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Fleischmann set to return; Varlamov to start

Tomas Fleischmann will make his season debut tonight in Atlanta, where the Caps will be looking to make it six in a row. What's not known about Fleischmann, though, is how much he's going to play in his return from deep vein thrombosis.

"There's two trains of thought there -- the quicker you throw him to the wolves, the quicker he gets up to speed," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Or you can bring him in slow. I haven't quite decided yet. Last year he killed penalties, was on the power play and was a top-six forward. We might do a combination of the both."

Boudreau said he'll know how much to play Fleischmann simply by looking at his face when he comes to the bench for a change.

"I'll see how tired he is after every shift," Boudreau said. "Everyone's heard about the greatest practice players who can't play. Now, he goes up against a group of men that don't want him to succeed; we'll see how it is."

As for Fleischmann, he's just happy to be back, regardless of his role.


Semyon Varlamov, meantime, will get a chance to redeem himself at Philips Arena. He picked up a 5-4 win here last week to bump his career record to 8-0-1, but the rookie definitely yielded two soft goals that almost cost the Caps. That also means Jose Theodore will play both games on the weekend.

Varlamov is expected to face Ondrej Pavelec, who was yanked in the previous meeting and also has something to prove.

The banged-up Thrashers are going to need Pavelec to be good, if not great tonight. They'll be without all-star Ilya Kovalchuk (broken foot) and also could be minus Nik Antropov (goin). Antropov skated this morning, but didn't look anywhere close to 100 percent.

"It's always a rally around the injured guy," Boudreau said. "I wish they would have had two games without [Kovalchuk] by now. But it's their first game since Saturday and second game since we beat them in this building. So I think it's going to be a really difficult thing."

Some other notes from this morning:

*Eric Fehr (ribs) and John Erskine (bruised hand) stayed on the ice, so that means they'll be the scratches. Boyd Gordon (sore back) didn't make the trip.

*Boudreau wouldn't divulge his forward lines for tonight's game. But if I had to guess, I would go with this:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Laich-Morrison-Knuble
Fleischmann-Aucoin-Clark
Sloan-Steckel-Bradley

I don't envision the D-pairings changing at all.

*Boudreau was a little peeved this morning about the performance of his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, who dropped Game 1 of the World Series last night.

"I'm not happy," Boudreau said before cracking: "I'm going to go shake hands with Cliff Lee if I see him. Get all our guys. Where's Quintin?"


Schultz vs. Schultz (AJC)

*Saw something funny in the dressing room this morning: Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz interviewing -- wait for it -- Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz. Can't wait to see what he writes.

Update: 'I just met me, and gotta tell ya: Not impressed.'

As far as I can tell, we only have one thing in common.
"I like to watch TV," he said.
He's 6-6. I'm 5-10. He's 221 pounds and too thin. I'm not 221, but certainly not too thin.
He is 23. Hey, I used to be 23!
We both played street hockey as kids. But after middle school, I guess he had a better agent.

I'll check in later with a lineup.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 29, 2009; 12:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers (Updated)

Comments

So I'm gathering Gordon going on IR retroactive to 1st game he missed with back spasm to make room for Flash?

Posted by: BBDwrestling | October 29, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Schultz no doubt is informing the Atlanta hockey public of his impending hat trick at their expense

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | October 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Bruce likes the Yankees?

www.firebruce.com

Im starting it...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 29, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Bruce = AWESOME

Posted by: CapsKH | October 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Time for Tarik to write another half-slapper article about Schultzie

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's not underestimate Atlanta tonight just because Kovalchuk (and maybe Antropov) isn't in the lineup. We need to come out and set the tone early...

List of my most hated teams of all time:

Flyers
Penguins
Yankees
Redskins
Lakers
Duke

Posted by: sca187 | October 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Pens lost Malkin for 2-3 weeks. Poor Cindy... Pens will nose dive from now...

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

thought Bruce was done shaking hands?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sloan over Fehr??? hhhmmmm... I don't get it. Fehr hasn't dazzled but...I guess BB knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Andoy | October 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Poor Antropov, those goin injuries can be rough. :)

Posted by: Chad8 | October 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Pens lost Malkin for 2-3 weeks. Poor Cindy... Pens will nose dive from now...
Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 1:24 PM |

--
Oh brother.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | October 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Sloan over Fehr??? hhhmmmm... I don't get it. Fehr hasn't dazzled but...I guess BB knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Andoy | October 29, 2009 1:33 PM

Fehr is injured isn't he?? something wrong with his ribs?

Posted by: ttn703 | October 29, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Fehr broke both his shoulders-ribs- both hands-both wrists-and a femur from a Thrasher grazing by him. he is out indefinetly like every season.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 29, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Seriously - out with ribs

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Last year he killed penalties, was on the power play and was a top-six forward. We might do a combination of the both."

I think we can make Bruce the DC area nominee for the 2009 "Statement Most Like Yogi Berra" award.

And...someone needs to add North Carolina Tarheels to that most hated list, at least when Dean Smith was coach and they went into 4-corners with 12 minutes to play.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 29, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

LOL (Japers/Peerless)

Why Q Laing got H1N1?

He was supposed to get a vaccination shot, but he blocked it.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@CodePoetry - What happened to Malkin?!

LOL @ Japers/Peerless - that is funny!

LOL @ Boudreau.

@Andoy - Fehr's hurt - rib cage.

Posted by: irockthered | October 29, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will be out of the lineup "a couple weeks" due to a strained right shoulder. According to coach Dan Bylsma, Malkin had been playing with the injury for some time and is being taken out of the lineup as a precautionary measure.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It's a very sad day in baseball history. I'm forced to cheer for the DamnYankees. Why? Because they're playing the Phillies, and I hate the Phillies worse!

Ah well. At least it's not the $@!^$! Mets!!!

Posted by: irockthered | October 29, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. Strained shoulder. Those are not fun. Not that I've got any love for the Penguins, but Malkin's not a horrible guy...

Posted by: irockthered | October 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Malkin with a shoulder injury...out 2-3 weeks!

Sorry Bruce...Go Phillies! Lee was absolutely awesome last night!

I hope Varly pulls it together tonight. But I must say, if they are without Kovy and Antropov, their goalie better be spectacular! Hopefully ours will be as well!

Welcome back Flash!

Posted by: NatyBG | October 29, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The NHL needs guys like Malkin playing at a high level.

If we're gonna beat em, I want him on the ice. Get well soon.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 29, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@ Tominfl1 - I was also puzzled by BB's statement - "Flash might do almost nothing or essentially everything, or a combination of both." I guess a combination of a lot and nothing is a lot(?)

Posted by: zmega | October 29, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick Ovi fact: 11 goals in 11 games, still on track for 50 in 50. But also he has 5 mutli goal games this month, and has tied the record for the most multi-goal games in October(5, Brett Hull). He could break that record with 2 more games this week(including tonight's).

Posted by: breaklance | October 29, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Anybody already post re: spelling of Crosby's name in the AP article on his hat trick? I found it amusing.

"Superstitious Sindey Crosby didn't want to jinx his shot at a hat trick after his first two goals. Perhaps for the same reason, he isn't willing to acknowledge he's morphing into a top pure goal-scorer."

Posted by: Richmondcapsfan | October 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Is it my imagination or is Schultzie coming on this year?

Posted by: Rocc00 | October 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Is it my imagination or is Schultzie coming on this year?

Posted by: Rocc00

Not your imagination.


Also, Backstrom's overall game has significantly increased this year. His checking mainly, has been great. I have found myself- on more than several occasions asking: Wait- was that Backstrom???

Posted by: Fro_ | October 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

richmond, nice catch. freudian almost. the last sentence made me vomit in my mouth...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 29, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will be out of the lineup "a couple weeks" due to a strained right shoulder. According to coach Dan Bylsma, Malkin had been playing with the injury for some time and is being taken out of the lineup as a precautionary measure.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 29, 2009 2:50 PM |

I would have been completely not surprised if that had read Crosby out with a strained right shoulder...........from patting himself on the back

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 29, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

sounds like theo could be traded, this is from hockeybuzz
Here's what else I can tell you about yesterday's rumor I posted that said the Habs were considering a trade that would bring another star goalie back in return:

#1. The goalie "Potentially" coming back is as big of a shocker leaving his team as Price is leaving Montreal. Maybe even bigger.

#2. The goalie "Potentially" coming back is a success and is playing this season as a starter (so rule out Giggy)

Posted by: gocaps01 | October 29, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

TEB and other professional contributors to this blog:

Please find a link to the Islanders that is not a pay site. Also, promise to never follow Newsday's lead on this concept.

Posted by: lornemyoung | October 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@gocaps01 the goalie in the rumor is Turco. Eck gave a hint in the comments page when he rewrote the rumor and said "Here's what else I can tell you about yesterday's rumor that I posted that said the Habs were considering a trade that would bring another Star goalie back in return."

The capital S on Star is the hint it is Turco.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 29, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

irockthered

I am torn about this, too. Not that I'm really interested in baseball at all.

My dad was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers. With Babe Phelps catching (MVP 18th in voting 36, all star 38-40) and Mickey Owen (MVP-4 in 42 and AS 41-44), there was little chance for him getting in. Then there was that pesky war and by the time he got out he was too old. He loved the Dodgers until they moved to LA.

The Yankees were vermine to him. But he also hated anything from Philly, too. The only thing he liked from there was Mike Schmidt for fairly obvious reasons.

So I'll hope that they kill themselves and no one becomes champion...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 29, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone did a review of how accurate Eck was in his "prognostications". Came out to something like 2% of the time.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 29, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S. yeah that is why I almost never read him anymore other then to laugh at what he thinks might actually happen. It is like he thinks the world is like NHL 09 where you can make trades that would make no sense in the real world. But I was just clearing up who the rumor was actually about.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 29, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

im just happy that flash is back and doing good.i hope he has a great start that leads to a great year.we need a good spark in secondary scoring.go flash.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | October 29, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I support the Yankees -- a guy like Derek Jeter is enough reason. And I can't stand Philadelphia sports teams and their fans. Hey Pedro---who's your daddy?

I sure hope that Varlamov has a great game tonight. It'd be great to have two goalies playing outstanding hockey. 6 wins in a row would be sweet!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | October 29, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97
that makes sense, but would the stars really trade turco? he's such a big part of the organization

Posted by: gocaps01 | October 29, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

choice deployment of "-wait for it-." Big yuks Tarik.

I had no idea Gabby was a yanks fan. He seemed to have so much class and dignity. I totally can't see him in a track suit with gold chains and maximum exposed chest hair. He needs an intervention.

Fehr-Aucoin-Flash. That line could really do something if pitted against a lot of other third lines in the league. I like it. Or maybe I'm just letting my enthusiasm for still developing underdogs decieve me. But I don't think so. All 3 would probably do better sharing a line with more size/experience/sociopathy, but I bet they could combine for 35 goals a year.

Posted by: large23220 | October 29, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@gocaps01 -- the Habs traded Jose to the Avs at the deadline 2006, for a long list of reasons. If they traded for him, the shocker would be that the Habs wanted bring him back.

Posted by: miseaujeu | October 29, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@sca187

I have a different list of most hated teams. It's as follows:

Baseball: NY Yankees (since 1976), NY Mets (during the 80's), Pittsburgh Pirates (during the 70's)

Football: Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants (will only root for them vs Dallas)

Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins, NY Islanders (late 70's and 80s), NY Rangers (on and off over years), Philthy (but consider them a lesser evil than Pens or the NY teams)

College Basketball: North Carolina
College Other: Boston College

(My college sports hatreds are not as strong as those in the pros.)


Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 29, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@Fro_ -
I was just having that conversation Tuesday. Backstrom is playing bigger this season, he just keeps impressing me more and more... the only thing the naysayers can bring up is his faceoff %, but he says he's going to improve and I believe him... man, we're lucky to have so much talent on this team.

Posted by: Chad8 | October 29, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

If AJC Schultz only has TV in common with Caps Schultz, then that means AJC Schultz has fans of his work.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | October 29, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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