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Posted at 7:01 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Poll: Are you worried about the Capitals' health in goal?

By Katie Carrera

Entering tomorrow's game against the Islanders, Capitals goalies Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth have missed parts of at least 20 and 13 games respectively with injury or illness, leaving only about a third of the contests in which both have been available. Both already have a history of injuries -- from hip and groin to knee problems -- in their still-young professional careers, and durability may be the biggest hurdle for each player to overcome.

Read the full story here, and then weigh in:

By Katie Carrera  | January 19, 2011; 7:01 PM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Poll, Semyon Varlamov  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alex Ovechkin: 'You have to go there and fight for that puck'
Next: A look at how other teams with two goalies split duties

Comments

Anyone watching the Rags/Leafs game? Rags scored 4 goals in the first 15 minutes.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 19, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I really like Kevin Weeks, he has valuable insight & really seems like he is on the ball. IMO part of the injury problem is the young goalies reporting minor injuries & the Caps trying to protect them. With that said, I'm very nervous when the Caps report that Varly is injured (because of the history).
If the Caps trade for an experienced goalie, what does this do to the mental makeup of the goalie they send down?

Posted by: chriscaps | January 19, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought with Brandon Dubinsky out the Rangers were going to struggle scoring. Gaborik is taking the team on his back right now, which with him means he will be hurt by Sunday.

As for the goalies the two teams I like and follow both have their two goalie hurt (the other being Detroit) and the two situations feel different. With Detroit Howard has never had injury issues this was just a freak thing but for the Caps Varly does and Neuvy is starting to with this being his second one this season. I am more worried about the Caps for that reason. But if both are healthy at playoff time then I don't think there will be any issues because there are almost never back to backs in the playoffs which will give whoever is our starter less stress. I think the stress of starting every game eary including back to backs is part of what hurt Neuvy in the first place.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 19, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Varly, if he stays healthy can win the "big
ugly cup".

Backstrom has got to stop hitting posts and become a real scoring threat, or we're done.

Laich has got to start playing like he wants die trying to win the the "big ugly."

Ovi will show for the playoffs.

Knuble's goal was nice a "playoff hockey" goal.

Giroux skated through 3 guys. Opps!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 19, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

"It's disappointing to lose again in overtime. Isn't that when our skill players are supposed to dominate? Anyway, BB's exasperated looks are sooooo old and I think the critical comments of him here are pretty accurate. Bring on the Islanders!!"
Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 12:12 AM | Report abuse

"I don't like that Erskine's not practicing because, as we all know, HOW HE GOES THE TEAM GOES. "
Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 12:10 PM

Is there an echo in here??

Sheez! Now we can look forward to you quoting yourself every twelve hours?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 19, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

@wiley

You gotta' love Vermont's attitude. I almost want him behind the glass motivating our boys during the playoffs. Vermont is so intense that he may tell Poti to "Step aside, let me show ya' how to throw an open ice hit at the blue, baby"

I can see Vermont actually laying out Richards, or Avery, or Talbot. Downside to vermont on the bench is that he may actually kill BB if Erskine sits.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 19, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@wiley

You gotta' love Vermont's attitude. I almost want him behind the glass motivating our boys during the playoffs. Vermont is so intense that he may tell Poti to "Step aside, let me show ya' how to throw an open ice hit at the blue, baby"

I can see Vermont actually laying out Richards, or Avery, or Talbot. Downside to vermont on the bench is that he may actually kill BB if Erskine sits.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 19, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm mainly worried about the "mental health" of a bunch of guys that keep talking about 60 minutes, but only play "panic hockey" well.

It's the Flyers. Play your rear end of every shift. Send a message.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | January 19, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I bet vermontcaps hits harder & more often than Poti. I wasn't the best player but, I hit more often & harder than Poti (if my mom played, she would hit harder & more often than Poti). Poti plays a soft game. Not that I blame him, if I got hurt everytime I got on the ice, I wouldn't hit either (actually, I would check my own mother if she got on the ice).
I like Erskine but, "I don't like that Erskine's not practicing because, as we all know, HOW HE GOES THE TEAM GOES. "
Come on isn't that a little over the edge?

Posted by: chriscaps | January 20, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Orr was an idiot all night tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | January 20, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I post late because I now live on the West coast.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 20, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I am so less worried about personnel than leadership and coaching. This team needs a switch from OV to Laich as C and a new coach that'd recognize that one is a great talent and the other is a great leader.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 20, 2011 5:33 AM | Report abuse

I am so less worried about personnel than leadership and coaching. This team needs a switch from OV to Laich as C and a new coach that'd recognize that one is a great talent and the other is a great leader.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 20, 2011 5:34 AM | Report abuse

If the Flyers were the Capitals our fans here in CI would say they are winning the wrong way. Against the Rangers they almost blew a 3-0, won 3-2, and held on, literally, they were incapable of getting the puck over center ice, I'm not exaggerating. Against the Capitals they blew a 2-0 lead.

Tonight's game is a lose-lose for the Capitals as far as the response I expect to see in here. If they win, they were supposed to win because the Islanders are bottom dwellers.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 20, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

@Hunter -I agree with you 100% about the mental health of the team more so than the physical health of the goalies.

To quote one of my favorite movies of all time: "It's time to nut up or shut up!"

All this talk means nothing until you do it on the ice.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 20, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Ovechkin..."You got to get in their and fight for that puck"...

1) Is the word "puck" an alcoholic beverage? In that case...you have been very successful.

2) What if it's optional? Do you still go fight for it?

On a less humorous side...that was the best period Optional has played (the 3rd) in a very LONG time. Same with Backs.

BUILD ON IT!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 20, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

To me the results of the poll are unbelievable. Two 22 year old goalies that have had this many injuries concerns me. And yet it doesn't concern (or worry) 47% of you?! I'm not saying they won't work through this and go on to have long successful careers, but until they play injury free for and extended period of time, more than 12-15 games, I'm concerned.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 20, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"Tonight's game is a lose-lose for the Capitals as far as the response I expect to see in here. If they win, they were supposed to win because the Islanders are bottom dwellers."

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 20, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

*********************************

What I liked about last season was that the Caps appeared to want to dominate everything - and they were doing that up until the trade deadline when the games started to all be close...

What is wrong with wanting to win the Stanley Cup but also going down historically as one of the best teams to do so - ever

I want a team that starts well and finishes well, and pulls out every game....we should beat the Islanders in the first period --- I was down that road last year and just can't get comfortable rising for a game here or there or sometimes....I am certain if a team concentrated on ultimate domination they would slay many demons along the way.

I don't think the Islanders or the Leafs fear the Caps this year like they might have last year.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | January 20, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

@Hunter -I agree with you 100% The mental health of the team is more important than the health of the young goalies. They'll be fine.

To quote one of my favorite movies "It's time to nut up or shut up!"

Talking about playing 60 minutes means nothing until you actually do it on a consistent basis.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 20, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

John Stevens is not the droid you are looking for.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 20, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

@everyone -sorry for the double post, the caffiene hasn't kicked in just yet.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 20, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"I want a team that starts well and finishes well, and pulls out every game....we should beat the Islanders in the first period --- I was down that road last year and just can't get comfortable rising for a game here or there or sometimes....I am certain if a team concentrated on ultimate domination they would slay many demons along the way."

a. finishes well
b. pulls out
c. rising for a game
d. domination
e. slay

Enough with the dirty talk. This is a hockey board.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 20, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Let Holtby play...3 is a crowd!!!

Posted by: choptank17 | January 20, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Who is responsible for the strength, conditioning and training of our goalies? Whoever it is, should be fired. When athletes in their early 20s are routinely suffering groin injuries at a position (goalie)in a sport (hockey) where the groing muscles are the lynchpin to how well you are able to perform on the ice, someone is not taking proper preventive steps to condition these athletes to withstand the wear and tear on the groin muscles that occurs night in and night out as a goalie in the NHL. Other teams have goalies 10 and 15 years older who are able to go night in and night out and remain healthy, at points in their career where their bodies should be more vulnerable to injury, yet the Caps young goalies are constantly suffering the same injuries. This is more about the conditioning they are being put through, or lack thereof, than the rigors of the job or the health of the goalies themselves.

Posted by: opticlguy | January 20, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

TO NOT TRADE ANY OF THE GOALIES. Having solid young goalies like Neuvy, Varly, and Holtby, is not a bad thing at all. Any one of these guys (or all of them) could be the next Patrick Roy. How did trades like Don Beaupre, Rick Tabaracci, Jose Theodore, Jim Carey, etc. work out for us? - lots of choking in the playoffs, huh?

Then there was Olie the goalie. We drafted him in 1989, and look at that example of what happens when you stick it out with a goalie. Only time we ever made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

Let's not forget the real Ice Hockey season starts in April. This 'regular' season is just the exhibition season.

I'm more worried about the Caps defense and the offense that seems to be non-existent at times. Semin, Ovi, and Backstrom have been struggling to get points all season. The Caps closed up shop for more than half of December, opened up around the holidays and at the winter classic, and they appear to be closed up again. They also better figure out that Tampa Bay goalie too.

The guys on the Caps are the only hope to getting a championship back in town since 1991. The rough patch of the past two months is good for team and character building. Let 'em suffer together and see how much stronger they come out on the other side (hopefully the rough patch ends before Feb).

Go Caps!

Posted by: 50Eagle | January 21, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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