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Caps Going With Neuvirth, Varlamov (Updated)

GM George McPhee just addressed the media and said that he has no plans to puruse a veteran backup goaltender to replace Brent Johnson. Instead, the Caps will rely on Michal Neuvirth and Simeon Varlamov (when he recovers from his knee injury) as Jose Theodore's backup.

"We're pretty high on these young goalies and when Jose needs a break we'll play them," McPhee said. "We're comfortable going with Neuvirth and Varlamov in a game. Neuvirth is going to get a game."

Varlamov, McPhee said, is scheduled to see a doctor today and could be back on the ice soon.

"It's a minor weak of the knee," McPhee said. "But it's never a minor thing when you're a goalie. As far we know, it's nothing serious."

Asked about the possibility of adding a veteran goalie via trade or waivers, specifically whether he would have any interest in claiming Manny Legace, who according to reports has been waived by St. Louis, McPhee said: "We're not interested any other goalies right now. We're going to see how the kids do. If they can do the job, good for them and good for us."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 6, 2009; 1:53 PM ET
 
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Next: McPhee on Kronwall: 'We'll Take A Look'

Comments

Liar.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 6, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Whee, new thread-bite. Repost:

@saintex: YOU feel bad? I came across Slapshot in the concourse last night and greeted him (of course!) and he got distracted and fell over a trash can. Rumor has it he's day-to-day with a lower body injury. :D

I felt bad, but at the same time, it was FUNNY stuff. Of course, now I look at it, maybe last night was my fault :(

I'll bench myself, too.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

How many times have you heard McPhee say one thing and do another.

I won't believe it until 3:01pm (or later) on March 4th.

Posted by: no_private_info | February 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Any vet worth a darn would eat up cap space necessary to pick up a top 2 or 4 stay at home defenseman. Plus, look at Steve Mason in Columbus--rookie of the year and possible Vezina winner due to stepping in due to injury. Veteran back-up not the way to go, especially since you are going to ride one goalie primarily once you hit the playoffs

Posted by: docjohnson | February 6, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@kitty,

I'm not a big Slapshot fan - does that make me bad? If he's LTIR than I'm okay with that. No need to take a night off.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit surprised with Legacy and Gerber available. I know they want these guys to be the top goalies in the future but that could be pretty risky if Theodore goes down with an injury. He hasn't exactly been injury free so far this season.

Posted by: Stu_c | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wont believe this until after the deadline

Posted by: arcassells | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Even if that statement was true...why would you need to make that statement?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and ... one more thought.

If Kronwall plays for us in the next game or two, that makes how many D we've dressed this season?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Kitty, you snag a t-shirt after you hip checked slap shot?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did you hear? Kittypawz pushed Slapshot over a trash can. :)

Posted by: _Mark | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@SA--

He was probably asked the question directly

Posted by: docjohnson | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, when GMGM goes out of his way to say something like that, I think that guarantees a trade.

Posted by: Baildog | February 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

OK. Expect a new goalie

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy this either. As others have noted, McPhee often says one thing and does something else. He plays things too close to the chest - obviously he's not going to come out and name namaes of players the Caps are interested in. The man is not dumb.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | February 6, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

GMGM wasn't going to make any big moves last year (let alone pick up a goalie!) and we all remember what happened. I never know what to make of his announcements. He's kinda like France--let's say things to throw everyone off kilter!

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 6, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure whey GMGM would say it but I'm onboard with getting time for both goalies. JT60 has been playing well of late, starting almost every game, and I see no real good reason to pay anyone else. I think practicing with the Caps and starting 6-8 games between now and the end of the season would set-up Varly quite nicely.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Repost:

This is very interesting. Alzner, a SAH D-man brought up. Steffan Kronwall, another SAH guy brought in. That gives us 2.5 wanderers (Green, Poti, and sometimes Morrisonn), and 5.5 SAH guys.

There's writing on the wall, and it's talking to Erskine, Jurcina, Mo, Schultz

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 2:01 PM

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I actually believe McPhee. There is no point to bringing in a veteran backup. They are ready to go with Varlamov most likely next season splitting time. So what if it starts 30 games earlier than expected. That and Johnson could be back for the playoffs if theres not much damage when they do surgery.

A move will be made, but it will be to either upgrade the D, or get a power type forward.

Posted by: ThePat | February 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

New article on SI.com regarding Green entering the Norris race

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/sarah_kwak/02/06/mike.green/index.html

Posted by: docjohnson | February 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

from prev thread:

Look at Kronvall's 15 minutes of fame in his rookie year:

http://tinyurl.com/covm4n

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 6, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It's a tough call, though. JT60 is playing well, and we coudl ride him through the playoffs. We definitely won't cycle goalies during the playoffs. But what if he goes down, and neither Varly nor Nuevirth have stepped up, and we go into the playoffs with two shaky rookies?

Posted by: Baildog | February 6, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

I'm hoping Mo first. Freeing up the 1.9 is bonus.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik-

Did you ask him about having 9 defenceman at practice? and 8 for games?

Do you suspect a trade is coming sooner rather than later?

Posted by: ThePat | February 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Theres time to play Neuvirth or Varlamov to see how they do - if not up to the task, then GM can pick up a Legace or other...no need to "panic" now...

Posted by: NJNJ | February 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

18-8-3 vs. Top 8 in each conference
15-8-1 vs. Bottom 7 in each conference

Posted by: fehrrocks | February 6, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

So I send my question yet again. How severe is Valry's injury. Did he tear tissue, or just nursing a tweak. That question had to at least be asked by the media since GMGM claimed we were sticking with our young guys as back-ups. I'm not saying GMGM would have answered the question, but if no one there asked it, they're not very good reporters. I am sure I'm not the only Cap fan that would rather see a healthy Varly than Neuvy.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with a lot of people that a deal could well be in the works. My guess is they think that one or more of Laich and Kozlov will play Saturday (hope it's both) and so didn't see the need to bring up a forward. If neither's going to play Saturday, they will.

I wouldn't say the writing is on the wall so much as on a couple of helmets, probably scrawled over #26. #23 and #55 maybe depending on how Alzner and Kronwall shake out. I doubt #4 with how well he's played for the most part lately.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 6, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, sidenote.

I think I can roll a suite for 12 tomorrow night for the Panthers. It looks probable - are there eleven others that want in at $42 per? People could actually yell at each other in person...great fun. Maybe everyone wears a nametag with their blog nom de guerre. I think I'll have two parking passes for anyone who might need them. Let me know here if you're interested and I'll see if I can close the deal. No serial killers! Or, email me at gotodd_99 at yahoo dot com. I might spring for the opening beers.

Posted by: saintex | February 6, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The update answered my question. If we don't see Varly within a couple of weeks the news probably wasn't good because he's definitely the better of the two youngsters. Also I mis-typed, when I said rather see a healthy Varly than Neuvy, I meant as a back-up to JT. Of course I hope Neuvy is healthy so he can help the Bears wear Varly recovers.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 6, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank God Alzner is back - maybe at least he will play defense. D-men looked horrible last night - love Green but man he needs to learn how to play defense.

Fehr experiment was aweful...he needs to stay off the first line.

This team is very good, but if we cannot A.) stay out of the penalty box - god aweful penalties - lazy penalties. B.) play defense i.e. not let in 4 goals a game - it will be a first round exit in the playoffs.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 6, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Theres time to play Neuvirth or Varlamov to see how they do - if not up to the task, then GM can pick up a Legace or other...no need to "panic" now...

NJNJ is spot on, and GMGM confirms it. They're going to play Neuvirth soon for a game or two, and probably bring up Varlamov again as soon as he's healed and let him play another game or two. If they measure up, great. If not, they'll grab someone.

And BET that every other team in the league is now examining the Caps' system and what they have to offer in goal. Don't think other GM's don't realize how strong the Caps' pipeline is, and I wouldn't bet on there not being interest.

If true, the other thing this signals to me is that GMGM is not interested in sacrificing the future for a playoff run today. If true, SMART MAN.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 6, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I have the same question as @ThePat.
Why was that not addressed, and as far as I can tell, the biggest question to be asked?

Please explain!

Posted by: matucker | February 6, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

ok let me get this straight. we have a veteran "backup" goaltender undergoing hip surgery, and starter who is playing better, and another prospect who's injured but looks promising. we've undergone a rebuild, we're now second in the conference, poised to go deep into the playoffs, and we think GMGM is not looking at another option?? What a huge risk! Not to mention the pylons out there last night!

Posted by: capscla55 | February 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

how quickly everyone gets on the lumberjack. last night was not his best game of the year, but he has been playing great since returning of IR. If anyone deserves to sit it is schultz.

I was just informed that a bus ticket to hershey costs $62 on greyhound. send schultz packing

Posted by: _stevo | February 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

im not taking any of your opinions on varly and neuvrith seriously unless you go to a lot of SC or Hershey games.

so..people who go to Hershey/SC games, are they ready?

Goalies usually take a little longer to develop than regular players, and a lot of them don't even peak until their late 20s (see Backstrom.) Once in a while you get a freak of a roy/brodeur/mason type, but are they REALLY ready? and is theo ready to be a #1 with a legit cup contender?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Mo is useless - Shultz is useless right now - needs more time in the minors. Hope we go out and get a defenseman- Kronwall is a desperation move - GMGM may have backed himself in a corner giving sh#@ty defensemen big contracts - let's see if he can dig out of this hole...I hate to be the one who says "I told you so" in May.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 6, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

_stevo

Erskine has played much better since coming back from his concussion. Last night though, no one played good except poor JT. Don't worry about him right now, though. Some on here will trade Ovie for a bundle of sticks if he has an off night.

All I'm wondering is how this plays on his, and Mo's, Schultz's psyche. There's too many D. Someone's going to be in travel status pretty soon.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Great new player survey on ESPN.com.

Player you would most like to switch places with--Ovie

Player that complains the most--Crosby with 52% of the vote

Second for most underrated--Greenie

Posted by: docjohnson | February 6, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Some on here will trade Ovie for a bundle of sticks if he has an off night.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 2:32 PM

We're not that far from it now.

Posted by: Section117 | February 6, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS:

Manny Legace was placed on waivers. What's his contract? Will GMGM change his mind in light of this new discovery?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 6, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

From a hershey fan,

Neuvy is starting to come around he is getting positionally sound but seems to still lack confidence and Varly is good but again cannot seem to help more then 1 game a week and is either tired or injured. so what if Theo gets injured and no vets available then?

Posted by: cocorules | February 6, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I just read that part in the updated article.

i guess it's not breaking news, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 6, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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