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Johnson: 'It's Still a Ways Away'

After facing shots for the first time since having surgery on his hip in February, Brent Johnson said he's still hoping to return this season, even if it's in the middle of the first round of the playoffs.

"I felt pretty good," Johnson said after about a half hour on the ice. "I was a little concerned because the last time I went on with my full gear, I tried to do a little too much. Got too excited and did a thing where I slipped. It kind of hurt something in there. So I stayed off it a little longer."

"It's good for the mental part to get out and see some rubber," he added.

Johnson estimated he was practicing at about 75-80 percent capacity.

"It's still a ways away," he said. "It's still the mobility -- being able to kick that pad out without any pain."

Johnson was hesitant to put a time frame on his return and Coach Bruce Boudreau said he has not been given one, either. But Johnson said he's scheduled to visit Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville on April 9 when the Caps are in Tampa. If everything looks good, he can start ramping up his training.

If Johnson is able to return, that could make for an interesting decision for the Caps' coaching staff, which would have to pick between Johnson and rookie Simeon Varlamov as Jose Theodore's backup. Johnson has the edge in experience, but 20-year-old Varlamov is 3-0-0 with a .939 save percentage and 1.74 goals against average.

One of the issues, Boudreau said, is deciding whether it's best for Varlamov to play in Hershey or as a backup in Washington.

"There's two ways of thinking about that," Boudreau said. "One is [that Varlamov] is facing better shooters up here in practice every day. The other is [getting] game time."

But before Boudreau and GM George McPhee will be forced to make that decision, Johnson must prove he's NHL-ready. And that stage of his recovery is probably two weeks away.

On a lighter note, Johnson said the worst part about being injured is the boredom, especially when the Caps are on the road. He said he's seen more movies than he can count, including "I Love You, Man". Twice.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 1, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Odds and Ends: Boudreau Zeroing In

Comments

Sounds like his FIRST day back was pretty good!

Posted by: Wemiss21 | April 1, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, any word on tonight's lines???

Posted by: DrAdamson | April 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Bruce didn't show lines this morning. But I'm guessing they'll look similar to yesterday's. But you know Bruce, that could change.

Posted by: el_bashir | April 1, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

if johnson gets game ready, it's a no brainer, right?
after all, a lot of the playoffs is net presence and Varly leaves some tremendously juicy rebounds. Besides, Johnson should get the go ahead if he's actually healthy enough and Varly has a good chance of going deep with Hershey. Who do you bears fans think will be #1 for the Bears in net?

Posted by: oo7 | April 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik, keep up the good work.

Posted by: DrAdamson | April 1, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Tarik:

I love this blog, but the correct spelling is "boredom"...

LET'S GO CAPS! I'll be there tonight in Section 105!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | April 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone think we will keep a hurt back-up goalie with the two yougsters waiting in the wings?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 1, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"There's two ways of thinking about that," Boudreau said. "One is [that Varlamov] is facing better shooters up here in practice every day. The other is [getting] game time."

Please stop using stylebook writing on the blog and give verbatim quotes. Everybody reading this blog knows who's who and it would be fun to see verbatim quotes. Soon enough it will be a video verbatim world so you might as well start doing it in text on the blog. Good work all around though Tarik!!!

Posted by: sjshanno | April 1, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Stevie R

We are 3-1 against Montreal and 3-0-1 against NY Rags so take ur pick. I am not quite nervous about any of those teams but Henrick or Price could get hot so you have to deal with that.

Posted by: numero94 | April 1, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

What was the cause of OV'S sore foot ? Nothing said after the Toronto game

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 1, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

True Rog, but I'm liking the Habs having the pressure of all of French Canada breathing down their necks & I kind of enjoy the thought of us booting them out of the playoffs.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Donkey1907, a coach fired a slap shot off his foot in practice.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 1, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The top two Isles scorers have a combined 91 points. Wow, they are struggling.

Posted by: saintex | April 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

You're sooooo generous, Steve! I would have used the second word, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Keep it like that and WhyGo will protect you from harm.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

In his defense, that's the first post he's made that's a reasonable one.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Must have been a ten thousand words written about 8's foot. Don't bother us with your idiotic questions, rat boy. Go use Google. Then pull it.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Caught me at a weak moment.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 1, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I must resist the temptation to be normal. That way, we can all live a more peacefull life.

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Have a spare ticket in 426 if anyone wants it.

Posted by: Steve_R | April 1, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Streit has the most points at 55 and he's a D-man. 4 NYI players have 30 or more points. Nylander has 30.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 1, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

91 points combined. How does that compare with the other 'lower 3' teams in the East & West?

Posted by: WhyGo | April 1, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Isles shut out Detroit last week, let's not play down to our opponent

Posted by: billd2 | April 1, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

rumor down here is the caps want to compete in the ahl playoffs this year to finally have a chance to win something

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 1, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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