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Poll: Who Should Start in Anaheim?

Okay, while I'm waiting to get GM George McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau on the phone -- they are already in California -- I thought I would throw this question out there: Who deserves to start tomorrow against the Ducks? I've got to admit that I'm torn.

Brent Johnson, who was outstanding before going down with a hip injury, told me yesterday that he's 100-percent. Jose Theodore, meantime, was lights out against New Jersey on Friday and pretty good on Saturday, despite permitting five goals in regulation.

Check back later for an injury update following the team's practice in Anaheim this afternoon. I will be joining the road trip tomorrow morning, hopefully in time for the pre-game skate.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 18, 2008; 1:57 PM ET
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Next: Semin Doubtful For Tomorrow


Johnson was playing well. If he is 100% let him go.

They will split starts the next two more then likely wont they?

Posted by: SA-Town | November 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd go with JT on Wed and BJ on Thur. Whoever has the better game gets the nod for Sat.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Score 6 goals against the Ducks - who cares who is in net? I picked the backup goalie, BTW... woahdupaminute? Which one is that?

Posted by: _828 | November 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Tough question.

I say Jose just because he's playing well, and you want to see him keep up consistency. Not only that, but an extra day of healing for Johnny going to LA is never a bad thing.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Play Johnny until he falters, if ever!

Posted by: _jordan | November 18, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

And here...we...go.

Posted by: Section117 | November 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm with DrinkingPartner and cbs75. Let them split the starts on Wednesday and Thursday, and whoever does better gets the nod for Saturday. I really do think wthat we don't have a #1 and a backup so much as a goalie tandem. Let's make the most of it.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Johnson. he was on a streak and his play earned it. see if he can get a roll. He should have gotten the nod more last year. theo hasn't played well enuff to keep johnnie down. the first shot/ first goal on Saturday should seal it.

Posted by: oo7 | November 18, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, TEB - what, did you miss your plane after the party? XD Must've been some party!

Posted by: kittypawz | November 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Theodore gets the start!

Posted by: reesem37 | November 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mnmnt_snow | November 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Johnny and only Johnny should be in goal until he's tired and needs a rest...

Posted by: Berndaddy | November 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Jose, because lately he's been making some UNBELIEVABLE and game saving saves. I blame many of those 5 goals against the Devils on the defense, not on him.... he should get the start.

Posted by: rachel216 | November 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's be fair. I'm actually a Kings fan, (one of 4 in DC), and if JT starts against the Ducks and loses and BJ starts against the Kings, and team loses and then wins, its not exactly a fair comparison. As much as it pains me to say: The Kings stink. And more pain: The Ducks are much better. Still more pain: The Sharks are better still.

That's a rather long-winded way of saying JT is a more proven goalie. If he plays well agasint the Ducks he should start agaisnt the Sharks. If they want to give Johnson the start against the Kings, fine. But unless Jose sucks in a loss, there's no reason to give the start in SJ to Johnson.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | November 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I did not miss my flight. I always travel day of game.

Posted by: el_bashir | November 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse


I'm a Kings fan too.

Have you not been watching them lately? They don't suck when Ersberg is in net and that fatty Labarbera is riding bench. They're tight defensively and only allow like 2 goals per game. When Kopitar and O'Sullivan start scoring regularly, they're going to be scary.

With that said, I hope the Caps crush them. Gently!

Posted by: _jordan | November 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Theo on Weds, Johnny on Thurs unless Theo has an unreal game on Weds.

Posted by: Steve_R | November 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

When Huet came to town, the whole team left everything they had on the ice, since the playoffs were on the line. There's been what, two games or so, that I've seen that happen from start to finish this season?

Put Theodore in goal and let him get his rhythm. He looked good during warmups last Friday and really good during the game. He's still got to get used to the team and if they're not giving 110% each game and letting up and slacking during some stretches of the game, it's going to lead to goals, regardless of who's in net.

BJ has been here for a while so they're gonna rally around him a bit more and play a bit more.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | November 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse


If you can bring back 2 Garlicky Shrimp burrito from the San Francisco Tin Fish, I'll make you a very rich man.

Posted by: Section117 | November 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R reflects my sentiment

Posted by: MTB7 | November 18, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet Theo is first in line for starts coming up because...he has much more experience playing against Western Conf teams. Especially Minnesota.

BB already used Theo on the earlier western swing, and I seem to recall a quote saying prior experience was a factor.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S from last post
The over 60 league I play in, is at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. they have an over 50 also. I think they allow two or three players under 60 on the over 60 league and one team is looking for players. It's a four team league, actually pretty good as some of the skaters played in college.
\Thats on Fri nights 7:30 and 9.
I play in the "Grumpy Old Men" game down in Fredericksburg VA on Wed nights at 9. A fast paced pickup for 1 1/2 hour. Very good hockey, just no refs, don't count goals and fast paced, lots' of ice time.

Posted by: billd2 | November 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll wait for the wheel chair league. I'm so out of shape... Oh, wait! Round is a shape, isn't it?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

OK. We've heard from 2 of the 4 Kings' fans.

I'm pretty impressed with the number of lurkers there are on this blog. When I last refreshed there were 476,098 votes. Seems like most of them came from...Montreal??

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

He's supposed to be our #1
He finally played like it the other night - now he needs to show consistency with two good outings in a row, the kind of production you expect from your #1. BJ is a great backup, but he's a backup - if he becomes the defacto starter he'll wind up breaking our hearts at some point.
Get your #1 going, put Theodore in.

Posted by: ajtrue78 | November 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm impressed by the sheer amount of votes. Lots of readers, Tarik (or different computers, at least).

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 18, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Johnson was playing great, but Jose has been better lately, and he is the #1. I don't believe rotating goalies or controversies are necessarily good for a team. Pay-wise, Jose is the #1. I say play Johnson either Anaheim or LA, but not both. And play Jose vs San Jose.

Posted by: GoCaps08 | November 18, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse


In preseason, I picked Detroit coming out of the West to repeat for the SC Finals. I also said they'd have to beat SJS to get there. They sure look to have a monstrous team this year. Their new coach is the guy I thought would really do well here for the Caps. They picked very well. McClellan will be in the NHL for a very long time.

Unfortunately, the Sharks will be well rested by the time we get there on the 22nd.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Theodore was also great on the earlier road trip out west...if i remember correctly he stopped 32/34 against calgary and had another good game against a team out there. The Caps just couldn't provide the offense. Also with Theodore being in Colorado last year, he saw a lot more of those west coast teams. I would start him two out of the three.

Posted by: reesem37 | November 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Theo needs to play. We need to see if he get's better with PT,since he's on a mini-roll.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 18, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that JT will be in net against Anaheim and, SJ if he does well in Anaheim. BJ will be at LA and possibly SJ if JT can't handle Ana.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

In case you missed it last night. Jason Arnott and Joe Pavelski collided in front of SJ's net. Joe went into his goalie, Arnott went head first into the corner of the net. He was carried off the ice on a backboard and was motionless. Thankfully, the hockey gods were watching over him.

"Arnott is going to be fine," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "He was released from the hospital and came back to the arena to change clothes before going home. It looks like it is just a neck strain."

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

From The Hockey News. As if WE haven't fanned the flames enough...

"You can feel things heating up in the American capital.

"After a very ho-hum start, the Washington Capitals are coming to life. Everybody knows Alex Ovechkin got off to a horrid start – and those same people had to know it couldn’t last.

"Ovie has five goals and 10 points in his past four games and sophomore Nicklas Backstrom juked his jinx by posting 10 points in his past three games.

"The only thing that will stand between the Caps and a runaway Southeast title is the men between the pipes. Jose Theodore, a.k.a. Plan B after Cristobal Huet left town, has looked good at times; others, not so much. And backup Brent Johnson isn’t going to get it done over the long haul.

"With top-notch goaltending, this team would be as likely as any to come out of the East."

Posted by: Greg S. | November 18, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess you could count my "well, if I have to pick a West Coast team to sorta like", add another 0.5 of a fan to the Kings' fan roster. Blaming it all on Jordan.

I'm going to agree with most folks and go with Jose against the Ducks. As much as I love Johnny and think he deserves a shot, we need Jose to prove he can be our #1 for the rest of this season and next or he's the most expensive backup outside of Chicago. And nobody likes an expensive backup. Johnny will definitely play a game out there, but I think we give Jose the first shot(and pray he blocks it and controls the rebound).

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | November 18, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The JT love is irrational and unfathomable. Johnny has outplayed him in every concievable way, has better stats and tends to stop the first shot on goal. It is just weird!

Posted by: majiksea | November 18, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

From Buccigross/ESPN today:

OK, here are Bucci's top four power rankings for each conference. Keep in mind, my rankings are not so much based on performance thus far; they are based on who I see are the toughest teams to beat in a best-of-seven series come playoff time.

Eastern Conference: 1. Pittsburgh; 2. Washington; 3. Montreal; 4. New York Rangers
Western Conference: 1. Detroit; 2. San Jose; 3. Minnesota; 4. Anaheim

I'm fairly confident that the 2009 Stanley Cup finals will be Pittsburgh or Washington or Montreal versus Detroit or San Jose.

Posted by: NJNJ | November 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans check out:

Posted by: bagasome | November 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

NJNJ: Then this westward swing will be a very, very good barometer and test for the Caps; they face three out of four of those West Coast teams on this swing.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 18, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

By the way is a malicious website that will infect your computer and cause massive damage to your computer, never look at it!

Posted by: majiksea | November 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Johnny...definitely Johnny!

Posted by: caryh | November 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Gotta go with Theodore. It's all well and good to give him time off to get alittle more prepared, but at some point there's just no substitute for playing time. Theodore also played pretty well against the Devils in both games even if he let in 5 (or 6 with the shootout) in the second game.

Posted by: alee06 | November 19, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Come on, people. Johnson. If you've ever watched Theodore, at least over the last 5 + years, you know the only thing consistent about his game is that it's inconsistent. And if he allows one in early, you're in for a long night. The reason they call him Three-or-more? He earned it.

Go with Johnson; he was playing great before the injury (and it's not like he's been out a month). He gives you a better chance of winning on any given night. And hope to upgrade later in the season.

Posted by: sinbin | November 19, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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