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Jose Theodore on his performance, tonight's 3-1 win in Buffalo

So how did the Capitals celebrate what appeared to be successful day of deadline dealing? With a performance Coach Bruce Boudreau called "their best in 10 games." That's how.

Check out my story on the trades here, my gamer here, then come on back for a few notes:

*Afterward, Boudreau said what many of us media types suspected: The addition of four new players is going to force some of the bubble guys to play harder. Tonight, it was the fourth line of David Steckel, Matt Bradly and Boyd Gordon that turned up the intensity. (Gordon, by the way, most definitely did not call "glass" on his bank-shot empty netter from about 190 feet.)

"Evidently, with 15 forwards, they don't want to sit out," Boudreau said. "They showed they want to play."

*What a difference two weeks of rest and six straight practices can do for a team, huh? I wouldn't call the Caps' performance airtight - they looked rusty in the first period and there were some D-zone breakdowns in the second - but the difference between how they looked pre-Olympic break and how they looked tonight was pretty stark. As I also noted in my gamer, the 24 shots they yielded were the fewest in 23 games.

"Sometimes you get away from" playing sound team defense, Boudreau said. "We were going through that because we were playing every second night. Six good practices and we got to the basics. They turned the puck over so many times in the neutral zone from our pressure. I think if we could have scored on those [multiple] 2-on-1s, we would have had an easier game."

*And finally, I wanted to say thanks to Brian Pothier for being a true professional when dealing with the media. Whether he scored the game winning goal, or whether he made the turnover that cost the Caps the game, I always knew where to find him: right in front of his locker. That means a lot to reporters and fans.

I'll check in from KCI. Provided I make my 5:30 a.m. flight.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2010; 10:52 PM ET
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Next: With four moves at deadline, Caps get in position


if jose splits time with varly (10g each) and performs in 7 or 8 games like he did tonight - i think we are watching our playoff starting goalie

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 3, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Theo looked good tonight. The one goal he gave up was due to a horrible defensive play. Other than that, he was solid, and kept up with Miller in a great goalie's duel. I don't know if Theo or Varly will be the starter come playoff time, but I feel good about our chances.

The only line that looked a bit off tonight was the top line. Knuble just couldn't seem to finish, and Ovie was trying to hard to make things happen by himself. I hope it's just rust from not having played together for a couple weeks.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 4, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Very classy, Tarik, and I'll add mine, too.

Thanks, Brian, for everything. Fair winds and following seas.

Posted by: ogdennash | March 4, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Jose's been great for most of the past couple months. If he can keep it up, he's earned the right to start in the playoffs.

I will miss Pothier's hip checks and smart play. Good luck Brian!

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 4, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Pothier has been a great part of our team and I wish him well.

I liked Jose's play tonight, and regardless of others views, I can see him taking us through the playoffs.

Posted by: SZALACH7 | March 4, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Caps looked really good last night, very solid. It'll be interesting to see what the new guys bring.

Best wishes to Brian Pothier. Great player and a class act. He will be missed.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 4, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

If Jose keeps playing like last night and if he does well in the playoffs do we bring him back next year?

Posted by: psujohn | March 4, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

We should use our goalies like last seasons run in the playoffs. But after last years playoffs I feel our goalies are better seasoned for this chance of a life time . Jose has the chance to make a mark in the record books in the playoffs.Jose can become the best net minder out of all the goalies . We also have another great goalie just waiting his turn . Only question about Salv is he healthy or is the Caps keeping mum on his condition.

Posted by: terryreece | March 4, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Happy Trails Brian. You put the "class" in classy.

Posted by: TrabZ | March 4, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Sure am disappointed to see Pothier go, heard the rumors and hoped it wasn't true. A lot of fans liked his rebirth story and I always thought he played pretty well.

Best of luck in Car and where ever else life takes you!

Posted by: breaklance | March 4, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Theo's been great for a majority of the time he's been here. Every goalie has bad games now and you cannot blame the goalie for defensive breakdowns; this year or last year. People's eyes are opening up just now, that trickle down effect only took a year for people to see that we needed to add some guys to the blue line?

Posted by: MNMNT | March 4, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Very nice comments about Pothier. To me he’s one of the very few players that sound genuine when talking to the media. Good luck to you Pothier
Isnt Pothier one of the very few players that live in DC full time?

Posted by: guer_j | March 4, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Be well and take good care, Brian! You will always be a great person and a terrific player no matter where you are. You will be missed. Thanks for everything and all the best to you and your family!

Posted by: nena1 | March 4, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I think Caps made mistake trading Brian P, he reminds me of Ken Klees role a few years back- just did his job, quietly, like the veteran he is.
I hate to say bye to a fellow Bay Stater-
see ya Pots, hope you return next year.

Posted by: peabody2 | March 4, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

classy thought from tarik on pothier. classy player, wish him well.

Posted by: smkinjersey | March 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

First, all the best to Brian Pothier in his new adventures. It was great to see him come back from the concussion syndrome the way he did. And, as Tarik and others here noted, Pothier always seemed to have some very worthwhile and honest comments. I'm sorry to see you go, Brian!

Regarding Caps v. Sabres, Theo was outstanding--keep up the great work.

While it was nice to see the Caps play fairly tight team defense, the Sabres are usually described as "offensively challenged," so I look forward to seeing how this effort plays out the remainder of the regular season and through the playoffs.

Posted by: aphid69 | March 4, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Just adding my regards to Pothier, for the games he played, good or bad. Best wishes to him and his family, on this new chapter in their lives.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 4, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Happy trails Brian--yours has been an exemplary story of "No-Quit". I wish you and yours all the best, wherever you may go.

You will be missed.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

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