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Post Practice Update (Update)

I'm writing about the Caps' struggling penalty kill vs. the Red Wings' top-ranked power play for tomorrow's paper. But I've got to run downtown, so I don't have long to blog.

Here's what I've got from today's rare afternoon practice:

*Tom Poti will be back in the lineup tomorrow after missing 15 games with a groin muscle pull. That should be a tremendous help for the penalty kill unit, which has yielded a goal in nine consecutive games. He is the ice-time leader when the Caps are shorthanded and is good about getting the puck down the ice (on his first attempt).

"He makes the right play," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Poti. "That's what experience does."

*Poti's return will give the Caps all of their players in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 6. Wow.

"Defense are the hardest positions to get back," Boudreau said. "With forwards you can sort of recover. Tom is a good defenseman. He's going to take some ice time away from Mike Green, who [in turn] will be fresher. So instead of Mike playing 30 minutes a night, he'll play his usual 23 or 24 minutes."

*Boudreau wouldn't commit to the lines he rolled out at the start of practice.

"I change around from day-to-day," Boudreau said. "So we'll see. I want to talk to Feds and Alex and Alex. I didn't just want to throw them out there [tomorrow]. I wanted to give them a practice and see how they feel."

Boudreau didn't give a reason for the change. But it probably has something to do with this: since beating Pittsburgh 6-3, the Caps have scored only two goals in each of the past four games.

*Boudreau wouldn't go into specifics when talking about what was changed on the penalty kill, but based on practice it's obvious that Poti and David Steckel are going to be two of the go-to guys.

Assistant coach Dean Evason, meantime, said that he stressed showing more patience and composure with the puck, especially down low, and better communication as keys to improving the penalty kill, which ranks 24th and faces its biggest challenge of the season tomorrow with Tomas Holmstrom and Co. in town.

"It starts with Holmstrom -- the goaltender has no idea where the puck is going," said Evason, who works on the penalty kill. "Then you add Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa and Rafalski -- and that's only the first unit."

On the Caps' penalty kill, Evason said: "We can talk about composure and being calm and when we have pucks on our sticks we have to have the ability to get it down the ice. but that stuff comes with experience. Look at who's killing penalties. We have good people back there, and they are going to be great penalty killers. But we're relatively inexperienced back there."

*The Red Wings are 0-3-1 in their last four games and it's unclear whether they will have Henrik Zetterberg back in the lineup tomorrow. Zetterberg, who just signed 12 year, $73 million contract earlier this week, missed the Wings' 4-2 loss to Dallas last night with back spasms.

That's it for now. I've got to scramble downtown for a television appearance and write a story.

Update:
*Katie here with a quick development: According to the Detroit Free Press both Zetterberg (back spasms) and Holmstrom (groin) will miss tomorrow's game at Verizon Center and Jiri Hudler is questionable.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 30, 2009; 2:38 PM ET
 
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Next: Today's Lineup

Comments

Not first?

Posted by: Dave28 | January 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Semin was asked about playing against Nick Lidstrom:

What's so special about [Lidstrom]? I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else.

------------
Looks like Alex isnt impressed.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 30, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

from last post: @atybat
I'm not saying the Russian line is going to be our ticket to playoffs, but change is good. And who knows, with Feds yelling at Semin to stop being so fancy when he goes to the net, maybe he'll actually listen. maybe...

Posted by: abuddy2004 | January 30, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

OK. Good practice, sounds like, so the boys should be good and ready. And they have to know how important this game is.

So: LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 30, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

got two more checks in the mail today. Total is up to $160. Keep em coming Caps Insiders

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 30, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

We know who's in goal for the Wings? Conklin scares me more than Osgood. Probably the ex-Pens factor...

Posted by: katzistan | January 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@Sombreroguy

I saw a guy wearing a big red hat during the last home game. I couldn't tell if it was a sombrero or a cowboy hat, was that you?

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 30, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

No Zetterburg and Holmstrom is nice...hopefully we still come out with the focus and energy as if they are playing.

Posted by: ThePat | January 30, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Zetterberg AND Holmstrom out?!? WOO HOO!!!

Here is the article that Steve mentioned:

"Staying on the goaltending theme, the most intriguing rumor around Montreal last weekend involved the Capitals and what their plan may be come playoff time. Various sources close to the team suggested Simeon Varlamov (16-5-0 with Hershey) will be recalled and assume the No. 1 role heading into the post-season."

What I don't get is, if that is really the plan, then why wait? Bring him up sooner than later.

Posted by: Boo- | January 30, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

We know who's in goal for the Wings? Conklin scares me more than Osgood.

Well Osgood got the hook last night, so you might be scared tomorrow.

Posted by: Section117 | January 30, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yay no Zetterberg! Now we really must beat the Wings. We need to snap out of this scoring 2 goals every game streak.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 30, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Boo - yes, I am sure the Caps already have plans to let Varlamov magically assume the No. 1 role, considering his convincing 2-game NHL career...

That is a silly rumor.

Posted by: katzistan | January 30, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"It starts with Holmstrom -- the goaltender has no idea where the puck is going," said Evason, who works on the penalty kill. "Then you add Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa and Rafalski -- and that's only the first unit."

Well, it's good Holmstrom and Zetterberg are out - they can be really tough with 6 skaters (+ goalie) on that first PP unit! :-)

Posted by: yosemite_sam | January 30, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

katzistan:
I would not call it a silly rumor as much as a confused one. There is probably some validity in there somewhere, but the real story was lost in translation (kind of like a game of telephone).

Posted by: Boo- | January 30, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

1)The Ovechkin-Fedorov-Semin or The Red Line could be formidable. Only problem is it clusters the teams best forwards together and reduces Kozlov's role, and Nylander has yet another set of line mates to get accustomed to
2) The 3rd pairing of Schultz-Jurcina has disaster written all over it! Amazing how the team misses a 20 year old(Alzner) With him they could throw out 3 decent parings.
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: fauxrumors | January 30, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You can't bring him up till he's more proven in the season. You throw into a 7 game series by game 3 they will figure that young man out. Don't you guys remember what the Pens did to Jim Carey in his 1st play of series (up 3 games then torched him)

Posted by: Cap_goilie_wantabe | January 30, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: Holmstrom & Zetterberg - My usual disclaimer applies. Hope (as a person) they get better soon! As a hockey fan, I'm glad they aren't playing US!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 30, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I know this might come across as crazy, but if you think about it makes some sense with the handing over the reigns to Varlamov. With JT playing so well, maybe he is used as trade bait when the deadline nears. While I wouldn't do that, they might be ready to go with Varly.

Posted by: ThePat | January 30, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

First?

Posted by: crazycarl16 | January 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat - Interesting, but highly unlikely. JT has a two-year deal with us. Johnson is UFA at the end of this season. Of the two, we'd be much more likely to trade Johnny than Theo, IMO.

Posted by: irockthered | January 30, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually I'm not happy that they're not playing. Not only the game will not be as good, but they can teach us a thing or two or two thousand about parking in the crease and being 60 minutes consistent.

Posted by: mauree | January 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The Caps should not ride with Varlamov this season. Not even to use him as backup next season. Wait until 2010-11. Keep Johnson and Theodore. Goalies need more time to develop or else they will struggle in the future. Just ask Lehtonen or Carey Price.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | January 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@ IRTR,

I understand that. Who would have thought Montreal would have given Huet up last year. Things unexpectedly happen at the deadline and I would not put that type of move past McPhee if it met a solid D man coming back this way.

I don't think we should do it, especially if JT is playing as well as he is now. Just bringing it up as a possibility.

Posted by: ThePat | January 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Keep Johnson, and when Varly is ready use Johnny as the backup and to mentor Simeon. Just my idea, you can agree or disagree. I'm sure many will disagree

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | January 30, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The only way you see Simeon Varlamov on the Caps come mid April is if JT60 or Johnny are injured. Even then, doubt he’d be the starter
http://newfaux.blogspot.com/

Posted by: fauxrumors | January 30, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll agree with IRTR on this.

After last season when it became clear that we were looking for a #1 goalie, the objective was to get a guy in for 2 seasons. That would give 1 season (this one) for the goalies to play in Hershey, and one to be mentored (next year) with the Caps. This is one of the reasons JT's contract was so appealing.

Bringing up Varlamov in March makes sense only if we trade BJ by the deadline. This also makes sense in that we could get picks or a blue liner for BJ. Varlamov could then share the workload with JT up to the playoffs, and backup JT in them.

The biggest fly in the ointment that I see is if JT is injured, we have a very green goalie in net with a fairly porous D in the post-season. And who's behind him? An even greener goalie with zero NHL exposure.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, btw, koalatek. Just saw your response.

To anyone at practice, how did they look as a whole?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 30, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

mauree's right, this is a drag Zetterberg and Holmstrom aren't playing... we need to see how we stack up against the best, to really see where we are. Caps have had a lot of smoke blown up (at them), but the truth is they're barely beating the best teams, by single, sometimes fluky goals, and then turning around and losing against teams that should have no business keeping it close with them...

a lot of Caps wins over the past month easily could have gone the other way if not for a bounce or two... we need to be playing against the best to keep everything in perspective. For this reason the weaker schedule in teh 2nd half of the season scares me...

also, as fans we should all want to go witness those guys on the ice.

Posted by: capsfan7 | January 30, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Mauree,

Yes they're good, but the sun doesn't rise and set on the Red Wings.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan7

you can actually say the same thing about a lot of our losses to, in reference to the other team. recently its been too many tight games in general for my liking.

am still hoping for that GMGM magic come the 4th...

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Now, if we can just get Lidstrom to skip another all star between now and tomorrow, we would be in great shape...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 30, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg S is right. No way could anybody be thinking of making Varlamov #1 goalie. It is a silly rumor for so many reasons. They have invested a lot of money in Theo and he is finally rising to expectations. And Varly is still untested on this level, and has not established a consisten track record even at Hershey. By the way he hasn't played since 1/14, following two consecutive bad performances. Does anyone know what's up with him?

Does anyone think they may give up Johnson and bring Nik Backstrom? They could have two #1 goalies.

Posted by: caraveli | January 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

oops, spell check. I meant to say "consistent"

Posted by: caraveli | January 30, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I want to see the best hockey possible, period. The best our foes have to offer is what we are paying for so I say, bring it on. I'm sure other teams would be disappointed if say, Ovie or Sasha were not in the lineup that night.

Also, I see BJ not being with us after this year, and JT and Varly backstopping us this time next year. Just my two cents.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 30, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

What I don't get is, if that is really the plan, then why wait? Bring him up sooner than later.

Posted by: Boo- | January 30, 2009 3:18 PM

Mr. Varlamov, meet Mr. Salary Cap. barring injury or trade, no room for him now. will be come playoff time. i think it makes sense to move brent at the deadline as he will be a UFA and he has shown he can still play. by then they will hopefully have some cap money to bring up varly. remember that he makes about $400K more than BJ...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 30, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"JT and Varly backstopping us this time next year" makes sense. It's the only reasonable scenario I can think of.

Posted by: caraveli | January 30, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Varly plays great for a week or two and then the groin injury flares up. Let's wait till he's proven healthy before we even think about him in a Caps uniform. The rest of this year in Hershey, and maybe even part of next season is not a bad thing for him.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

right, richmondphil, and many of these games were without their stars... going back at least to 1/3, against Rangers without Lundqvist, 1/6 Philly wihtout Carter, 1/9 Columbus w/o Nash, was Pittsburgh missing Fleury?, and Kessel was out for Boston 1/17...

so we really need a chance to see what we do against a full deck

granted we were also missing, but you can't say Poti is the same loss as Lundqvist, carter, Zetterberg or even Kessel

I'm bumming no Zetterberg, I've been looking to this game for months

Posted by: capsfan7 | January 30, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Making the assumption that Johnson isn't traded this season the question going into the off-season is this:

Does Varlamov get more out starting 25ish games for the Caps or starting 60+ games for the Bears. While Varlamov looked great in his two games there were plenty of comments made by the Caps suggesting there is a lot of work they still envision Varly needing.

With JT making 4.5 mil next season, and considering how he's played the last month, it seems like it may be a bit premature to assume Varlamov is going to be here next season.

I wouldn't be too surprised to see Brent sign for another year (or even 2) with the thought that Varlamov would be ready to be the starter in 2010-2011 with Johnson still here as the backup and Theo being gone (as was likely the plan dating back to the day Theo was signed).

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 30, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan,

Are you related to Bernie or just a fan? I knew his daughter well.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 30, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1:
I realize that but the article makes it sound like they are going to wait until the bitter end. If they're gonna do it they can get the wheels in motion sooner than later to make the room that they need.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 30, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

(REPOST)

@Rhino40 - Especially since Fedorov defected from the USSR to come and play in the NHL in the first place...

Posted by: irockthered | January 30, 2009 2:48 PM

@irockthered--

To clarify:

When I said "Socialist Realism", I was referring to an overall artistic STYLE similar to that of some of the propaganda posters seen during the Cold War...you know, the kind with Marx, Engels, Lenin, et al. looking away to the horizon, etc...

In other words, I'm all for artwork casting 8/28/91/25 in such an heroic tableau.

That said, I definitely DID NOT mean to suggest inclusion of the hammer-and-sickle or any other Soviet-era ***emblems*** in said banner.

As far as the caption is concerned, I simply thought we--as an intelligent fan base--could do far better than simply writing English words with some of the letters backwards (e.g., "ЯUSSIAИ MACHIИE")...

I hope that I've made clear that absolutely no offense to anyone is intended from my suggestion. However I might also offer the following to keep things in perspective:

Many years ago, a person's life could be totally ruined by merely **suggesting** that that person knew someone, who knew someone else, who knew yet another person, who may have considered attending a Communist Party meeting ONE TIME to chase after some random girl while in college...

That was beacuse--at that time--Communism was regarded as a dire threat not only to our American way of life, but perhaps our very existence.


Nowadays, calling someone a Communist is tantamount to calling them a fool, because most of us now regard Communism less as an ideology of evil than as simply a failed economic theory.

(of course there are also those who might argue that Capitalism isn't looking so hot right now either).


but I digress...


Bottom Line: My whole idea is NOT intended as a promotion of what history has shown to be a repressive and brutal regime. Rather, as an enthusiastic expression of the high esteem in which we hold our Russian stars, as well as a recognition of (and respect for) where they come from.


Like it or not, they ARE our Heroes, and they WILL Revolutionize the way the rest of the NHL looks at DC.


'nuff said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 30, 2009 5:36 PM

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 30, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Jeff

It wouldn't surprise me either way with either Varlamov or BJ here next year.

It would be nice for Varlamov's training to feel the faster pace more than he would at AHL for the experience sake. Plus to have JT mentoring him during that time directly couldn't possibly hurt. Having them share the load next year would allow that, and keep JT fresh for the playoffs. That's not a bad deal.

To do this, though, we would want to trade BJ in March. Allowing a UFA to walk without getting SOMETHING just goes against my yankee frugality genes.

On the other hand, we could probably sign BJ for a 1 year deal and keep the tandem we have. Problem there is then the following year we have 2 green goalies starting.

Like I said, I could see either scenario playing out.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 30, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Drinking Partner,
As a whole, I think the chemistry was there, obviously. Lots of work on passing, and PK. I was overall impressed by MOST of the players efforts today. I think the CCCC game last night helped them a bit if that makes sense? I was however not impressed by schultzy, but then again I think theres a general consensus he's not up to par. IMO we are setting ourselves up when we put him on a line with someone who is struggling as well. This may be our biggest issue come tomorrow around 12:30.

Posted by: abuddy2004 | January 30, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I really wish life would check out the Caps schedule before deciding when I have things to do.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"Assistant coach Dean Evason, meantime, said that he stressed showing more patience and composure with the puck, especially down low, and better communication as keys to improving the penalty kill"

What? Patience and composure with the puck? shhh! Nyls might hear you.

Oh, yeah. I am sure glad that BB is not screwing with the 4th line, if there is a line that we can not afford to change, that will be it.

Posted by: opita1 | January 30, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

a single star player does not make a team.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff

history tells that JT bombs in the playoffs...

just sayin...

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Opita. LOL.

Posted by: superX | January 30, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Bears play tonight at Wilkes-Barre at 7:00. From Walton's blog:

-It will be Michal Neuvirth in goal Friday for the Bears, after three straight solid appearances in a Hershey uniform. Bob Woods told me for the pregame show tonight that Simeon Varlamov is unlikely for this weekend, as his lower body injury is taking a bit longer than expected to heal. Neuvirth played well in his game against the Penguins last Friday night at Giant Center. Daren Machesney will back up tonight.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reminder, Tess!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 30, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Came across an interesting tidbit for tomorrow's game. The Red Wings called up Ville Leino, last season's Finnish SM Liga top scorer and MVP.

Posted by: ranndino | January 30, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

awesome goal by Crosby/Malkin to lead NJD 2-0.

Posted by: mauree | January 30, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Bears update: Hershey leads 1-0 at 1st intermission on a goal bt Quintin Laing.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

go Laing!

Posted by: mauree | January 30, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1:
I realize that but the article makes it sound like they are going to wait until the bitter end. If they're gonna do it they can get the wheels in motion sooner than later to make the room that they need.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 30, 2009 5:18 PM

i hear you, but they need two to tango when it comes to making room. gotta make a trade. nyls, clark come to mind as big ticket guys who are expendable. but who will pick them up at their current price? need to move those guys. and if they do, do you bring up alzner vs. varlamov? varly has looked good, but do you want to throw that guy into the playoffs in his first season in america? i'd rather roll the dice w/theo. given that, i think they would call up alzner first.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 30, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

CBo with one in the 2nd and another in the 3rd. Bears up 3-1, 16:07 left in the third.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 30, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Bears update: Early in the 3rd, Bears lead 3-1. Two goals by Bourque. Giroux assisted on Bourque's second, so the point streak is intact. Shots on goal: Bears 41, Pens 22.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Baby Pens scored; Bears still leading 3-2. And Pittsburgh leading Jersey 3-1.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Bears and Baby Pens tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Going to the shootout....

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

interesting, NJD and PIT tied at 3 too, going to OT. NJD tied in the last minute, Dupuis had huge chance 1 second to go.

Pens played 18 out of 20 minutes of the 3rd on their own end.

Posted by: mauree | January 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

langz tied it up in jersey.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

also, mason got another shutout. this time against the sens.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Baby Pens win the shootout.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

langz again in OT.

pens with another meltdown.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

grownup pens deserved it though, they almost never touched the puck in the last 20 minutes.

Posted by: mauree | January 30, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Eastern Conference-
1: Boston
2: New Jersey
3: Washington
Now it's time to man up. It's time to stop riding the good streaks of the months past and start winning some games. It's time to stop playing up or down to the competition and instead dominating anyone and everyone on the ice, no matter their record, standings, or accomplishments. It's time to beat the Stanley Cup Champions. It's time for another beer.

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 30, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

good. i hope they dont make the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh great! Now the Devils are 3 points ahead of us when we had such a comfortable lead before. I told you we should have backed the Bruins last night. And Phily is winning. If the boys don't have another long winning streak, we are fried.

Posted by: caraveli | January 30, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

mauree: I was watching the Pitt/NJ game while listening to the Bears/WBS. Kind of ironic how the Baby Pens were surging for the win at the same time the Pens were going the other way.

A friend pointed out to me that I should be hoping for the Pens to make the playoffs, otherwise they'll send guys down to WilkesBarre and load them up for the playoff run in the A against the Bears. He's right in that respect, but it's still really hard for me to cheer for the Pens for any reason.

Posted by: tess2201 | January 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

fried?

we will get into the playoffs this year my friend, don't worry.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Theodore has never been eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs as the #1 goalie. Obviously he hasn't carried a team DEEP into the playoffs either, but it's not like the minute the playoffs start he gets lit up.

Overall his #'s in the playoffs are 2.68 GAA and a .917 save %. The GAA is a bit high for the playoffs, but a pretty nice save %.

I guess my point is that while Varlamov looked great for 2 games this season I'm not necessarily sure that he's ready to be the Caps #1 (next season), and if he's not the #1 I think he could probably gain more from playing time as opposed to sitting most games on the bench.

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I dont want varlamov to be anywhere near the caps unless bj or jt is injured.
im aware of theo's playoff performance. my point was that you said he has been performing extremely well lately. and he has. but just take a look at his three best regular seasons (including his hart/vezina 01-02 year), and then look at his playoff numbers. bottom line is that jt has proven to not be a winning goalie in the playoffs. can this change? sure, and i really hope it does but the past is the past and the fact is he is 19-24 and has only posted 1 SO.

not the numbers of a clutch playoff goalie.

with all this said, i still love theodore.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 30, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

No relation to Bernie Wolfe. Just a fan since his days, and alot of my Caps Firsts (jersey, autograph, souvenir stick, meeting out on the street, etc.) was with him. A very nice guy as I recall.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 31, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

It's an absolute must we win this afternoon, can't let the Devils expand their lead on us.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 31, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Wish I could watch the game today, but I'll be cheering for them in my head. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 31, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

awww jmu, you'll be busy?

Posted by: mauree | January 31, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Heading out to the phonebooth in a few.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | January 31, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Today is a must win. While I'm glad it's at the Verizon center, I'm not glad that it's a matinee. The Caps just don't play well during matinees. Lets go CAPS!

Posted by: ejohnsto | January 31, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think this might be it for Olie. I'm hoping he starts a new chapter in his life graciously rather than lingering on like some others. Maybe he could help out Dave Prior as staff or even scout for us, conflict of interest from his junior team ownership notwithstanding. Just a suggestion...

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=406988

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 31, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I hate matinees on Saturdays...

I'm stuck at work with little to no way of listening. I'll have to rely on these blog posts and tsn updates.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | January 31, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

TheVampireCorndog,

The game is listed so this might be an option. It is hit or miss but I've had live games before. Give it a shot come noon.

http://www.atdhe.net/

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 31, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

the sexy lumberjack jersey is making an a return to the phonebooth today, fresh off his hat trick. brads jersey is taking the day off

i love this, headed to clydes now.....LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: _stevo | January 31, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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