading somewhere.

Again, although GMGM can spout it was a "balancing" trade all he wants, I think it's quite obvious that the Chimera trade was the first phase for another trade to come, probably a rental.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I was at the Hershey Bears game on Sunday and I am surprised that they recalled Varly so soon. He looked slow in picking up the puck and was giving up a lot of bad rebounds. Considering he has not played in almost two months, he did well, but I thought they would leave him down for another game or two

Posted by: redeerm | February 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

tominfll:
I think the plan all along was to send Neuvy to Hershey for the Olympic break. That's why Neuvy was in Hershey recently when the Caps went on the road trip...he needed to get some Hershey games in so that he would be eligible to play for the Bears during the break.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

cainoo7x: Isn't Laich proving over the past few weeks (stepped up play) that he's more valuable as a winger than a center?

In the past, when used at center, weren't the results mixed?

Whatever it is that makes some people centers and some people wingers, Laich seems to have the thing (like Knuble) that makes him a winger.

Meanwhile, Flash is doing very well at center.

You look at the 12 forwards the Caps are icing. Only, really, my opinion, BMo or Gordon can be considered as an upgradeable position. Clearly our #3 center position of late isn't producing what a #3 center normally produces, either on O or on D. And Gordon, as #4 LW, doesn't have the phyical strength you normally get from that guy. Gordon I could keep though if my #3 center produced what I needed.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Although it seems to be a common desire to get a shut down d-man, I think they should also look at the ability of any d-man they get to be a good "shadow". Many teams try to shadow Ovi (with varling degrees of success) but the Caps don't have a guy who can really just go out and deny space to other teams top scorers, something I think would help against Pitt and now NJ come playoff time.

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Folks that "Sports Jobs" show was filmed before the season started. Notice that Seau accompanied the team to Boston for the season opener.

Posted by: MKadyman | February 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Gordon's been good the past games, I thought. The entire 4th line has been playing pretty well.

It's that 3rd line that seems to be slumping. They always seem to be the minus players after games too. I thought BMo has been fine though, it's just not gelling right with Fehr and Chimera. When that line scores, it seems to be mostly an individual effort as well.

And, although I like Chimera and what he's done so far, He needs to pay attention more. BMo is zipping passes right to him, and Chimera doesn't get it because he's turned around or something.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo
I think I picked that up from JSchon then. (about moving Flash down) I don't think Laich is well enough at center to fill that checking line void.


Maybe we need to see BMo come back up? He was great the first few weeks, but has seemed to fizzle out. He was brought in to be that 2nd line center, lets see how it does again.


Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I suppose the problem with moving B-Mo back up is who plays third line center? Flash isn't going to be a fit there. I suppose they could bump Steckel up to third line and have Gordon center the fourth line, but then you'd have to move Laich down to the fourth line, or have him bump Fehr or Chimera from the third line.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

And also, I hope BMo stays healthy into the playoffs. He's pure clutch, like Franzen.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

A team puts four centers on the ice. One is the first line guy, clearly offense first. The 2nd line guy is usually about offense too. Mostly the 4th line guy is energy, that's what 4th lines do. One of the 4 centers must be, I think, a defense-first player.

The Caps don't have that. Steckel is a good role guy, but he's not that adept defensively. Maybe they are good enough to win the Cup as is, but it's very unorthodox to not have a checking center. Some teams have two of them even.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

In case you want a good luck at the Carter head shot on Salmela last night, here is a link to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxKau5eviks

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 9, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

B.Mo = Fail @ 2nd C
Laich = Fail @ 3rd C
B.Mo = Fail @ 3rd C
Flash = Decent @ 2nd C

If you can, which I'm not GMGM can, we need to get a 2nd line center. Move Flash down to the 3rd, he'd be great there. The 3rd line guys is a scoring line. Chimera and Fehr are among the Caps leaders in point per minute played without the benefit of getting set up by a creative pivot.

I like Flash C, I'd prefer to see him on the 3rd C during the playoffs.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Now Vogs has tweeted that all three goalies are making the trip to Canada.

Neuvirth is not being sent down.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1,

I agree with you and would prefer to keep Laich as a wing. Honestly, I feel that he's flexible enough in what he provides to play on any of the 2-4 lines. If the Caps added a second line center and moved Flash back to wing, I wouldn't hesitate to move Brooks to the third or fourth line.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Now Vogs has tweeted that all three goalies are making the trip to Canada.

Neuvirth is not being sent down.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, did Theo catch a cold or tweak his last injury?

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Varly should play the second of the back to back games, the Ottawa game.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Even though B Mo hasn't been as productive as we'd all like, as of late, I would not consider him a total failure.

He was great early this season and was frankly a life saver for us when both Flash and Fehr were out.

He was the center when Fehr was scoring goals while Semin and then Ovi were out.

He can't be that bad or the third line would not have any productivity.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

They probably want Varly to face some NHL caliber shots in practice before going off the Olympics.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

B.Mo has 2G and 7A in his last 29 games. Thats also with playing PP minutes.

Chimera and Fehr have been providing for themselves, but it shouldn't be that way.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This might be a really stupid question but since they are carrying three goalies, would the two goalies not playing sit on the bench? I don't think any team in the NHL carries three goalies.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

rachel, I'd have to guess that one will be a scratch. I don't think I've ever seen two goalies sitting on a bench before, except during the final minutes of a one-goal game. ;)

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | February 9, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216
One goalie gets scratched like any other player. When the Caps had Olie, Johnny and Huet, Johnny sat in the press box.

Posted by: koalatek | February 9, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Johnny didn't sit on Theo's lap?

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I have no idea if the show is live. I was reporting what I read second hand, I must confess.

But now Vogel has spread the real story.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes, one of the three goalies gets scratched. But, unlike a scratched forward, the 3rd goalie can be used in the game. If both of the first two are injured, he can suit up.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Actually, Sasha's the only person on the team who sits on the laps of goalies.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

No, Rachel, the third goalie will sit in the press box with Laing (or whoever is scratched). I'm sure they just want Varly to face some NHL shots before they use him as a backup and send Mikey down.

Just as an example, Hershey carried three goalies all during the Calder Cup run last year: Mikey, Machesney, and Holtby. Holtby spent all but one game in the stands. He sat backup one game when Cheeser was sick. But that's during playoffs. Don't usually see it during regular season.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 9, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not the Caps need a #2 center or #3 center, it's clear BMo hasn't produced offensively in quite a while and, with his size and skill set, we don't expect he'd ever be a defensive center.

So, when McPhee ponders moves, this is an area crying out for something to be done.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Edit. B.Mo 2G 8A in his last 31.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the info. I was thinking the same thing as Greg. I've never seen two goalies sitting on the bench before!

CapsFan75: Are you referring to the picture of Semin sitting on Neuvy?! Maybe Neuvy could sit on Varly's lap. ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Fehr is same amount of games (last 31).

8G 10A +9, yet Fehr was healthy scratched for poor play.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Poor Lainger. Has gotten no playing time as of late, ever since Boyd Gordon's come back for good.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not the Caps need a #2 center or #3 center, it's clear BMo hasn't produced offensively in quite a while and, with his size and skill set, we don't expect he'd ever be a defensive center.

So, when McPhee ponders moves, this is an area crying out for something to be done.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. I guess GMGM has some flexibility to pick up either a 2nd or 3rd line center depending on who is available and what the cost may be. If that doesn't work out, I wouldn't mind the team adding Kubina to the defensive corps.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 9, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

from prior post, what are the chances that forsbergs name pops up for the caps if he plays well and looks healthy. i think having a free roster spot and cap space help the caps more then other teams. they give up nothing and get a center with experience. not sure it is the right move, but one that might get talked about alot.

Posted by: jay18 | February 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@rachel216

That's the one. BTW, I was at that particular practice where it happened. The guys were skating and Neuvy and Sasha were batting the puck back & forth to each other and then Semin sat on Neuvy's lap.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@Capfan75

I like Laing... He's does a lot with a little. Gordon is more versatile I guess.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Foppa for the playoffs would be awesome.

Since he is not owned by any team can he be picked up after March 3rd?

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm too lazy to look it up (and not even supposed to be doing it on work time)...

when is the trade deadline this year?

Posted by: tess2201 | February 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

March 3rd.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Laing is truly a "bad luck" boy when it comes to getting injured. Gets the real fluky injuries.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks! I saw your post above mine after I hit refresh. :)
That's what happens when I try to work and read CI at the same time.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see the scrap between Milbury and yhe Capitals Outsider guy after the game Sunday?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon & Tess2201

On Sasha's birthday, folks.

But there is also a freeze on trading while the Olympics is happening, as well.

Which is why so many trades have been happening as of late.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Note what happened when the Caps last scratched Eric Fehr for poor play. They lost to the Kings and had next to no offense.

That was a poor move.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't be happier that Varly's back. But I'd have preferred he stayed in Hershey for more conditioning. BB absolutely can not play him until this win streak is over. It's not fair to put him in during the streak. If that Caps lost in his first game back he'd never forgive himself.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | February 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@DisgustedinArlington

That's why BB didn't start Holtby. Everyone would have been up in arms if the streak had been broken with a raw rookie in goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't be happier that Varly's back. But I'd have preferred he stayed in Hershey for more conditioning
Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | February 9, 2010 11:07 AM
------------------------
The Bears don't play again till Friday. That wouldn't give him much work before the Olympics.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

ESPN Insider thinks GMGM should make a run at NSH's D-man Dan Hamhuis. Honestly, I can't ever recall him playing and I have watched a half dozen Preds games in all over the years.

What do we get with Hamhuis? His stats stink, he is like "-" in several years.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 9, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I don't necessarily think BMo has been a failure as a 2nd center. it's not like the Caps are suffering in goal scoring and maybe BB has asked him to think defense first

I think he'll be fine in the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

perhaps they're just moving varly back up so he can face nhl-calibre shots in practise again.

Posted by: j762 | February 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

They got so many weekend games in Hershey and so few weekday games.

At this point, I think Boudreau is more worried about the long term than about this particular streak. Varly is a proven NHL goalie while Holtby isn't.

Holtby has proven one thing at the AHL leve. He can do the back to back starts. He seems to have never ending endurance.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

If he wasn't a failure at 2nd line center, he'd still be there and we wouldn't have converted a perfectly effective LW in Flash to a serviceable 2nd line C.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

The team is not short a center, they have one playing the wing on the forth line. B. Gordon can play as 3rd or 4th line center is someone is hurt. No goalie is needed, we have 3 that can play. I am still hoping for big Dman...we have not debated that yet have we?
Snow fever is coming on

Posted by: RichC3 | February 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@richc3

We do have plenty of C's. We have so many C's that we needed to convert Flash to C, thats how many C's we have.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Just becauce there is a trade moritorium, does not stop the GM's from talking and have an agreement in place and annouce it when the break is over. We just wont hear about it till March 1st.

Posted by: RichC3 | February 9, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

every center can play wing, not every wing can play center... if Flash can play center, that's where he should play

it's NOT like they have a lot of depth in that position

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

With Theo and Varly we should be unstoppable!!

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | February 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

We can always bring that other center back. Um what is his name again? Do I dare mention it.

Posted by: instinct227 | February 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

AGAIN this debate is kinda pointless because goal scoring is NOT a problem

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well here's my crazy theory on why B Mo was sent to the third line, starting with the game after the LA Kings loss.

Things we knew before then:

1) Flash is more effective as a top 6 player

2) Laich scores more on the second line than on the third line

3) Fehr is more effective as 2nd line right winger than in any other role but can do okay on 3rd line. And is wasted on 4th line.

4) Laich is more effective as winger than center

5) The age old debate Caps fans have had on whether Semin and Ovi should be on the same line

Ergo, with more second line caliber people than BB knew what to do with, a creative solution was arrived at.

1) Send our normal second line center (B Mo) down on the third line with Fehr since they had proven to have chemistry and productivity together while on the second.

2) Put Laich, Flash, and Semin together so we separate Ovi and Semin, move Laich back to the second line - at wing. Which means Flash at center.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Has the League announced the length of Jeff Carter's suspension yet?

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 9, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Only a Caps superstar would get suspended for hits like that.

(Okay, I know, I'm a Caps fan. So, of course, paranoia is my middle name.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with joek443, BMo hasn't been great but he hasn't been a failure also. I thought he, and the line, has done a pretty decent job over the past few games cycling the puck down low in the offensive zone.

He also usually seems to be in the correct defensive position too. He is not a great defensive center but I think he has been decent and that line is also a threat to score some goals.

I think the goal should be to make the 4th line the great defensive checking line. It doesn't matter if you call it 3rd or 4th, if you want you can call the BMo line 4th. The name of the lines is irrelevant.

I actually thought Steckel did a real good job against Malkin last year in the playoffs. Steckel's size allows to physically match up against Malkin and move him away from the net.

The pens usually put the Staal line against the Ovie line, but I would be fine with the Ovie line facing Crosby. But I would not be afraid of having the BMo line out there also.

I think it has been very important that the Caps 3rd line is taken as a pretty decent scoring threat. If they can retain that scoring and add defense, then absolutely do it. But I would be hesitant replacing BMo with a center who doesn't have as much skill.

In addition, the Caps don't have too many centers who could be a top 2 centerman, and Ott is not a top 2 centerman. Having BMo is also a good plan B in case there is an injury.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: When I saw it I said it was dirty and he must get a suspension. Looking at it again, I've changed my opinion. Carter was just finishing his check and it was shoulder to shoulder. He actually didn't get a piece of his head. It was pure shoulder to shoulder. Salmela was blindsided so the check really jolted him. His injuries were sustained by his visor and his face smashing the ice. I hate to say it (since he's a Flyer) but it was a clean hit. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This debate is not about scoring, its about maximizing effectiveness.

Morrison was brought here to C the 2nd line. B.Mo racked up 70% of his points in his first 30 games. The last 29, he has been lousy.

So since B.Mo had been pretty ineffective for almost a month and we couldn't get any other C to stick on the 3rd line (Laich, Perrault, Steckel and Wilson), we needed to convert a 24point LW with 14 goals to C.

Moving Morrison to 3rd line C, should've helped B.Mo, less expectation, fewer minutes... It didn't.

I like B.Mo, but he is currently ineffective and has been for 30 games. 44% on the dots last week.

Posted by: JSchon | February 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Caps definitely need a strong, physical, defensive-minded center to play on the 2nd or 3rd lines. Both Fleischmann and Morrison looked way in over their heads when asked to defend against Malkin or Stahl in Sunday's game. The Pens are 3-deep at the center position with quality players. After Backstrom, we're using a converted LW (Fleischmann) who isn't very strong defensively and 3rd line center who is on the small side and not very physical.

Steckel is a great PK specialist but not the guy you want playing against a 2nd or 3rd line center on a team like Pittsburgh or Detroit. To be deep enough at the center position for the playoffs, we need to make a move for someone like Plekanac before the trade break.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Carter clearly lifted his arm, also the puck was already in the net. I have a hard time believing one of our guys wouldn't get a suspension for that, if anything to "send a message.

I can guarantee you that someone on our team would have gotten a suspension for hitting someone headfirst into the boards like Adams did to Alex.

I'm just saying, I was promised that Green's suspension was because of a new tough NHL, cracking down on this kind of stuff. So far, the League has yet to make good on that promise.

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 9, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the third line is currently an offensive threat. Both Fehr and Chimera have scored recently. The defense on that line has been shaky on occasion and the third line's been on the ice for the first opposing goal the last two games.

Morrison and Fehr are normally better at defense. There must be a reason they are good plus players. And Fehr is generally one of our better plus players, at least last year and this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

AGAIN this debate is kinda pointless because goal scoring is NOT a problem

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 11:24 AM

joe: I for one am looking for a center not more scoring, but to help stop the other team. And I don't care if they call the 4th line the checking line, but Steckel-Gordo-Brads isn't good enough d-wise for that role IMHO. Pick two of the three might be good enough if we had one of those kelly Miller or Steve Kono types as the other player.

I'm talking about we should have a Stanley Cup-calibre checking line. I really think Fehr and Chimera could do it (with a guy like Kono).

Also, checking line doesn't mean just defense. we had a guy named Ulf Dahlen excellent D and also put the puck in the net. But, if I got that kind of multi-skilled player, you couldn't put him on line #2 w/Semin and expect to make it a shutdown line.

We need grit; we need sandpaper; we need a better checking line to match up with Crosby's line; we sorely need a better PK.

Some combination of a new center and an added d-man should be able to provide all those qualities. And hopefully the cost isn't more for each player than what SJ forked over for Wallin.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 9, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I can see the fans of the rangers and bruins laughing when they see some of these comments about 2nd, 3rd or 5th center for that matter... "what are these people complaining about, I get ecstatic when my team scores 3 goals in any game"

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

New thread started. They just posted new story on CI.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 9, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

i think we need to sign Forsberg after the Olympics wont cost us any young players in the system and he can be a shut down 2 way center who can also score and has rings and leadership for a cup run

Posted by: heathdog1119 | February 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

joek443: Fantastic point. lol. People, calm down!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

I'm all for adding more grit and toughness. the debate I was referring to was about whether or not BMo has been a failure. some seem to think so based on his offensive production lately but I don't.

this team socres plenty of goals and some of them do have to pay attention to defense.

Posted by: joek443 | February 9, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Just like I wasn't sold on Varly as the #1, nor was I giving up on Theo @ the beginning of the season.
But Neuvy has also impressed & having 3 good goalies (Holtby too?) is a luxury that GMGM has brought to us.
An enviable position.

Dare I say we could roll three #1 goalies entering the post season.
Esp. if Varly has a great Olympics & Neuvy continues to shine in Hershey.

This is becoming like baseball with a rotation.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Yay, the savior is back!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | February 9, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite ready to buy his jersey but I wanted to put in a plug for Mike Knuble who has 13 goals in his last 16 games. And 21 for the year after missing almost a month.

He is really one of the key reasons for the Caps improvement from last year.

His experience is harder to quantify, but I think he lends a key element to the locker room, although his Russian is probably not as good as Fedorov's.

Posted by: rjma1 | February 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Guys, I taped Varly working with the coaches after practice today. Sorry, some of the video is turned to the side. He looked pretty good, hence no pucks in the net. I put it on youtube, so here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kBevXMxRfE

Posted by: JD09 | February 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope all this chatter about trades and who should be playing where is due to boredom and cabin fever. Do you not realize that you are critiquing the #1 team in the league in many categories, that has a more than proven coach, and a GM that has years of experience both on the ice and in management? Let these guys continue to do the great work they have been. This team does have a few areas that can be worked on, but I feel they should do so with the current personnel - Everybody on this team deserves to finish the season as a Cap.

Posted by: gonchpup | February 9, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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