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Goaltending Update

Michael Neuvirth, who was assigned to Hershey earlier today, will start in goal for the Bears tonight against Portland. The move was made to get Neuvirth some game action since he hasn't faced any real shots in a week.

Unless the plan changes, Neuvirth will be headed back to Washington tonight to rejoin the Caps. He could make his NHL debut next weekend when they play back-to-back games in Tampa and Sunrise, Fla.

The latest on Simeon Varlamov (sprained knee) is that he hopes to return to practice in a couple of days. But he likely won't be game ready for another 10-14 days, I'm told. If it seems like Varlamov has been hurt a lot lately, well, he has. And it's becoming a concern for the Caps.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 8, 2009; 4:28 PM ET
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I really can't wait to see what Neuvirth brings in net! hopefully he doesn't disappoint =]

Posted by: jogabonito | February 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Per Varlamov, is he getting hurt because he is injury prone, the AHL schedule is more than his body will take, or has learned to take? Or does he need to learn to be more efficient on the ice to minimize the energy expended and wear and tear? I wonder if he was also injured a lot before this year?

Posted by: dezlboy1 | February 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Poor Varl.

Here's to hoping that he gets better soon. Considering that he's one of the nicest and most driven guys I've met, I really hope he succeeds.

That being said, does anyone know if his knee is the recurring injury he's been having on and off for a year, or is this something new? Because he does seem to be sidelined a lot...

Posted by: InSEMINator | February 8, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Varlamov being injury prone, let's not forget he's only 20. If he's still injury prone at 25, then I'd be concerned. Many goalies flourish well into their 30s.

Posted by: eric22 | February 8, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

From some previous posts:

I'm defending Patrone on this, there is no need to get all upset over his comment, it is not a big deal. I don't get it, I mean, I was listening to ESPN 980 weeks ago and Andy and Steve said they both had man crushes on Mike Rowe from the show Dirty Jobs. Why does his comment bother you so much, Wendel2?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse


guys unsure about their sexuality tend to see threats in the most innocent sentences/jokes ;-)

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Concerning the announcers for the Pens/Wings game from the previous thread:

Late in the game Matt Cooke got clocked by an elbow and went down and was bleeding. The puck went to the point and there was a whistle. Emrick immediately said 'And we have a penalty call on Detroit. Cooke got nailed in the corner.' It ended up being a hand pass and no penalty was called. But no one told the tv audience. It fell through the cracks and never was brought up. Since the Pens were on the puck they would not have blown the whistle, but the HOF member and his sidekick were oblivious to what even I could see from just the tv coverage. Hand pass, no penalty.

Tell me how this type of shoddy coverage is going to help garner new fans.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 8, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Doc is an idiot.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

@phil. Less words but same thought.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | February 8, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

and to fuel the fire, If I was gay I'd let Green totally bang me. to bad I'm straight.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, are you talking about Doc Walker? He's a Caps fan though... at least he said he is.

I just don't understand why Wendel2 thinks that comment is the dumbest thing... I see nothing wrong with it, I mean, it's absolutely okay to like Greenie. ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 8, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

yeah, it was a trivial thing to call someone out on. Has anyone determined his age?

I was talking good ol Mike Emrick, aka Doc.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

talking about*

he is the current devils play by play, and is somewhat of a broadcasting legend. but, he is an idiot.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Since patrone's comment about Mike Green has carried over several threads now, can he please call Dr. Drew Pinsky on The Love Line Show and get Dr. Drew's analysis on why he (patrone) thought this and then typed it on this blog? Please don't call Dr. Phil.

Then we can put his comment to rest!

Posted by: puckman | February 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope Varlamov's knee improves quickly, and he's able to play! It's seriously not good to have the bright hope of future goaltending gimping around all the time. :-(

That said, I am extremely glad we didn't bring him up here to stay yet! I'm echoing dezlboy1's very good series of questions...

Posted by: irockthered | February 8, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree, I like Doc. I guess it's personal preferences. Let's just leave it at that.

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

It didnt bother I just suggested it was the dumbest post i had seen. Patrone doesnt bother me his silly comments simply amaze me and i understand mine infuriate him. But hey he is entitled to be a sensitve little princess if he so desires

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Doc may be a announcing "legend" but he's no Joe B. I honestly could listen to Joe B talk non-stop. He's the new voice of the NHL....."sensational!!"

Posted by: jake81 | February 8, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I miss Chief

Posted by: billd2 | February 8, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Funny what crawled back into the timbers when we beat the Kitties. Mind, I'm glad for it.

wendel thinks it's stupid if he disagrees with it. After all, he is God's gift to hockey and anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and wrong. ;)

Sorry for late arrival, I've been out all day and am just now catching up. Thank you to whoever found that link about Feds and Ovi, I got it from Japers' Rink.

WVPhil, re: your remark about people complaining about refing being "losers", were you actually at the game? If not, you probably didn't see a lot of what really happened that should have been called and wasn't. There was a trip on Bradley late in the second or early in the third that was so blatant it wasn't funny and it wasn't called. I saw a couple of things the Caps did that should have been called and weren't. I can't speak to the Mo call, it happened in a place I can't see because of where my seat is. Sometimes it is loserish, but sometimes the gripe is legitimate. Not much you can do about it, though, other than realize that McCreary's a blind walrus. :)

Enough said on the topic.

So, what do we see for Wednesday? Kronwall gets Mo's sweater? Does Erskine sit again or does someone else get the scratch? Don't blame them for sending Neuvirth down to get hime some playing time. Do hope that Varlamov can come back soon, and that one of them will pan out.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the silly comment - I don't remember making any others. Do I have a tenancy to be silly? Can you point out any other silly comments I've made - I'd like my comments to be seriously considered. If being less silly would help move me to that goal - I'll try harder in the future. I didn't mean to stir the pot - it was just an off hand comment.

Could you also let me know how my comments reflect my range? I don't comment too often - but I try and encompass the whole game (or the past few games) when I do comment.

I've been around the game for about 15 years now - I don't get constructive criticism too often - I'd love to hear a well constructed argument - it might help me improve!

Posted by: patrone | February 8, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

NO ONE can be as bad as Joe B.

Posted by: opita1 | February 8, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

go ahead kitty you make as much sense as patrone

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

what game have u been around patrone?

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

i said his comment was silly dont know it thats is the same as saying he is stupid but hey i'll wait for more evidence on the pair of u

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

internet is really serious.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

check out teds new post on teds take. talks about the bad ice...seems like he's gone from "it's not as bad as people think" to "yeah, it's bad". i think poti's comment took him by surprise and i hope it will spur him to push the owners of VC to make some changes...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 8, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

wendel: You completely missed my point. My point is that you're being a self-righteous, arrogant prick and acting like something you disagree with is "silly"simply because you disagree with it. Also, please work on your reading comprehension - I said that you considered what he said to be stupid, not that he was stupid. (Silly is the correct word, thank you.)

Also, *snork* Watching the Nashville/Dallas game, and the announcer was talking about the Philadelphia Flyers and the Atlanta Flashers. She corrected herself, but was still funny.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1: I saw that. Change of tune from him, but a welcome one. I think Poti's comments about it caught him by surprise. Let's hope something happens.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Well I've been a caps fan since I was 5 - so in that regard I've been around for 20+ years.

I played travel hockey from 8-18 - we generally stuck to the east coast though. After that I played a few years of highschool hockey before I realized I wasn't very good. I was too tall (taller than Chara is now) and too thin/weak to play at a high level. I also played wing - which I think was a mistake made by my coaches - a 6'8 dman would be pretty interesting.

After highschool I moved to Chicago and really lost track of the game until the past two years. I picked up the center ice package and really haven't missed a game (except when my stupid DirectTV DVR screws up) since BB took over behind the bench.

I don't claim to be an expert by any regard. However, I do know the game and the systems pretty well. I think most of my comments have merit. If they don't - please let me know why the argument is flawed - I'd be happy to hear your side of things.

Posted by: patrone | February 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

So, I am a Rangers fan, but slowly converting over to a Washington fan. Ovie has completely turned this team over.

They are completely different then they were 6 years ago. They have the one thing that the Rangers lack most. Passion.

Every time anyone scores, you can see the excitement in everyones eyes, the Red Sea goes nuts and it is just exciting to watch.

When I watch the Rangers, I watch a boring style of hockey, and when the puck goes in the net, it is as if they had just scored on a 5 year old kid and it should have come easier.

Passion drives this sport, and the Caps have it.

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

oof, rags look really bad this year. They were off to a great start, but i've watched quite a few ranger games this year and they just don't look good. Offense seems to be hit or miss, and the same thing can be said about Lundy. and your defense, i must say, is worse off than ours right now. I am glad to say this year that I do not find the rangers a threat in the playoffs.

zherdev rules.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I would love to have Tom Poti back. Renney will be fired within the next week because everyones turning on him(especially after that 10-2 game)...and I know you will probably think this is a bad idea, but Im hoping that Avery is back on the Rangers by the next 2 weeks.

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

You don't owe Wendel an explanation ... and Chara is 6'9", Shorty. ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

hey kitty your right i missed your point
what is your point or do u just go off periodically? oh well thanks for the insightful commentary and refraining from profanity like the mature woman u r..NOT

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

wow, a new york fan who wants tom poti back? all my new york friends HATE poti. Tyutin was much better on the point when you guys had him.

and avery? no comment...haha

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

tsk tsk tsk out of your prescription wendel?

heckster89 welcome to the Caps party :D don't be shy to rock the red.

Posted by: mauree | February 8, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse


You have anyone in mind to replace Brash next year if he's not resigned?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 8, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. He'd be much better then Redden, Rosi, or Kalinin (combined salary of 13,600).

And you have to admit that Avery gave us some life. Right now, theres no spark to our game but we have "great chemistry in the locker room". Unfortunately that does not matter on the ice. I can't stand to watch them anymore. I want Jags back

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Its been a slow transition, but I am becoming a huge Caps fan. I am actually going to the game next Sunday against the Panthers and I will most likely be wearing a Rangers jersey, but I will have to get a Washington jersey sometime soon.

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse


As long as the Caps don't have to pay 1/2 of his salary, you're welcome to Jagr. I missed booing him last time the Rangers were at Verizon.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

you can have Jagr. Be God in pittsburg and new york, but stink it up here in DC.

I guess Poti is a lot better than your current crop of overpaid defense men, but when you guys had him he wasn't anything special compared to your other guys.

avery is a tool.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

While Avery is a tool, he is the tool that pushes the Rangers and gives them a spark. By the way, thanks a lot for that deal. It really helped us out.

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

while the stars are something like 17-3-x since hes been gone.


Posted by: richmondphil | February 8, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@mauree: Nah, he's just being his usual self, playing childish games and sticking his fingers in his ears. Don't waste your time.

@heckster89: Welcome aboard. :) The Caps are a fantastic team to watch play and a great deal of fun, and the fans are good peeps for the most part.

Jagr is not popular here in Caps land (so's you know). Avery ... well. what do you think are the chances of him going to New York?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Steve I'd wait to see how the league goes on fighting after george laroque's comment
I would go grit forward as opposed to a pure goon.

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

boston and philly have both gone very gritty and will be 2 big hurdles in the caps cup aspirations

Posted by: wendel2 | February 8, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The Caps can play with Boston as this year's matches prove. The Caps have a bigger problem with Philthy. I hope the Caps do not get the Flyers in the first round, but pound the 7th seed (please Pissburgh) and get the confidence to crush Philthy in the 2nd round or conference finals. Yes, I'm thinking postseason cause the Caps are on course for a legit cup run. One solid defensive defenseman who can skate and handle the puck and they are there for a long run in the spring.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | February 8, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I saw a group of the boys (Ovie, Green, Backs, Brash, Laich, Brads & the new Swede) out last night...I'm glad to see that they are doing some late night team bonding!

Posted by: CapsSighting | February 8, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Re: prev

How does one see their Caps Insider Baffoon Ranking? Is this a separate stat system than paying for saying "First", etc etc? Seems like it would be a difficult title to achieve here sometimes...

Posted by: austinsteve | February 8, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Word of the day - troglodyte.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 8, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought we still had JSchon's fine system.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 8, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, that's right.

Couldn't remember. Maybe Tarik could post a link to JSChon's cost breakdown in the "Post a Comment" section rules somewhere.

Yikes, I hope my to-go dinner option doesn't close in 7 minutes!

Posted by: austinsteve | February 8, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The post that DCSfan noted about Ted's reaction to Poti's comments on the ice conditions.

Posted by: dukster | February 8, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Averys chances of being back in NY are somewhere around 75%. While its going to "break up" the bonding in the locker room, there going to have to tough it up and deal with it. Terrible for the Stars, Great for the Rangers.

My friend actually saw Avery the other day and he asked him what he was going to be doing now that he isnt playing anymore. Avery responded with a "Ill be playing in New York in the next couple of weeks"

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Heres the link showing that Avery will be with the Rangers soon.

Is there any other good Washington blogs?

Posted by: heckster89 | February 8, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Perfect thread to post a comment I've been meaning to throw in here. Since I've never seen Neuvirth play I recorded the ECHL All-Star game a couple of weeks ago. I finally got around to watching the 3rd period of it which he played in. Now any kind of an all star game doesn't say much for the players, but it's actually interesting to see how a goalie does in a situation where he's getting next to no help from the D. Well... Neuvirth was absolutely brilliant, making 17 saves on 18 shots in 1 period, many of them spectacular. Only allowed 1 goal and got highly praised by Neil Smith who was working as an analyst on the telecast.

It sucks that Varly is hurt. Brent going down opens the door for him to earn at least the backup spot for the rest of the regular season.

Posted by: ranndino | February 9, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

heckster89, is great and has a huge list of other Caps blogs.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 9, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

yeah, but didn't some rangers say they didn't like avery? dubinsky and valli come to mind, as well as lundquist.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Caught up quickly on the postings while I was away.

So in cstanton1's and terenceburke's opinion this Kronwall guy is obviously way better than Mike Green. Guess what that makes them in the opinion of everyone else on here.

I've mentioned this before, but it's funny how these cockroaches only crawl out after a loss. Where were they when Green had an amazing game and was named the #1 star?

There are 29 GMs in the NHL who would trade their mother and their firstborn for Mike Green.

Every hockey pundit salivates over him. He's a GREAT player NOW and will only get better as he learns how to make better decisions.

Anyone who says anything about either benching or trading Green immediately loses any credibility as a hockey fan. Please go watch golf since you obviously don't have the slightest clue when it comes to evaluating hockey talent.

Finally, despite his mistakes here and there the guy is +21 and he gets almost 30 minutes of ice time per game in all situations! He must be doing something right, don't you think? Oh yeah, and he's got almost 20 goals already! Every team in the NHL dreams of having a defenseman like Greenie.

I guarantee that if you asked even the GM of Detroit he'd say he'd love to have him.

So yeah, bench yourself. You're not performing well on this blog. Everyone is sick and tired of reading the same stupid crap you crawl out to post every time Green makes a mistake.

I'm seriously starting to think that he stole cstanton1's girlfriend.

Posted by: ranndino | February 9, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

One more thing. GMGM is absolutely right, as usual. We don't need to add a backup. Varlamov is perfectly capable of playing at the NHL level. If he gets healthy and gets some games he just might pull a Mason or a Quick and displace Theo as the #1.

We certainly do not need Legace. We already have one goalie that's giving me grey hair. Yes, I'm still not convinced at all by Theo. He's letting in less because he barely gets any work these days. As soon as he's called upon a bit more 5 go in (like vs. LA). And don't give me that stuff about breakaways. Watch a few Columbus, Boston or San Jose games for comparison. You'll see what elite goaltending looks like. Theo is still barely adequate. Yeah, once in a while he makes a great save. So does every goalie in the league. Give Varlamov 10 games in a row and you'll see a bunch of games in which we'll allow just 1 goal and a couple of shutouts.

Posted by: ranndino | February 9, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: richmondphil | February 9, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know Varlamov's injury history? Has this been one nagging injury or a number of them? How much of a concern really is this?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 9, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I was a longtime Flyers fan, since the glory days of the early-mid 1970s. I moved to southern MD about 12 years ago, and still rooted for the Flyers. But last year, I was awed by Ovie and this team, and I am now a Caps fan. Ovie reminds me of Bobby Clarke--fearless and full of energy, but of course, much bigger and a better skater. Both are true leaders of men.

Having been a Flyers fan for many years, the best announcer I ever heard was the late Gene Hart. Very literate, understood the game, but did not talk down to the fans, and who was as objective as any team announcer I have ever heard. I have the DirecTV hockey package, so I am fortunate enough to listen to just about every announcer in the NHL. And I have to say that Joe B and Locker are the best. They are informative, hardly ever make mistakes, easy to listen to, and very objective and as neutral as possible. They make the game fun. Hopefully we can keep Joe B on Caps games, and still allow him to do his national games on Versus. Appreciate them, Caps fans.

Posted by: TJO73 | February 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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