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Morning Reading List: Bouncing Back for Game 2


(John McDonnell -- The Washington Post)


While the hockey world waits to see which goaltender will get the start in net on Saturday, Jose Theodore believes he will get another chance and summed up the situation himself: "The story changes so quickly," he said. "You're down one game, and then you say, 'The goalie's shaky, got outplayed,' which was the case. And then another game is a different story."

If you missed it yesterday, check out Tarik's video take on the goaltending situation and how the Capitals can move past the loss.

If you weren't in Verizon Center to catch it during Game 1, here is the Caps new playoff opener.


Alex Ovechkin's "Superhuman Spin" is up again in TSN's play of the year showdown. You can vote for him in the semifinals against Anaheim's Bobby Ryan here.

Over at the D.C. Sports Bog, colleague Dan Steinberg has another day's worth of Caps items:

  • The Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky talks about the move he made around Jeff Schultz that wound up leading to his game winning goal on Wednesday.

  • Checking in with another Caps goaltender, Brent Johnson.

  • An update on the ever-increasing ratings for Capitals games on Comcast SportsNet.

  • Some additional images from Game 1.

  • As the Wizards cleaned out their locker room yesterday, they were also asked if they'll catch a few playoff games.

The Washington Times has a feature on Sergei Fedorov, which you can check out here along with a timeline of his career.

From the Rangers' Looking Glass
Coach John Tortorella credited the veteran defensive paring of Wade Redden and Michal Rozival with helping to stabilize the Rangers in game one. More on that from The Daily News and The New York Times.

The Toronto Star's Damien Cox breaks down Sean Avery's effectiveness in game 1 against the Caps.

From the Globe on Hockey blog, a little more dissection of Avery's ability to make an impact, whether "by hook or by crook."

In the System
The Bears snagged Game 1 of their series last night with a 4-2 win over the Phantoms.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 17, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Schultz Hurt? (Updated)

Comments

It has to be Theo. If he starts shakey than Varly comes in. There is no other rational choice. Caps win and take one in NYC,come back to Verizon knotted.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 17, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

I would give Theo one period and if he lets in 2 goals on 5 shots, than BB needs to give Varly a chance! And I wouldn't give Schultz one more minute on the ice! If they don't feel good enough about Pothier to let him play...then call up Alzner!

Congrats to the Bears!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 17, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Also a good thing to point out, since many think we shouldn't play Varly because he hasn't seen many NHL games, Hiller got a shutout against the #1 Sharks. I know that Hiller has a few more NHL games under his belt, but maybe Varly has something to prove.

Posted by: NatyBG | April 17, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I haven't had time to read all of the comments since the last game so what I am about to see may have already been typed, but I am going to say it anyway. One player, and one player only lost the game Wednesday night, and that was Theodore. He knows it, and the entire Caps dressing room knows it.

From my vantage point at the game I though goals 1 and 4 were very weak, watching the goals again on my DVR when I got home made me even more sick. Weak weak goals. I will give him the Antropov snipe, and the Nasland screen shot. In the playoffs you must have your goaltender make the routine save, and then come up with a couple of nice saves. Theo didn't make anything look routine Wednesday night.

What do the Caps do to prepare for Saturday? Do their best to forget about Wednesday!!! They played a great game, giving up only 21 shots, and Theo had to make ZERO spectular saves. If Theo fixes his game this series turns into the route it should be. I know some of you don't want to look at stats but if you want to choke on your breakfast take a look at the goaltender stats after the first game of the playoffs. Theo is waaaaaay back at number 16 almost 7% behind the second worst goaltending performance. I predict that BB will give Theo his chance to redeem himself and Theo will do so. The rest of the crew can play the same game and win by 3 or 4 goals.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 17, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

From the previous:

bhound69/kitty:
RE: Huet, the Caps did not match the Hawks' offer, they matched Huet's original demands. When they did, he decided to shop anyway and then they refused to match Chicago's ultimate offer. That's what was so infuriating about the whole thing - they gave Huet what he wanted and rather than sign he looked around to see if he could get something better. Not cool. I don't blame GMGM for not matching - it's the principle of the thing ... a bit of an integrity issue. Anyway, I'm glad he's benched - he got what he deserved. And it's just as well - his #s are almost identical to Jose's. (BTW Kitty, way to keep it positive in your game/series review! :-))

oo7:
All my money is on Havlat going forward ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 17, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

BTW, gotta say that video was pretty cool in the VC Wed night - that place was goin' nuts! I am ready to see it again tomorrow!! :-D

Posted by: --Boo-- | April 17, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

@--Boo--: Theodore's and Huet's numbers were not that close. Theo's GAA was .33 higher and his save percentage was almost a full percentage point lower (.9). Theo had more wins but Huet would have been the workhorse if the Caps would have retained him. I still agree with you when you say GMGM made the right move by not continuing to pursue him after the Caps met his initial demands. Someone's going to get Khabibulin because Huet's still locked for 5 years.]

I hope, I really hope, he doesn't head back to Tampa. A lot of his key team mates from their SC win are still there, Stamkos was playing well at the end of the season, and they will probably land the 6'6" Swedish defenseman, Hedman, since the NYI will probably take Tavares. We don't need Tampa to get a solid netminder.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 17, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Theo's issues that need to be corrected is angles.

Im no goalie coach, but you have to read when the time is right to come out, and stop the shot, and when to hang back and guard the crossing pass.

Obviously he didnt have the angle to cut down any of the shots that he got beat high on.

He is experienced, and has probably studied the geometry of the ice in full detail..He can get it done, and I expect him in game 2. If game 2 doesnt go well...we'll see a switch.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 17, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

All this Theo coverage, and what about the terrible D?

Posted by: BigMogilny | April 17, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Thanks BigMogilny. That's what I've been saying all along.

Posted by: MNMNT | April 17, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

mogilny D wasnt terrible, it was ok alowing 21 shots on goal is good D. Yes Shultz go beat 1 on 1, but that happens what did people say in ottawa when semin stole the puck and turned ridden(or whatever his name) inside out and then the goalie. It happens point is theo should of came up with big saves especially on the 1st goal, that would of giving us huge momentum and guys would of ran with it and pulled away nicely.
As far as Varly and not enough experience you guys are forgetting that he took Yaroslavl to cup finals in russia and stood on his head during all the series and all that being 19 years old. Varly might have more experience then people think he does on big stage, plenty of international games as well, World Juniors vs canada in the gold medal game and that whole tourny he posted something crazy like under 1gaa and mid 900 save %.

Posted by: madboost35 | April 17, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Are we going to do a World Championships fantasy league again? That was fun.

Posted by: thiazzi | April 17, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Random question: does anyone know where that Brooks Laich video was that was posted in the comments here recently? I searched through and I can't find it. It looked like a feature on him and showed his hometown and all.

Posted by: terpsgirl02 | April 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1,

I'm with you I didn't really come on to the message boards after game 1 because I was too frustrated. I'm finally starting to come out of the frustration because game 2's tomorrow afternoon :). I think you have to give Theo at least the 1st period tomorrow, if he looks crisp you keep playing him. If not, it's time to make a move and see how Varly responds. The frustrating thing about Game 1 wasn't just that Theo gave up 4 goals but he gave up some easy goals. He didn't make any tough saves for us either. If he played half as well as Lundquist played we win.

Also, I see people talk about Varly doesn't have experience, etc. I agree with you guys on that but we DON'T know how he'll respond to the pressure UNTIL he plays in the playoffs. I'm not suggesting that we play Varly right now or we need to see how he responds, but I am saying if Theo plays remotely close to how he played in game 1 its time to see what Varly can do. Let's face it, if Theo plays the way he did in game 1 we won't make it out of round 1 or we won't go deep in the playoffs.

Message to Theo: Stop playing scared, stop playing without confidence, and stop acting like your the hunted. Start being the hunter, start challenging the shooters, and play like your life depends on it. You had 0 hustle in game 1, get your stuff together and lets win a SC!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 17, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Something about the Russian culture tells me that pressure doesnt phase them...They were born and raised ready.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 17, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I am so pumped for game 2 since it will be on at a reasonable hour. That spells Pizza, beer, and craziness.

My problem is I have no working computer at home. Tonight is "Operation:Install Ubuntu on PS3 and Pray". I might have to jack my flatmate's pc if all else fails.


And for those worried. Anaheim beat the President's Trohpy wielding Sharks. You really think they are going to take the series?

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 17, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh and in regards to Schultz, people stop making excuses for him. He was a FIRST Round pick. First round picks are supposed to be good to great players. That doesn't mean it always happens, but you take a guy in the first round with the belief that he is one of the top 30 players in the draft and can make an impace on your team. I hear all the time that Shultz isn't that bad, his +/- was better than a lot of our defenders, blah blah blah. Watch all 82 games the Caps played in this year and show me 10 plays that Schultz made that were either impressive or great plays. I bet you can't do it. He's 6'6" and he's afraid to hit. His positioning isn't that good and he doesn't even block shots well with his size.

Theo didn't attempt to challenge the shot when Schutlz got "juked" out of his skates but the facts are he got embarrassed. I know what some of you are thinking, "it happens to ever player." Yes it does, but guess what Schultz positives are ????? It may happen to every player but Schutlz doesn't really contribute to our team. The problem with our team is we just have a lot of guys on our Defense who wouldn't make a lot of NHL Teams. Mike Green obviously is a special talent, Shawn Morrison I have really been impressed with this year with him stepping up, but after that we don't have anyone. I wouldn't mind seeing Tyler Sloan or Kronwall come up and get some playing time and see how they do. Just my 2 cents :)

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 17, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I thought overall the D did pretty well, allowing only 21 shots, clearing the zone, blocking and deflecting shots very well.

The thing that might change is that the D was obviously coached to hang back and be cautious, and they did not pinch in the offensive zone as much until late in the game. The Rangers room to maneuver into the zone, and with weak goaltending managed to put some shots in on pedestrian plays.

I don't blame the D for carrying out Coach's game plan. In game 2 I'd expect to see Coach adjust and the D pinch more on O and check tighter between the blue lines as an adjustment.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 17, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@ DCSportsFan28 - You can add him to the list of god awful first round picks that have never panned out with this team, Alexandre Volchkov anyone?

Posted by: The_Spear | April 17, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Huet makes 5.625/year for 4 years after being offered his 3 yr 4.5 asking. There was nothing else out there in terms of goalies on the UFA other than Theo - they were all AHL or backups. Only Theo was a starter and we needed one. He asked for 4.5 and 2 yrs.

Huet and Theo have about the same stats.

If we had taken Huet's offer, we couldn't have seen Alzner at all this year due to the salary cap. We wouldn't have Fedorov. We might have lost Green. We'd still have a backup goalie for our starter at 1.125 more per year.

At the time of the deal we looked at this as a wash in terms of player skills, and it has proved to be the case. Letting Huet go was a good business decision.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 17, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: 28_is_amazing | April 17, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Huet has never played more than 52 games in a single season, and that was last year. He only reached that number because he got hot at the end of the season.

Huet is a backup in the playoffs this year. Next year when he's the man and when The Bulin Wall becomes a free agent, I expect that 4 year deal Chicago gave Huet is going to look like a stinker sooner rather than later.

Theo will bounce back on Saturday. Keep the faith people.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | April 17, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I will put money on that Theo will get the nod tomorrow in net. So Caps fans, lets get behind this team and get Verizon rocking even louder than Wednesday. We need to let the team know that we are still behind them.

Posted by: Kevin9149 | April 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

SombreroGuy

I agree and hopefully Theo agrees with us! :)

Still, I'd keep him on a short leash. I understand that Varly's gone to the finals in the Russian Elite league, but that league is NOT the NHL and it doesn't have a PITA player like Avery in it. I don't think Avery got under the skin of anyone out there. I don't know if he'd have "better luck" with a greenhorn and frankly don't care to find out.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 17, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Tarik:

your coverage is really ramping up and I am enjoying all of the extra Caps coverage. perhaps WAPO can provide a little more coverage of the other payoffs series as well. on the negative side, I for one have had enough of the collective soul fart over JT and his performance on wednesday. i know drama sales papers, but I think it is about time for the "controversy" to end. JT will start on saturday. we all should be thinking about saturday and forget everything else.

thanks Tarik and keep up the good work!!

Posted by: doughless | April 17, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@28_is_amazing

Thank you so much!

Posted by: terpsgirl02 | April 17, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Start Theo, if he fails again go with Varly. This is a seven game series not a five game series. JUST DO IT THEO!

Posted by: TheSmurfs | April 17, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Brash needs to play tomorrow and just let Avery know that this is our HOUSE!

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 17, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Could be worst, we could be San Jose. Number one overall, and they get BLANKED at home by number 8 Ducks, YIKES!

Posted by: SeattleRob | April 17, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

we should be worried about Avery's offensive upside, not his weak attempts to pester. as much as i would love to see him be pummeled, he wins if we start taking stupid penalities as a result of him being a closet fashion designer. seriously Sean, there is this thing called "therapy".

Posted by: doughless | April 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

We were in the box 4 times. We don't need to up that number because Avery is a PITA. Let him take the stupid penalties for trying to be him. If we get him out of his agitation mode, he may move to his play-making one. I'd rather not have him there.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 17, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

As for O, it seemed to me the quick, snappy little shots gave Henrik more trouble than the big wind-up shots. I give as examples our first and third goals. The prime mover on both of these was OV by the way. Not to belittle the second goal but I think the Rangers relaxed a little after going up by two. Well done by Kozzie to see the opening.

As for D, when they get in our defensive zone we should try to presure the man with the puck a little more. Easy to say I know, but this should help out Theo.

My wife suggested to me that the players should vote on who gets to start in goal for the next game. Any opinions on that out there (be nice!)?

Let's go CAPS.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | April 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of repeating myself: Why do we want Brashear to settle up with Avery? If he messes with Theo, crash Lundqvist. If he hacks Semin, elbow Gomez.
If the Caps take penalties to settle up with him directly, Avery's succeeding for the Rangers. Pay it forward!

Posted by: redlineblue | April 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Theo can do it.... He is having a confidence issue though i can tell because he is sitting back in his net and going down to early. Maybe a little of nerves but i think he can work through it. Lets let him know that the fans are behind him that will help our cause.....you can do it theo!!!!!

Posted by: hckyman | April 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse


Could be worst, we could be San Jose. Number one overall, and they get BLANKED at home by number 8 Ducks, YIKES!

Posted by: SeattleRob | April 17, 2009 10:42

#2 seed getting beat by a # 7 seed, the only difference was the score.

In the end, still the same results.

Posted by: akus2 | April 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

We need to go with Varmy in net. If he is the future, the future is now. If we stick with Theo and don't win it all, what have we gained? Get the kids feet wet and lets see what he can do. We have to address the Goaltending issue sooner rather than later

Posted by: SeattleRob | April 17, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg S you would surprized how good some KHL teams are. Plenty of NHL caliper players on them Especially on the Kazan Squad that won the championship vs Yaroslavl. IF you think that those clubs dont have players like Avery youre wrong as well, Chris simon ring a bell? yes he plays in russia!

Posted by: madboost35 | April 17, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

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