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Morning Reading List

Ah the unsung hero, or in the Capitals' case, the unsung Russian. That's what Coach Bruce Boudreau dubbed steady veteran Viktor Kozlov, who scored two goals last night in the Caps' 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Verizon Center.

*Here's the Blues perspective on the loss, from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

*Remember Brent Johnson's save on Boston's Blake Wheeler a week ago? It's the No.1 save of the week on NHL.com.


Flyers Cliff notes:
*The Flyers suffered their first regulation loss in December 5-2 to Montreal last night, which ended their five-game winning streak.

*The loss to the Canadiens came without starting goaltender Martin Biron (flu) and Daniel Briere (groin). It's unclear if Biron will be back against the Caps after missing two games this week and Briere, while in recovery, isn't expected to return until after Christmas.

*Philadelphia is 6-1-1 this month and they have not lost in regulation at Wachovia Center since Nov. 8 against the Lightning. But the most impressive stat of all is after going 0-3-3 to start the season, the Flyers are 13-2-3 in their past 18 games and have rapidly risen to the top of the Eastern Conference.

*After missing most 57 games because of concussions last season, Simon Gagne is sixth in the NHL and leads the Flyers with 37 points (16G, 21A). Centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are also among the league's top-15 in scoring.

*In keeping with the holiday theme from yesterday, Bill Clement would like to see the Capitals get a "bona fide No. 1 goalie."

In the system:
*The Caps 365 crew has posted their latest video from Hershey featuring the rookie line of Oskar Osala, Mathieu Perreault and Francois Bouchard.


*First up for the Bears as they look to get back on the winning end of things is trip to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hershey Coach Bob Woods said yesterday that either Bobby Goepfert or Simeon Varlamov, if he is reassigned to the Bears, will start against the Penguins.

*Adding to the feel-good story of Bryan Helmer making it back to the NHL at 36, is how his family is still relishing in the excitement. Yesterday the AHL announced that Helmer will serve as captain of the Canadian AHL All Star Team.

*The Stingrays are looking for consistency and Michal Neuvirth is expected to start tonight in South Carolina's game against Elmira.

By Katie Carrera  |  December 19, 2008; 7:04 AM ET
 
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Next: Varlamov Reassigned; Green Practicing, Semin Not (Updated)

Comments

The only thing I want for Christmas from Bill Clement is for him to shut his mouth.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

GODS, I hope we beat Filthadelphia on Saturday!!! We're 3 points ahead of them in the standings right now, and I'd love to increase that to 5. We have to bring the top-notch game, though, and please, PLEASE we need to put Johnson in the net and not Theodore.

I'm waiting with bated breath for an update on Semin, though... Does anyone know if the League goes over hits like that cross-check for sanctions/fines later? Can Boudreau/GMGM request that the League do so? Do we have ANY recource on this, or do we just have to take the chickensnot Blues hitting us from behind and getting away with it???

The Blues' primary enforcer wasn't on the ice last night, and while I don't believe that they were coached to go after Semin and Green specifically, I have a feeling they did. It's just my gut feeling, and I have no proof, but I don't like it, but that's what my gut - and their record - says. They're a dirty bunch of so-and-so's, and I, for one, am VERY glad we're done playing them this year, because if we got another shot at them, there would be blood on the ice.

And the owner of the blood would be David Backes.

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Recourse, not recource... :-p I can't type this morning. :-p Sheesh!

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I want for Christmas from Bill Clement is for him to shut his mouth.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 7:10 AM
-------------------------------------------
Hey, stop speaking ill of alumni who don't have network gigs anymore.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning, folks.

Honestly, if we take the anger from the Blues game and carry it into the Flyers game, we should be in for a treat no matter who's in the lineup.

And, don't kid yourself. I would be very surprised to see either Green or Semin. I think we make a callup today before the freeze.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The morning reading list rocks!

The other save by Brent, the one he aggravated his hip, is also worth a top #5 spot.

Posted by: mauree | December 19, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

IMO it doesnt make much sense to rush top players back from injury at this point in the season. Feds clearly wasnt ready, and the same goes for Greene. In the end you wind up losing more man games because of setbacks. I think they should just let these guys get to at least 90% before putting them back in, so that u have them down the stretch when u need them.

Posted by: justbrewit | December 19, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

@justbrewit - unfortunately, unless the team doctor puts the player on LTIR, then all we have to go on is that player's word that he's ready. Fedorov came back too soon, TWICE, and he's paying for it now. :-(

I'm not sure about Green, but it's clear to me both men felt they were needed... and ready to play.

The only way to make them sit down and stay down at this point would be LTIR... and if it's not a long-term injury, the doc can't authorize it...

I'm more worried about Semin than I am about Green. Green will play on Saturday if he's at all fit to do so, unless the doc forces him not to, and that could be a bad thing...

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik or Katie - Do you know if there's any specific, rules-related reason WHY the team has not put Fedorov on LTIR for the ankle injury, if only for his own good?

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

i hope Semin and Green are able to play against the Fly-donkies. Caps have got to bring "A" game on staurday, not the game they played last night.

Posted by: doughless | December 19, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

We have a number one goalie, unfortunately he will likely be sent back to Hershey because we have an over paid backup whose salary must be justified, so he will continue to suck and demand that our team score 5 goals a night to win.

Posted by: majiksea | December 19, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Did you call The Doctor --
and the doctor said no more jumping on the bed:

Let's see not much has changed since we last spoke.

Update:

Feds - high ankle sprain will be out most of the year (silver lining -- we can win without his 4 million salary - what a waste);

Greeny - what idiot doesn't know this is a separated shoulder which will need surgery. Can the Greeny play with pain will be the question -- hope he is not a wuss. (Greeny needs to see the jason Whitten film of playing with pain). Expect Greeny to be in and out in and out in and out. May have to give up his Lambo in that it is to rough to drive on that bum shoulder.

Semin -- dude has no tolerence for pain. he can kiss goodby on ever being a superstar due to his need for love and bandaids. Sorry Semin but that is what the doctor says. I'll give Semin a doctor's note to call in hurt this time. Come playoffs me thinks you better suck it up.

Now I'll be back in a couple of weeks to cover the same ol' story. ;-)

Doctor's note to GMGM -- trade Nylander to make up your horrible pickup of that doughnut-hole JT.

Defense looking good and that Russian goalie what a gamer!

Go Caps.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love back to back trolls.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

117:
They are getting tired of waiting for losses, so they have decided to attack wins, too.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 19, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@ majiksea
JT didn't need 5 goals to win against the Habs


@ windjammersouth
did you stay at the Holiday Inn express last night? Your now a Doctor that know how to Diagnose without an examination.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 19, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Good god that Clement article could use a friggin proofreader.

Commas, Bill! Look them up!

Posted by: _jordan | December 19, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Hang on! This is news! Briere has a groin?

Posted by: Greg S. | December 19, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

For someone with a separated shoulder that needs surgery, Green sure has been laying some hits out there in the last couple of games!

Posted by: panic13 | December 19, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

And here I thought all along that he WAS a groin.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 19, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

WOW -- I was the game last night, what a treat. Poor Steckel robbed on that open night, going right down the middle, just not enough umph to get in. The PK needs to step it up against the Flyers PP, btw. Varly looked great mostly except for the 5 hole goal. But he will be a keeper for the ages. Jurnica was hitting like a freight train -- loved it. OV was on a mission and none of the Blues wanted any of Brash. I still can't believe the ref called that cross check legit and told BB Semin dived -- get a new prescrition for glasses and buy a clue. The Philthy Flyers game should be super intense.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 19, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

As much as I dont like the crosscheck on Semin, I am going to wonder if it was really that hard. It seems to have just struck the previous injury dead on.

Semin should buy stock in Cortisone.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Greg:
I'm with ya on Briere. I can't stand that guy. He is THE player I loathe (the only one I boo!). Avery is out of his mind, so he sometimes gets a pass 'due to insanity'. But Briere is not a dolt - he knows better and he does dirty stuff, anyway (just instigating, of course - making sure he is never on the receiving end). Now I'm gettin' fired up ...

Speaking of booing, for those of you who boo the Caps, can you please explain why? That is such a pet peeve of mine - I just don't get it. It is one thing to be critical of play here, but to boo in a game? Well boo to you!

Uh, oh ... I think Boo is grumpy today!! :-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 19, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

We have a name to go with the face that launched 1,000 checks last night:

Kelly Sutherland.

Called a bull-poop game vs the Isles (including an "abuse of official" vs Witter that now I wonder if he deserved) and came into DC and proceeded to participate in the worst-called game I've ever seen.

I think we have a new trophy for the "we hate ___ ref" mantle.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Next time you booers feel like booing the Caps power play or something, start a 'lets go Caps' chant instead. It's probably a little more motivating?

Posted by: _jordan | December 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Tarik and Katie,

Far be it for me to direct traffic, since obviously you’re the pros, but I honestly wonder if it isn’t about time that either one of you guys, or the Post’s columnists sit down and pen a piece about the current atmosphere at the Phone Booth. The electricity that courses through that place right now for hockey games is borderline mind-boggling considering the previous state of affairs of this team. The Capitals are the toast of the town (this morning, the Metro train operator on my morning commute – a black guy – announced our arrival in Chinatown with, “Gallery Place-Chinatown, Verizon Center… home of your FIRST place Washington Capitals!!”). I mean wow. This is wild. I’d even go so far as to dare say that for the first time in IONS the Redskins are on the cusp of being, at least momentarily, pushed out of the limelight in D.C. That probably deserves some attention.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | December 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Trying this again, can't seem to keep a connection long enough to post. Heading to practice today to take some pictures. Hoping to see both Greener and Semin on the ice. Fingers crossed!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Jordan:
AMEN!!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 19, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

it's a miserable day in DC, Boo. You're entitled to be grumpy today.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 19, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Greg ... I feel better, already!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 19, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

In the last 10 games Semin has played in the Caps are 10-0 - 5 game winning streak when he got injured and 5 game winning streak since he got back

Posted by: dansteinberg | December 19, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Capitals Insider:

Alex Semin in wheelchair.

Today at practice Alex Semin was seen being pushed in a wheelchair driven by his mother.

When asked if he would be ok to play tomorrow, he just shrugged and wheeled away.

George Mcphee commented that it is an undisclosed upper, lower injury, and that he is Day-2-Day.

OK---I got that out...It certainly cant be worse then that...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - From the angle I saw, it looked like Semin's head snapped back pretty hard when he hit the wall... and it doesn't matter whether it was "all that hard" or not - a crosscheck is a crosscheck, and it came from a known-dirty player. NOBODY "dives" in such a way as to cause themselves an injury; that's just stupid.

I'm more worried about Semin's neck. That did not look pretty!

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@All

Let's show Clement a little love!

Don't forget that Bill Clement captained the Caps during the '75-'76 season. Even though he played less than 50 games, he was a good ambassador for a struggling expansion team.

(Thanks Section 117!)

Posted by: Terptwin | December 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Capsfanmiss,
Yep JT played well one game. Can you point to two games back to back where he has played as well as Varlemov? The fact that those are the only 2 games Varlemov has played and that they are the first 2 games ever in the NHL. Perhaps that does not speak to you, but I have seen enough of JT that for the first time I can remember I agree with Bill Cement (head and hands). I also agree with Boomer, McKeon, Dreger, Proteau, Kennedy, Green, and Wigge who have all written or talked about what a bad signing JT has turned out to be. I have always been a fan of Johnny and this year I have become a huge fan and feel like if JT stays around, Johnny is about the only hope we have to make a stand in the post season. You can close your eyes if you like and point to a game or 2 where he has played well, but the fact is he has been horrible and it started with the first shot on net in the first game that went through his 5 hole. We have a team that can be elite, we need an elite goalie to get them there, JT is not even run of the mill - send him to South Carolina and keep Varlemov here.

Posted by: majiksea | December 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

There was no comment last night that it was a neck injury. Coach said that it was the same back injury as before.

It was a crosscheck, but if he is hurt, the previous injury has something to do with it, and him being out is not directly a result of that specific hit. Thats all I'm saying.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Clement is a Philly homer.

Posted by: _jordan | December 19, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

While the cross check may have not looked "bad" to Semin's lower back, it may have hurt his back. I have thrown my back out just getting out of my car before. Something benign can make the lower back muscles go haywire when you least expect it. The docs will probably make him pound large doses of Motrin and a muscle relaxer, along with stretches. That is what my doc did with me a couple months ago.

I have been going to Caps games 2 or 3 times a year on average for 20 years. Last night was them most electrified crowd at I game I have attended....ever. I was kind of taken aback by it all. Kind of just sat there in wonderment.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 19, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Don't you love how all the sports writers from the other cities say the Capitals benefit from playing in the Southeast? So far we have a 4-3 record in our division. While the Flyers sport a 6-2 record agaisnt the southeast.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 19, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Does Bill Clement still have the ron burgundy stache?

Posted by: _stevo | December 19, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Fusilli

You need to double your games this year, beat crowds ever, night after night. Tuesday crowds look and sound like weekend crowds from a year ago (or are better).

Posted by: majiksea | December 19, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The crowd last night was pretty into it, but thats how its been all year. I credit all of this to going back to the old style uniforms and wearing Red again.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | December 19, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clement..."mmm i look good, HEY everybody come see how good I look"

Posted by: _stevo | December 19, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I do need to step it up some, but usually I am a black cloud for the games because the Caps tend to lose when I go, so I try and limit my exposure.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm just sayin' he looked like he got whiplash off that hit! His head snapped back, hard, and he went down. They might not say it was a "neck injury," per se, and the neck may not be the primary source of his pain, but his neck is very likely going to be hurting this morning.

The hit doesn't have to be HARD to do bad things to a back/neck/shoulder/whatever, as FusilliJerry1 said, and Semin was playing - and moving - fairly well prior to being hit. After, he could barely get off the ice.

I say that if he reinjured himself in the same way that the Backes hit DID have something to do with it, and may well have been the direct cause.

However, in the interest of not getting into a war over it, I will agree to disagree with you on this, if you will agree to disagree with me.

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

From the last thread Peabody2 said: "I paid about $125 each for 2 tix, I dont expect a win, I dont expect a goal on every PP, I dont expect ANYTHING other than the players have to give it 100%." I'm tired of bandwagon fans so I responded: peabody2: Take your $125 and bandwagon attitude to the Wizards games. The real fans are there every chance we get. If not STH, we make it to more than 4 games a year to pick up a bobblehead. Before last night the PP had been on a tear. They did end up going 1 for 5, and if you can maintain a 20% success rate on the PP it is condsidered effective. That would put them at 10th in the league if it was 20% effective. However the Caps are 6th in the league at 23.2%.
Also responded with: Oops, $250 Peabody2. Still doesn't mean you're not a bandwagon fan. If they weren't winning you wouldn't even be there so keep your "100%" comments to yourself. You have no idea what it takes to maintain the ability to play in the NHL. These guys are at the rink now, sore as hell, and getting ready for another game that starts in 27 hours

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 19, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Question. Is water pressure always an issue in the ladies rooms in the 400 level? I have never had a problem in lower level, so just curious if last night was unusual.

Last night's crowd was really good, but I still think the crowds at the end of the season last year were the most amazing I have seen.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 19, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Anyone questioning Semin's toughness has never had a back injury. Until you've had it, you can't imagine how debilitating it can be.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | December 19, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@Kim-3 - Yep! Water pressure is very much an issue in the ladies' room near 429. It's been that way all season; they close off five of the stalls because they don't get enough water to actually flush, and even then, we barely get enough water to wash hands after. It's seriously a real problem...

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm sitting about ten feet from Varly and his dad, maybe? Green is on the ice as is Clark. Sexy lumberjack is not.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 19, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@FusilliJerry1: What you saw last night was a furious crowd. Electric it may have been, but it was a little ugly. I have seen one that was better -- the crowd for the final game against the Panthers last year. We drowned out Horn Guy in the final half of the third frame of that game, if that gives you an idea. Still, this one was fun, and I actually had enthusiastic Caps fans sitting in the row behind me. It made a refreshing change. :)

Semin in a wheelchair? Oh, that's not cool at all. Although, he did fall last night trying to walk, so it might be a safety precaution. Still ... just wow. I really hope the Caps front office pursues this one.

Agreed that we have a new favorite ref to hate :) Also, I don't think this team is going to be neutral about the Blues in future games in the next season or two ....

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan - AMEN! Say it again! Back injuries are excruciatingly painful and debilitating, and anyone who says Semin's being a wuss should have his head examined.

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@jmu_capsgirl - Thanks for the update on Green and Clark! I didn't expect Sexy Lumberjack to be skating yet, not with that concussion he took... but I'm VERY glad Green's skating!!! How does he look?

Hopefully, Semin's just taking a "maintenance day" and seeing the massage therapist or something, but I won't hold my breath...

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Terptwin

Clement couldn't wait to get out of DC, hated the time he spent here, and didn't want to come her to begin with. He hated Atlanta worse, but then they moved the franchise to Calgary and he was happier. He is forever a Philly/Calgary man and hasn't said a good word about DC since...well...ever.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 19, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Also, for those of you who've been down to Kettler for practices - are the morning skates before a game at Kettler, and are they open to the public? I've been granted off the day after Christmas and was thinking about wandering down there for a couple of hours.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I think SA-Town was joking about Semin... worst-case scenario or somesuch. I hope...?

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Kim-3: Yup. Every single night it is like that.

Posted by: amberlynne | December 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Not to plagiarize Corey, but he's reporting Green is out there, while Semin and Varlamov are not.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Green doesn't bad at all. Practice at KCI is open to the public.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Guys, I saw the replay. And wheelchair?? Obviously a knee injury. No good reason to use a wheelchair for a neck injury, unless you are on workers' comp..oh , wait, Semin is on workers' comp...

As for Varlamov, he will be good but two games don't make a career. I trust Mcphee to do the right thing. He has a salary cap top take care of. He can't keep Varlamov without moving some salaries. Nylander? it ain't gonna happen. He is paid too much and no one will take his contract with the cap likely shrinking in 2010. We are stuck with him. He is still a skilled player. I would give him more ice time so he gains his confidence back and make it clear that he needs to skate back in the D zone. Otherwise, yes, pay him to sit. It is a sunk cost anyways.

Posted by: atybat | December 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

did anyone else see when the donald was trying to fight somebody and keith tkachuk almost did and then he thought better of it?

i found that pretty funny

Posted by: _stevo | December 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

is the sexy lumberjack even at Kettler?

Posted by: _stevo | December 19, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - You were joking about the wheelchair... right? RIGHT???

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Katie,

In the spirit of your "in the system" updates - what happened to Beagle? How did he get a concussion? Any timeline for his return?

Posted by: stormblue | December 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Laich seems to be practicing with the D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Corey:

Simeon Varlamov just walked past the media room, but he will be on his way back to Hershey. Varlamov has been reassigned to the Bears and Jose Theodore is off injured reserve.

Varlamov may be the only AHL goalie tomorrow who is undefeated in two NHL appearances.

Also, Chris Clark and Jeff Schultz are staying on LTIR through the holiday freeze.

Posted by: CodePoetry | December 19, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The Blues were trying to goad Brash. When they started play after Semin's deal, One of the Caps defenseman passed the puck and Brash seemingly let it go and chased it, letting the Blues defender go get it. Brash lined him up and crunched him hard into the boards.

Brash comes back up the ice and a blues player got all handsy with Brash but he didn't go. The guy he checked skated off the ice during a line change visibly hurt by the check.

I think if Brash would have dropped the gloves, he probably would have gotten a wealth of penalties, including a fine and suspension for ""purposely coming off the bench to fight". So he got his licks in leagally and tried to get the Blues to take some penalties. Good restraint.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Do you know if any of the guys are trying to pick up Russian at all being that a lot of those guys are learning English?

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | December 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

_stevo, yep. Or his clone was.
I thought I saw Semin sitting on the side but it turned out to be Brady. My eyesight is awful without camera zoom.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 19, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@ majiksea
Probably JT's two best games of the year were both 2-1 loses at Calgary and at Phoenix. I agree he has been incosistent, but I think he is still a NHL goalie, and Bruce has not thrown in the towel on him. Varlamov has been excellent in the two games and one period (pre-season) and is definetly the golaie of the future.

I believe he is going to go back down to Hershey and play, and if the goaltending does not pan out betweeen now and seasons end , you may see Varlamov in the nets in the playoffs/stretch run.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 19, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

When Johnny plays in net, I expect a good effort and some key saves. When JT is in net I hope for a good effort and hope for only a couple of soft goals.

Posted by: majiksea | December 19, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@JMUcapsgirl- now I feel like an idiot for not realizing that was Varly sitting back there behind me

Posted by: doncosmic | December 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone questioning Semin's toughness has never had a back injury. Until you've had it, you can't imagine how debilitating it can be." Posted by: ccCapsfan

I agree. It must be the macho mentality that fogs some people's brain.

Posted by: x1232 | December 19, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

hey caps fans hockey is a tough game other teams will punish our stars...especially if we dont punish back (Brashear is invisible) It will get worse in the playoffs. Teams are aware of soft super stars and will target them. gmgm has all sorts of soft euros and will never win a cup unless we get a few more gamers. We have way too many soft stars. Are we injury prone or just in no hurry to play with pain? Check some of the birthplaces of the oft injured then look at their salaries.

Posted by: wendel2 | December 19, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with Wendull, just look at the OVIE guy, so SOFT, what a Euro wussie! What an idiot you are Wendull!

Posted by: majiksea | December 19, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I see johnny was #1 save of the week...what about the other save from the same game that he stopped a 2 on 1 and hurt his hip??

Posted by: leeh11281 | December 20, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Clement makes a good point. However, Brent Johnson is playing like a cool cat between the pipes right now. I have said this before and I'll say it again, the Caps NEVER shoulda let Huet go in the offseason...

Posted by: leeh11281 | December 20, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

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