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Morning Reading List: Caps Confident in Varlamov's Progress

(Mike Carlson - The Associated Press)

With another win under his belt, Simeon Varlamov appears to be on -- maybe even ahead -- of the schedule the Capitals saw when they drafted him in 2006. Even with his biggest strengths -- willingness to challenge shooters and a "you have to beat me" attitude -- the rookie is in need of refinement, so goaltending coach Dave Prior has been working with Varlamov to help him control his explosive athleticism.

The Hockey News counts down its top 10 quotes of the year.

Lightning Cliff Notes
In all the ugliness that has been the Lightning's season, Martin St. Louis continues to play well. A good omen for Vermont, perhaps?

Tampa Bay is one of the many teams courting soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Matt Gilroy, who is currently leading Boston U. in its quest for a national title and is also a Hobey Baker finalist.

Ryan Malone
will not be in Tampa Bay's lineup tonight after breaking his hand against Pittsburgh Tuesday.

Last but not least, not even a boost from the NHL's revenue sharing will make the Lightning profitable this year.

In the System
Joe Finley recently arrived in Hershey, and, well, it's hard not to notice the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Bear.

Tim Leone also has an update on Sami Lepisto, who was diagnosed with a grade 3 spleen tear just like Quintin Laing.

Frozen Four
Three years ago Chris Atkinson, now a sophomore forward for Vermont, nearly died during an accident on the ice when a teammates' skate cut his jugular vein. The injury caused nerve damage to his left arm, and Atkinson didn't know if he'd ever play another game.

There are quite a few young hockey players in the D.C. area who are looking forward to the Frozen Four -- many of them managed to scrounge up tickets, too -- and hope that they might be able to make it to the tournament themselves. For many reasons, that goal may not be as far off for metro-region hockey players as it might have been in the past.

By Katie Carrera  |  April 9, 2009; 7:05 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Brashear, Poti Questionable
Next: Poti, Brashear Sidelined Tonight


Varlamov is certainly ahead of mt expectations at this point. His confidence must be pretty high.

Posted by: uncatim | April 9, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

"The Hockey News counts down it's top 10 quotes of the year."

There should be no apostrophe in "its top 10 quotes", as opposed to "It's a common mistake..."

Just nitpicking :)

Posted by: TheRoadWarrior | April 9, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Wrap it up tonight Caps! After that there's nothing to play for but some numbers. Here are a couple -- Flash's 20th goal; Ovi's 60th. We've been feasting on the Bolts, so maybe this is one of those games.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 9, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Interesting playoffs this year: 5/6 original six are in (the Rangers or Habs may fall out), the Hawks are resurrgent, the Caps are way ahead of the Pens, 6 teams with over 100 pts. (w/ 4 more with a possibility of doing so and 1 may get to 120), possibly 5 teams with 50+ wins, the Blues and Bluejackets both possibly in, and possibly 3 SE teams. The capper for the NHL is that most all the teams are from major tv markets, so ratings may go up. Pretty compelling story lines.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 9, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Bolts, their ownership bragging about winning the SE with Melrose and Stamkos -- that must still embarrass the team. Melrose is gone due to ludicrous expectations and Stamkos has come on well as of late, but not up to the hype. I feel sorry for the kid, cuz it wasn't his own hype. That being said, I hope OV gets a hattrick to pull ahead of Malkin who gets butkus on the Isle. Yes, 20 for Flash would also be very nice.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | April 9, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, jimall, the lightning set the bar a bit high. It's too bad, cause they're a great team to watch, explosive and fast. They've got some good players to build around, but they need to build.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 9, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Semyon's mask, and his play, looks great in the photo. I'm not a big fan of the cartoon character masks with a bunch of junk all over them. I love the clean Caps logo on this side and the Bears on the other. Maybe next season it'll be all Capitals on the mask. He's is truly one athletic kid.

How about a 5-1 or 6-1 blowout in St. Pete tonight?

I can't believe I got a personal call from BB on the phone the other day. How special am I?

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Bruce didn't mention to me that he called you Saintex. What's that about?

Caps can join Bos & Phi as teams with six 20 goal scorers if Flash gets one more. We all should be very pumped about seeing a few different names on the score sheets lately

Posted by: Sonyask | April 9, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@sonyask, apparently Bruce was very happy with my support this season and wanted to remind me to wear my red for the playoffs. I guess he got about 12,000 numbers and just had to dial away for fifteen or twenty minutes to get in touch with everyone. That's some quality work.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I just looked at the sports blog where AO8 picked up the energizer pitch. Does OV's nose look like anybodies in recent history. I think OV has Rod Langways nose!

Posted by: fatboy08 | April 9, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

How about a 9-0 win and a bunch of individual stats padded? :) The weird thing tonight is that we'll be seeing Theo in net in Tampa Bay.. I don't think that's happened yet. We've always had Neuvy or Varly there, and they've done very well so hopefully Theo can have the same luck. I'm so used to seeing one of our young ones in net in TB.. so we'll see how it goes.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 9, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

It was remarkably easy yesterday (as it was when I bought Caps tix 25 years ago)to buy excellent seats for tonight's game at the St. Pete Times Forum. And, note to Ted, their prices are considerably lower than for the Caps (You get what you pay for, it seems). Being Spring break week for many, I also expect to see as much red in the stands as blue. And to think this is "fan appreciation week" in Tampa.

Posted by: bucknelldad | April 9, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

LOL. I got that phone call too. Apparently it was a canned message that was supposed to go out at 10 AM yesterday and was sent 12 hours early. There's an apology relating to it on the message boards.

As I was still driving home from the viewing party when I got it, I wasn't bothered. I was sort of amused.

Varlamov still kinda scares me, but I don't deny he's an amazing talent. Get him under wraps and he'll be a beast. Neuvirth I think doesn't get enough credit - he's more a positional goalie and will probably take a little longer to develop, but I really like his style too.

James Mirtle had a link up to Sports Club Stats this morning. Apparently the likelihood of our first round dance partners stacks up like this:

Habs – 64%
Rags – 30%
Pens – 4%
Panthers – 2%

(Hat tip to Japers for that tidbit.)

Could be interesting. Could be real interesting.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad I'm not the only one saying "Varlamov still kinda scares me." I think a lot of Caps fans are enamored with him based on his play with the Caps. And I don't deny that he's been very good. But having watched both him and Neuvirth all season in Hershey, I see strengths and flaws in both of them. They both have tremendous talent and are going to be very good someday, but are they there yet? In my mind it's a toss-up... which one is better and how soon will they be ready for the big leagues? And I'm also hoping to see Holtby get a game or two in Hershey. I've read good reviews of him and would like to see what he's got.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 9, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear other folks got a call from BB too. I thought he was hitting on my wife, glad I don't have to go down to Kettler next week and kick his butt!!

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 9, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The message was pretty funny because on my voicemail the opening was cut off and suddenly I'm listening to a canuck yammering at me. By use of my "military intelligence" training and BB's use of the Canadian accent, I sussed it out pretty quickly.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear other folks got a call from BB too. I thought he was hitting on my wife, glad I don't have to go down to Kettler next week and kick his butt!!

Posted by: ds_kelly | April 9, 2009 9:16 AM


Don't make BB handle business on you, he doesn't want to have to do that to you but he will if necessary :)

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 9, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Every time the Caps score tonight, I would like to see all 6 players on the ice including Theodore, drop the sticks, and pull a "Group Hot Stick."

Don Cherry would die of a heart-attack on the spot.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 9, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz and tess2201,

What are you guys talking about Varly kind of scares you? The kid turns 21 this month. All of us caps fans are saying we are excited about Varly because of the potential of this kid and the talent we see in him. He's only going to get better. You talk about being worried and his flaws? Every goaltender has flaws, but you can't teach talent. Many of the flaws you talk about come down to him being taught rebound control and puck control. As I said, you cannot teach talent, quickness, and athleticism. Have you seen some of the saves he's made this year? Look at Atlanta, he carried us in that game. You can say Atlanta isn't that good of a team which is fine but we didn't show up to play that night and Varly carried us. When a 20 YEAR OLD talented goal tender is carrying you that says something about him. Jose is going to play as many (if not all) of our playoff games if possible. Varly will be the back and may start for 1 game to give him a rest or if he's hurt but why worry. Would you rather have Johnny be the back up who hasn't played in over 3 months and isn't 100% or Varly back up Jose for the playoffs at 100%? I think it's a pretty simple choice. Also, the coaches realize that Varly is the future so he will become a main (if not the top) priority this offseason for the coaches. They will work on his flaws that you guys talk about and in 2 years he will be scary. Stop talking about flaws and him "scaring" you, he's 20 YEARS OLD. Be optimistic, not pessimistic.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 9, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: billmelater | April 9, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I am optimistic. I think Varly going to be great some day. My comments are directed toward some of the comments I've read on here...people saying stupid stuff like "start Varly and let Jose be backup." You are not one of those people. I think kitty and I are just trying to keep things in perspective and not have people get so excited that they forget that he is just 20 years old and less than a year in North American hockey. And yes, on the poll the other day I did vote for Johnny as backup in the playoffs. Let Varly come to Hershey and play every playoof game rather than sit on the bench in DC.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 9, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town: That would be the funniest thing ever! I wish they would do that, Jose would be at the other end doing it by himself. Tocchet would kill us! And Cherry too! lol! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Do we know what day game 1 will be at the Verizon Center? Im guessing either Wednesday or Thursday but I was wondering if anyone had any more specifics. Thanks.

Posted by: terpcap6 | April 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Ovi should have had a few sticks specially painted with flames. No need to say anything or point at them, just play.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse


I think you are right on Wed or Thursday, but their is no way to tell.

Once the matchup's are set, they have to make quick work of schedules for buildings...favorable TV times and match-ups...ect.

I would think the NHL has a software that spits out a suggested schedule, and then it is manually tweaked before being released...

Posted by: SA-Town | April 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@terp, not yet. I think it depends in the opponent but if it's the Rangers or Habs I would suspect it won't be a Friday/Sunday pairing, so I'll go with Wed or Thu.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with billmelater. Is it possible the WaPo could take Slava Malamud's suggestion and refer to Varlamov as Semyon as opposed to the Americanized version?

Tarik, any reason the Post doesn't?

Obviously not important in the grand scheme of things, but it sounds like he'd appreciate it...

Posted by: whoyawith | April 9, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ja4634a | April 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@whoyawith, Lindsay explained the Semyon/Simeon on the blog last week: The WaPo uses the NHL0-defined spelling for all players; unless the NHL changes, they won't. I'm sticking with Semyon. You know how the style Gods work...

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the TV schedule for the first round? I assume online feeds will be easier to get during the playoffs. If the Caps play the Rangers then I'll get it on MSG so no problem but if it's the Habs I would think every Caps-Habs (or FLA) game will not be on tv.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 9, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan28: Whoa whoa whoa. Easy there, hoss. The main thing that gets me about Varlamov is that sometimes he's a little too aggressive and has a tendency to overcommit or come too far out of the crease. Again, that's a product of his style - it reminds me of Tim Thomas, but the fact is that had Buffalo been able to hit the net, that game would have been a slaughter. I counted at least four open nets they missed, where he had no chance at all of stopping anything athletic or not, because he was too far out. He needs to work on controlling that, and on playing the puck.

I'm with Tess. I don't deny he's good now and he's going to get better. I've never denied that. All I'm saying is that he's not quite ready yet, and it sounds to me like the team realizes that and doesn't expect him to be (this is good). I don't want us to get too excited, because he just isn't quite there yet.

The other thing I'm saying is that Neuvirth also has a tremendous amount of promise, in a completely different style, which I think is beyond awesome. He might take a bit longer to develop because of his style, but he's still very talented and I think he'll do well in this league. I just don't want to see him get lost in the hype over Varly.

Also, the wall of text is very difficult to read. Please write in paragraphs :)

Posted by: kittypawz | April 9, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@Moose33, is about $10 a month and you get every single game, every night, online.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

As far as Semyon is concerned, he is definitely improving and I think will be great for us. It seemed to me that Tuesday he was much more in control and not taking himself out of the crease and leaving the net open as he did in his past starts. Dave Prior has already had an impact on him. The future is bright.

I am torn on whether to let him go back to Hershey when Johnny is ready, but going back to Hershey and getting those playoff games on a regular schedule would help him more than sitting on the bench in DC.

Nice to have these problems, huh?

Posted by: _Mark | April 9, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse


I don't get what is scary about Varly either. Every goalie has flaws. The great Brodeur let in, I think, 4 goals on 18 shots at their last game. But the kid is talented, explosive and unafraid. The latter is important for playing in NHL--not freezing or being intimidated (which happened to Neuvy, by the way).

Kitty & Tess are right in that we should not be unrealistic in our enthusiasm and realize how much improvement is still needed. But Varly's development should take place in NHL from now on. I personally would feel scared if we had fantastic goalies in place. Why mess with a good thing? But we don't, so what's the risk?

For example compare Johny's and Varly's stats for the last 6 games.

Feb 01 '09
OTT @ WSH .895
Jan 10 '09
WSH @ MTL .857
Jan 01 '09
TBL @ WSH .852
Dec 23 '08
WSH @ NYR 1.000
Dec 20 '08
WSH @ PHI .769
Dec 16 '08
WSH @ NYI .897


Game Sv%
Apr 07 '09
WSH @ ATL .935
Apr 03 '09
BUF @ WSH .833
Mar 19 '09
WSH @ TBL .929
Mar 16 '09
WSH @ ATL .833
Dec 18 '08
STL @ WSH .935
Dec 13 '08
WSH @ MTL .970

The kid is turning 21. One cannot have a 40-year career in sports the way one does in other professions. If they are going to transition him to the team, this is the time.

I am assuming, by the way, that the plan is for Varly to replace Johnson for next year, right? It wouldn't make sense otherwise. Anybody has thoughts or information on Johnson's future with the Caps?

Posted by: caraveli | April 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'll take the easy way out and call him Varlamov. ;-) But I, too, prefer "Semyon," since it seems to be a better transliteration. I'd suggest that *someone* - preferably Varlamov himself - ask the NHL to change the spelling. It can be done; the request just has to come from the right place.

I would prefer to let Johnson back up Theodore, -IF- Johnson is healthy.

1) He didn't get a chance last season.
2) He played really well for us when Theodore was not.
3) If Johnson backs Theodore, then Varlamov is the primary in Hershey; that puts Neuvirth in secondary, and drops Machesney down to the Stingrays, where he can continue to work on his skills. All three get more ice time, and life is good.

We have a shot at both the Calder and the Stanley this year. I'd like to see that happen.

Posted by: irockthered | April 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

saintex, why pay when you can get it for free... has the hits of the season and not one Ovie hit made the cut, I find that unbelievable. Although the hit on Malkin will probably win anyway.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 9, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@moose, I don't have cable so I need to watch online. I have a season ticket but for the games I didn't go to or road games, I needed online. is horrid -I can't watch any Caps games, home or away, when I'm in the D.C. area and they want $20 a month.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse


What time did you recieve this call? Because we got a call from BB Tuesday night at 10:45 PM! A little late, I guess he waited until he got back on the bus after the game!?!

Varly looked good the other night, but like many I want to see a lot more of him in action before making my final decision. But, I definitely see a really bright future for this young Russian.

I REALLY hope that Ovie gets 5+ points tonight, I want it to be an absolute no contest for the Hart! And that way the Pens fans can't argue, until their face turns as blue as their powder 3rd blue jersey, that Malkin should have won based on his points (though I am sure some would still try). Either way Ovie should win, most of Malkin's points are from assists (and a lot of them secondary)!

Looking forward to the game and hoping for a 8-1 victory! Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

saintex, next year, I'm not dealing with online, it's too much work and aggrevation so I will get the Center Ice package. Usually, I can find the game through some searching or links posted on the blog (atdhe, hockeywebcast or just go on any hockey broadcast and the viewers will post links to other games). I have heard is pretty good though.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 9, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

In the "the more things change, the more they stay the same" category:

"Washington, technically a favorite in its first-round series against Philadelphia, nevertheless succumbed to the sixth-seeded Flyers in seven games and turnover ratio certainly didn’t do the Caps any favors. In a series that essentially came down to one Game 7 goal, Washington defenseman Tom Poti gave away the puck 14 times versus two takeaways, while rookie center Nicklas Backstrom had a minus-5 ratio. Big blueliner John Erskine had nine giveaways and no takeaways.

"So what can we glean from this year’s turnover statistics? It may be another early exit for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL in giveaways with 107 (versus 60 takeaways), while Mike Green is fourth with 94. True, you get a lot of offense between those two players, but you can also get a lot of offense from Datsyuk (a staggering plus-40 with 88 takeaways) and Lidstrom (just 46 giveaways)."

Poti still likes coughing it up and can't seem to get the puck past the blue line. Erskine had the same problem, though he's been doing better lately it seems. And how many times have we cringed on fluffed passes across the blue line that ended up as a break-away?

Posted by: Greg S. | April 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I understand the need for grit, but with teams scared to take penalties and Brashear taking penalties in the we need him? I'd rather stick with a fast skilled guy like Aucoin, who has been drawing penalties and scoring. your thoughts?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@Moose, I have Center Ice and I don't get the Caps games while in D.C. That's the problem. Once you are in - at $20 a month - you have to pay the whole season. Here are the online blackout rules from the site:

When am I blacked out on NHL Center Ice Online?

Generally, you are blacked out of games on NHL Center Ice Online based on a number of factors, including:

Your local team is televising on a local over-the-air station and you are located within that station’s signal.

Your local team is televising on a local regional sports network and your cable or satellite system falls within the distribution for that local regional sports network (regardless of whether your cable or satellite system actually carries that regional sports network).

The game is being televised nationally - including NBC, Versus and the NHL Network in the U.S

I don't know how the TV version works but if you have ComCast, you wouldn't need it. Since ComCast shows every game you are hit by rule #1 every game. Of course, if you are traveling then you can watch the Caps games because they see you IP as a different location.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think folks are being very unrealistic to believe Johnny will back up in the playoffs. He's been out some time, won't have another regular season game under his belt, and Semyon has been very strong. he will do fine if called into service. Any chance of Johnny dressing for the playoffs died Tuesday night.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"True, you get a lot of offense between those two players, but you can also get a lot of offense from Datsyuk (a staggering plus-40 with 88 takeaways) and Lidstrom (just 46 giveaways)."

Not mentioned is the fact that this guy is comparing two veteran future hall of famers to two young and relatively inexperienced future (hopefully) hall of famers. True the turnovers are a problem but this guy needs to relax with the comparison to two of the best all-around players in hockey. They'll clean it up as their careers progress.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

saintex, sounds like time to move away from the DC/MD area or get many rules and regulations. People just want to watch their team play.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Agreed. But this is now.

I like Semyon a lot, but the teams he's faced are not PO teams.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 9, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see a bunch of uneducated hockey fans as usual missing the point of the day - by Tarik - Simeon could be the 'next'.
& instead talk about stupid things like Brash's worthiness or BB's hitting on some1.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 9, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@moose, yeah, I didn't read the Center Ice fine print before I signed up - lesson learned. In fact, a lot of the I-95 and Penn team games are blacked out, also; it's really junk. I figure my $60 for the season (they may have a season long pass) isn't too bad. Cheaper than having to get one or two tiers of cable. It also allows me to watch game without having the big TV up on hockey in the evening. You know, kids and girlfriend.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Greg S,

Semyon played beautifully against Montreal when they were much hotter, Hockey Night in Canada. The Blues, which he beat nicely, also are in the playoffs right now. (that's 2 PO teams). A division opponent, Atlanta also plays us well, and we got our first away win there with Varly.

Posted by: Sonyask | April 9, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Tonights games of interest:

Boston v Montreal
NY Rangers v Philly
Buffalo v Carolina
Florida v Atlanta
Ottowa v NJ
NY Isles v Pitts

I'm rooting for the teams on the left.

I really want to see Montreal out of the playoffs, and I would like to see FL in. To keep Monreal out, the Rags and Cats need to win, and who in their right minds wants to root for Philly anyway?

I'm rooting for the Isles knowing it's a lost cause. Those guys have been on summer break since early Feb, so it's unlikely they'll beat the Pitts, but a guy can dream, no?

Posted by: Greg S. | April 9, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Actually I think we are all very educated. Maybe, some of us don't want to talk about what you want to talk about.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 9, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I want Montreal to stay right where they are in 7th. I'll take them in a series. Rather see them than the Rangers or Panthers.

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

My hopes are...

MON-loses tonight (should happen)
NYR-loses tonight (toss up)
FLA-loses tonight (toss up)
NJD-loses tonight (who knows with them)
CAR-loses tonight (doubt it)
PIT-wins tonight (but Malkin does nothing)
WAS-wins tonight (Ovie gets hat trick +)

I really want to play the Habs in the first round, so we could have a great chance at winning and confidence to play great in the 2nd. I think/hope Theo would try extra hard to show MON what they gave up, by killing them in 4 games! Plus I would really like to see a PHI/PIT showdown in round VERY entertaining!

Posted by: NatyBG | April 9, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse


I stand corrected. I didn't think he played against Montreal. He did get pasted by Buffalo, though he got no help up front.

Posted by: Greg S. | April 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow! The turnover numbers in Greg S's post were scary. I also think it is a big problem, especially when the team seems unmotivated and out-of-sync. I have been increasingly noticing Ovie's turnovers but leading "the NHL in giveaways with 107" is really sobering. I don't know what to make of it. Is it because he takes more risks? Is the numbers of turnovers somehow proportionate to the number of goals scored?

Posted by: caraveli | April 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Based on that above photo, and LeCavalier looking at the Bears side of Semyon's mask, it looks like Vinny is thinking "Am I in the AHL? Damn."

Posted by: saintex | April 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I think our best bet is to let Johnny back Theo. It's already clear that Theodore is the guy; if he goes down, Johnny can fill in the rest of the game and call up Varlamov. Otherwise, let Varlamov/Neuvirth as a tandem take the Bears into the playoffs - it'll get everyone more ice time. Chances are Johnny isn't going to see a lot of ice time anyway, and sitting Varlamov won't help him.

@Greg S.: My thing with the Montreal game is that Varlamov was very, very lucky. Montreal hit a lot of posts that game. I swear that kid has an angel sitting on his crossbar.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Someone remind me again, why we're even bothering to support the Capitals this playoff season if all I'm reading lately is hesitation to even assume or hope that they've learned from last year's games? It's one thing to keep our expectations realistic but another thing to outright doubt that based on statistics, we may be headed for another first round loss. Makes me ill reading that hoo-ha. Opinions true. But it's as lame of an excuse to throw that stuff out there as it is for when people cut the cheese and justify it by saying that it's natural and everybody does it.

Let's be hopeful, yeah? Imagine if Obama's campaign wasn't "Yes we Can" but was instead "Maybe we can...if we tighten our defense and stop playing cute". Bleh!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If we are getting on the nitpicking NHL naming bandwagon why does the NHL flat out misspell Nicklas Bäckström? The Simeon Semyon thing sort of makes sense as they are nearly phonetically the same. But äö != ao when you sound it out.

I am pumped for Simeon to be coming around. Sure he looks a little raw now, and it makes me nervous going into the playoffs after a stellar season with a rookie tender backing up, but he is part of this team's future.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 9, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Varly got pasted more by the caps (3 of the goals) than by the Sabres (2 goals).

Posted by: GusDaMan | April 9, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

It's a question worth asking, LeftCoastCapsFan, but Greg S., I think that THN article is misleading. Hit Japers' - I threw out a question on exactly that article, but remember that giveaways/takeaways are a very subjective stat and vary by arena, and thus aren't necessarily good for this sort of analysis. The responsese have some much, much better links that put things in much better perspective (and makes things look a lot better).

I think the problem is that last season's Game 7 loss was an absolute crushing heartbreaker. I mean, that blew beyond the power of words to tell. None of us want to be hit in the face that hard again, so it's giving rise to a lot more caution.

Also, I wouldn't use the Obama comparison; without getting into a political debate, the Obama presidency so far isn't exactly as advertised. :) There's hope and optimism, and then there's blind idiocy. I think we're on the right side of that line, and I don't think asking questions is bad.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Is the numbers of turnovers somehow proportionate to the number of goals scored?

Posted by: caraveli | April 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

i would think the more you pass the more turnovers you have (because of the possibility that those passes get intercepted).

Posted by: virkulous | April 9, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse


I can agree with your statements and thanks for clarifying, your reasoning is logical and makes sense.


Don't call people Huss, that's the dumbest name people say. It's like a geek trying to sound cool.

Posted by: DCSportsFan28 | April 9, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Actually I think we are all very educated. Maybe, some of us don't want to talk about what you want to talk about.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 9, 2009 11:10 AM |

Then why post in a Varly thread??

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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