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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Bruce Boudreau reiterates confidence in Varlamov, Neuvirth

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

In the summer leading up to the 2010-11 season and throughout the first 61 games this year, there were rumors that the Capitals would pursue a veteran goaltender to perhaps supplant one of Washington's 22-year-old options in net, Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov.

General Manager George McPhee has routinely denied that the team would seek to acquire a goaltender most recently stating: "No. We're sticking with these goaltenders. They're playing well and we like them a lot. They've been good for us this year. We're pleased with what they've been doing. We're confident in the goaltenders. We're not making any changes there."

After Neuvirth recorded his third shutout of the season on Monday night with 39 saves against the Penguins, Coach Bruce Boudreau reiterated his support of the duo in an effort to quash the rumors once more.

"He was pretty good," Boudreau said. "He was on top of his game. With Varly allowing one goal [Sunday against Buffalo], I hope that puts to rest that we're going after a goalie."

--The Capitals earned six of a possible 10 points on the recently-completed, five-game road trip and Boudreau dubbed it an overall success. Do you agree?

--More from Hershey on Dmitri Orlov signing a professional tryout contract with the Bears on Tuesday.

--According to a report from the New York Times the NHL is closer to ironing out the details for the Capitals and Rangers to start the 2011-12 season in Russia.

--Many Eastern Conference teams have already made moves to add to their roster before the trade deadline while the Capitals wait. [The Sporting News]

By Katie Carrera  | February 23, 2011; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Report: Capitals and Rangers closer to playing in Russia in 2011-12 opener
Next: Statistical analysis: Scott Hannan's impact



Posted by: jmurray019 | February 23, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

KATIE/Editors- Here's a friendly morning reminder: fix the the first paragraph; just change the word "stating".
No worries. I'm tired too : )

Posted by: oo7 | February 23, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Cap fans! Just read on insider that Clarke MacArthur might be available at the deadline unless he can sign an extension with the Leafs. LW, 25 yrs/old 17g 28a. Thought that was an intriguing possibility.

Hey pokerface (per your post last night about rumors of a deal possibly today)...any insight on that? Players involved etc.?

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 23, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

So by now everyone should have their Season ticket renewal packages. So 13% increase in the cost and if you read the following we are going to lose games too. If they play 2 games, that is 1 home and 1 away game and you can be sure we are going to lose some of the preseason games too. And probably training camp too, at least some of it, probably no rookie game either.

Now if thats not bad enough has anyone even considered the bombing of the Moscow airport recently. Has the NHL lost their minds? They want to send their teams and have loyal fans follow them to Russia after this.

So in brief Gray Bateman is willing not only to put 2 teams and their staff at risk but also fans that may travel all in the effort to grow the game.

Outstanding !!!!!! And great job Ted, let's take games away from our fans and charge them even more. WTF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | February 23, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@ oo7

"stating" is not wrong from what i'm reading.

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 23, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Just great! No news or updates on anything or anyone yet. Where should we look for information on the Washington Capitals?

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 23, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@ bgts

hadn't thought of that. Very good point. However, If i can afford to and can take off work, I would go in a heartbeat.


Posted by: jmurray019 | February 23, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@jmurray- keep reading, buddy, keep reading. By leaving the word 'stating' the paragraph doesn't work. Replace it with the word 'persisted', for example, and then re-read it.

Posted by: oo7 | February 23, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Katie: You may have already asked, but if not, can we get an update on Fehr and Poti?

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 23, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If I remember GMGM stated publicly a few years ago that he was happy with the goaltending. He then went out and got Cristobal Huet, which upset Olie Kolzig.

Anybody got any real rumors? What's happening at Kettler? Is GMGM locked in the "war room", or is he at Denny's having an Eggs over my Hammy? Are the players nervous? Is there any gossip going around? Just curious for some real info...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 23, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I am primed and ready for a day of rumor postings followed by a new article from Katie about a BIG DEAL (not involving my namesake obvi).

I loved catching up this morning and seeing poker's posts. Now I need ThePat to sign on and post that he has heard the same and will almost be lunch time and the day half over.

BTW, wasnt Souray placed on re-entry waivers Sunday or Monday? Was he claimed by anyone?

I think you have been getting PGBP (pure goat blood powder) slipped into your morning oatmeal and your dinner red wine. I got a couple extra fence posts here if you'd like to crawl out of that cave, at least until the 28th. At that point you can either hop down to go spelunking with cstanton1 again or if things go the other way, maybe capscoach will bake you a sweet cherry pie with lattice top in the Kool-Aid Cabin.

Finally (at least for this post), does anyone else feel that perhaps underpants' hate towards Semin may stem from him picking Semin in that Caps fantasy draft thing and getting zero points each time, then the following game he scores a hat trick?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 23, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The first paragraph is more of a run-on sentence. The first paragraph could use a comma or two. But I don't really read anything except the quotes in the blog and this comments section anymore.

Posted by: Doom_and_Gloom | February 23, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Last thread someone was talking about not wanting to go across to Europe because teams tend to start slow after coming back. That is not always true. Boston split in Europe then finished October 6-2 and 5-1 in North America. The Sharks were 5-3-1 after October and 4-3 in North America. The Blue Jackets were 6-4 and 5-3 in NA at the end of October and at one point in November were 14-6. The Wild opened 4-4-2 and 4-3-1 in NA. The Canes were 5-5 but only 3-5 in NA So this year 5 of the 6 were .500 or better at the end of October and 4 of those were .500 or better in North America after cominig back. You can not want them to go but thinking it means a slow start is not always true as this season showed.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Souray cleared waivers with no interest apparently. I guess the Bears get to keep the loaner for a while longer. Not certain what the other options for Souray are now.

Posted by: _Mark | February 23, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse


No one claimed him and he will be back in Hershey this weekend

Posted by: bqts | February 23, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse


Read on espn insider that the Oilers will probably buy out the remainder of his contract this summer.

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 23, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@ _Mark

According to ESPN yesterday Edm will buy him out in the off season.

Posted by: bqts | February 23, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

What's happening with Mcphee? Seriously? I'll tell you whats happening- He's got 19 going to a couple specialists to determine just how serious the fracture in his thumb is; how long will it take to heal; how long is he out for; and then what percentage will its mobility be at come playoff time. Then he has to consider that his #1 center might be seriously injured. In considering that, he has to try to deal for a center that is capable of playing the #1 spot. Why? Because now that Nicki has told everyone his thumb is fractured everyone is going to whack him on the hand starting in round 1 if not before. So given that everyone knows, (keep your mouth shut, Nicki, for gods sake) he has to consider the assumption he might lose Backstrom. Now all the other GM's know that. They know McPhee is between a rock and hard place, and they are going to put the pressure on and make him give up something he doesn't want to give up. His bargaining power just got reduced considerably, his trade plan was seriously altered, and he's looking at picking up more players than he was comfortable trading for in a market that is not conducive to his type of dealing.

You aren't going to hear anything until it happens. No one in the Caps org is leaking anything from GMGM's office. Anything you hear is subterfuge or BS. Like Semin being dangled for Hemsky. Right. We need to replace our currently injured soft RW with another often injured, soft RW.

Until we get the lowdown on Backstrom, there is no need to even think about this stuff. Its a thumb, and if its serious, its a huge issue.

Posted by: oo7 | February 23, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I've decided that the Capitals need Cal Clutterbuck. Whose with me?? Clut-Ter-Buck! Clut-Ter-Buck!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 23, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI no one wanted him even at half price. Most think he is too slow for the AHL anymore.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I don't read the comments enough, but can someone fill me in on how Pokerface is a valid source of info? It seems that everyone is looking to him for info.


Posted by: OviFan08 | February 23, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Nice edit. Tense is correct; subject and verb are in agreement. My morning is getting better ;)

Posted by: oo7 | February 23, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@oo7. I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I think Nick talking is being over rated in your statement. You can't tell me that, especially if he misses even one game, teams scouting the Caps and watching game tape won't be able to figure out where he is hurt? They might not have know it is was the thumb but even watching the play live and seeing his face I knew his hand was hurting. Even the post game writeup on ESPN before Nick said anything talked about him getting slashed in the hand. As soon as he misses one game the entire NHL would know and as soon as GMGM called one other GM he would have a real good idea why all of the sudden he was getting a call from us about a C.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I think the fact that our goalies have shut out the opposition 5 times this season says a lot about them. The last time we've finished a season with more than 5 shutouts was in 2001-02 (6). Between then and now, we usually only get 1-3 shutouts each season.

Posted by: sabredc | February 23, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Swedish machine has never broken. He will play.
See, anyone can make a definitive statement, even if that person doesn't know squat

Posted by: billd2 | February 23, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse


I disagree. Everyone knows we need a 2nd line center. And 19 making a face when he got slashed just means it hurt. But if you come out and say "my thumb is fractured" then no one needs to look at game tape to see how bad he's hurt (which they wouldn't be doing anyway; people wince all the time). The point is, now that the revelation was made by Backstrom, other GM's know that McPhee might need more than just a 2nd line center; He's thin down the middle, and his #1 guy might not make it very far in the post because you can't play with a busted thumb, like you can play with other injuries. Knowing all that, they can squeeze McPhee harder becuase he can't roll into the post season with no #1 C AND no #2 center.
Had Backstrom said nothing, they just think GM's looking for a #2. Backstrom screwed up. The players need to be firmly told not to divulge any injury info. The deadline is a week away. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

Posted by: oo7 | February 23, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse


Poker seems to have a reliable source on the inside. But he is also good at not letting us know too much detail (gotta protect the source after all). He gives clues/hints and most pan out the way or time frame he said they would. ThePat also seems to have a good source of info, and a lot of times the two hear the same things.

Take it for what it's worth, but on here, those 2 have had pretty accurate intel since I have been on here.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 23, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Last fall I remember it being discussed on this very blog by many of us pseudo-experts that if Backstrom got hurt, there was a big problem because there were no veteran Centers behind him. Now here it is. Now the 2C that comes via trade may have to be the 1C if this is serious. Not good.
Furthermore, my point before wasn't really about what GMGM was doing today, but rather being sarcastic about reporters only reporting press releases as opposed to digging for info and asking questions. I mean this is a hockey team, not the dictator ruled nation of Kettlerovia.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 23, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Clut-Ter-Buck! Clut-Ter-Buck!!

I will not rest until he is in a Washington sweater.

Clut-Ter-Buck! Clut-Ter-Buck!!

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 23, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@j3rockstar. I hope you are ready to be very tired then.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@oo7, like I said as soon as he misses game #1 everyone would have known anyway. At worst all Backstrom did was have the information out two days earlier.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@ j3rockstar

May I suggest you buy shares in red bull. It would be a wise move for your plan of action

Posted by: bqts | February 23, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: OviFan08 | February 23, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond, for all we know they are asking the questions and GMGM is saying nothing or telling them he can't answer that question. Would you rather read a stoy about all the questions GMGM was asked but didn't answer. The one time someone on the team actually says something they have people telling them to keep their mouth shut.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Clut-Ter-Buck? :_ (

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 23, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

i know it is just rumors on hockeybuzz, but it says we are in on andy macdonald which wouldn't be too bad....but they also say a possible semin for brent burns trade, I would have to say no to that one

Posted by: _stevo | February 23, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Semin for Brent Burns AND Cal Clutterbuck. GMGM can even sweeten the pot by throwing in one, slightly used Tom Poti.

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 23, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Are we really that bored that we have to critique the journalist's writing, I say who gives a rats pituty. I mean at least there is a blog 20 years ago there wasn't crap. Granted katie is easy on the eye's at least the photos make her look that way but they can be doctored. Remember they are in DC with a petty Owner in Snyder so they probably walk on egg shells thinking t Ted might just be the same way and kick them out of the building so I say cut the poor girl some slack.

Posted by: koppleschloss | February 23, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

woke up this morning and we still have half a playoff team? Is GMGM working? Everyone in front of us is loading up. Let's GO!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 23, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

And I'm being dead serious about that.

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 23, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Not sure Nicky just made a face. If I recall correctly, at one point he punched LeTang in the face. My guess is that happened right after the slash.

Only the second time in his career I can remember him getting visually pissed off.

Posted by: saintex | February 23, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

No to any of the YoungGuns trade (excluding Laich, was he ever consider part of the group?)... everybody else is fair game.

Posted by: guer_j | February 23, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ThePat | February 23, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse


George has sign a contract to model next years scarf collection

Posted by: bqts | February 23, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I am fine with throwing in Poti or Sloan to "sweeten" if thats what you'd call it a deal, but if we do that, then we need to go get another D man...7 is not enough for this team come playoffs.

Erskine, Poti, and Green are all very injury prone...add on that our first round opponent would likely be Pitt...I doubt we can eake out of that one without injuries.

Posted by: capscoach | February 23, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: SAOTI says you will bake me a cherry pie if I come back to the Kool Aid cabin. True?

oo7: Backie being hurt now gives McPhee a built-in excuse.

jmurray. Funny about MacArthur. ATL traded a 2 and 3 last deadline to get him from BUF, then wouldn't match the $2.6M arbitration figure. Now he is outperforming the arbitration award, much less what he signed for.

Finally, how do those professional tryout contracts (Orlov) work? I thought they were limited for a certain number of games? Can he play the rest of the season and the playoffs? Is he not signing an NHL deal because we are near the max (50) and McPhee wants to manintain flexibility? Does this mean once deadline is passed and we have a slot he signs an EL contract?

Finally, getting Burns or N Schultz and then Clutterbuck (and Brunette?) from MIN would be worth pursuing.

Semin and Jeff Schultz can be part of that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 23, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse


I bribe my students...not grown men :) follow your bliss!

Posted by: capscoach | February 23, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

In the last two seasons my season ticket price has now almost doubled. Wow Ted.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 23, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yeah He has learned well under Snyder's tuitledge SHow Me the Money

Posted by: koppleschloss | February 23, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse


... there mqybe a correlation between the ticket price and the total points of the team at the end of the season ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 23, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Per Katie:

Hendricks just signed 2 year $1.6M deal. That seems like a good deal to me.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | February 23, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

How can these guys forget all of the soft goals at the beginning of the season? These guys might get us to the second round but no further. Too much pressure - especially when the D lets down a bit. A good goalie should be able to cover for poor defense a couple times in every game. At lease bring in an experienced goalie so you have playoff seasoned guy for backup.

Posted by: JunkGoal | February 23, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if we'll ever hear the end of criticisms about Neuvirth and Varlamov being too inexperienced or something like that - the Caps could win the Stanley Cup this season and I bet some people would still not give the goalies credit.

They've given us every reason to have faith in them - and I for one trust these two guys as much as I trust any other member of this team to bend over backwards to win.

Posted by: ajcb | February 24, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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