Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Semyon Varlamov works out, Ducks on a mission

The big news today at Kettler was the the reappearance of goalie Semyon Varlamov on the ice. It was so big that, as Varlamov finished his workout and went over to sign some autographs, a UPS delivery driver who had just finished dropping a package off at Kettler started asking questions about just when the 21-year-old would appear in an NHL game again.

Varlamov performed skating drills and took shots from strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish for about 45 minutes while goaltending coach Arturs Irbe looked on, and even got down in his butterfly for a good portion of the workout.

As he walked off the ice, Varlamov said he "felt good" and that there were no setbacks or twinges this time around. Since his most recent knee injury came during a rehab stint in Hershey, Varlamov has been on the Bears' injured reserve, meaning he can't take part in a full practice with the rest of the Capitals just yet. But Varlamov said he expected to skate and work out the next couple of days at Kettler before going back to Hershey for another rehab stint this weekend.

"Is he out there?" joked Coach Bruce Boudreau when asked whether he was encouraged Varlamov was finally skating again. "I was giving up asking, I felt like I was the person asking every day. The trainers were getting sick of me, so I'm glad he's out there."

As for the Capitals' other injured goalie, Jose Theodore, the prognosis seems better than originally feared after he left last night's game between the second and third period. Boudreau called the veteran netminder day-to-day but added that "he's a lot better than we thought." Boudreau expects Theodore to practice tomorrow.

Now what about tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks? Keep reading for some more news and notes from a relatively busy morning despite the fact that all of seven players took the ice for an optional skate:

*Tyler Sloan and Quintin Laing stayed on the ice after the morning skate for extra work, so I'd expect them to be the healthy scratches tonight. Boudreau said Brian Pothier will return to the lineup after being sidelined with a broken hand since Jan. 13. One would expect the offensive lines to remain the same considering the Capitals have accumulated 57 goals in their last 11 games. Also figured I'd mention this stat of the day, courtesy of Caps PR ace Nate Ewell: The Capitals' shooting percentage during this current seven-game winning streak is 16.9 percent, which translates to a .831 save percentage for opposing netminders.

*Though the Caps got back to D.C. in the wee hours of the morning, the bright side is they got to sleep in their own beds last night and according to Boudreau, are "playing as well as we've played as a team since I've been here."

The Ducks, meanwhile, began a four-game Southeast Division road trip last night with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss at Atlanta. Forward Ryan Getzlaf hit the post with a slap shot as time expired in the third period. Anaheim's lone goal of the night came from a familiar face -- former Capital Steve Eminger -- who now has two goals and four assists in 37 games this season.

Even with last night's defeat, the Ducks have won eight of their past 11 and are starting to look eerily similar to last year's team that went 10-2-1 down the stretch to sneak into the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. Veteran sniper Teemu Selanne has been saddled with injuries this season and has missed the last two weeks since having jaw surgery to repair two broken bones (Laing would be proud). Forward Joffrey Lupol is also out due to back surgery.

In their stead have been emerging forwards Bobby Ryan (who is also the answer to the trivia question: Who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2005 NHL Draft after Sidney Crosby went to Penguins?) and Corey Perry. Ryan leads the Ducks in goals with 24 this season, while Perry leads them in points with 61. Also worth noting is that veteran center Saku Koivu returned for Anaheim last night after missing two games with a sprained knee.

During the Ducks' recent hot streak, goaltender Jonas Hiller has taken over the No. 1 spot between the pipes from Jean Sebatian Giguere. Hiller has started Anaheim's past 11 games and currently has a 20-15-2 record, .915 save percentage, and a 2.81 GAA. However, since the Ducks played last night and have games Friday and Monday on the road, I wouldn't be surprised to see Giguere get a chance in net against the Capitals.

Boudreau said that while tonight is a quick turnaround against an opponent his team isn't all that familiar with, the Capitals were lucky they had an off day in Vancouver back in December when the Ducks were in town to face the Canucks, and the coaching staff did plenty of scouting then. But with Anaheim just four points out of the Western Conference's final playoff spot and coming off a disappointing loss, Boudreau knows that the Capitals' first eight-game winning streak since 1988-89 won't come easy.

"I'd much rather face the team higher up in the standings and sort of a little bit safe than the hungrier team that needs every point," said Boudreau. "Just because the four teams we played last week were higher in the standings, these games are all tougher because they're the teams where every point means something. With Anaheim losing last night, I assume that they're gonna come out knowing they have to win tonight and play that kind of game."

*And, last but not least, an update on the Islanders' Jack Hillen, who was struck in the face by an Alex Ovechkin slapshot in the first period last night. Hillen suffered a broken jaw and damaged teeth and was in surgery until early this morning, according to Newsday. He's expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow and will miss 6-8 weeks. Just watching the replays of the shot were gruesome, so it's good to hear nothing catastrophic happened to the young defenseman. Hopefully he makes it back on the ice before this season is over.

*Gene Wang will be chatting live from Verizon Center during tonight's game, and he'll post the lineup around 6:30 or so. Come by and check it out if you're watching on TV from home.

By Mark Giannotto  |  January 27, 2010; 2:34 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Anaheim Ducks, Brian Pothier, Jose Theodore, Quintin Laing, Semyon Varlamov, Tyler Sloan  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michal Neuvirth to start against Ducks
Next: Ted Leonsis's path to Wizards ownership in doubt

Comments

First. Always wanted to say that.

Posted by: smkinjersey | January 27, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"The Capitals' shooting percentage during this current seven-game winning streak is 16.9 percent, which translates to a .831 save percentage for opposing netminders."

Not sure I understand the logic here. What about all the shots that went wide or over the bar? Shouldn't those be charged against the shooter but not for the goalie?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all of the extensive updates today!

Posted by: JillC | January 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

All shots towards the goal don't actually equate to shots on goal. The 16.9 shooting % is shots on goal (ie, that a goalie had to make a save on).

Posted by: Jeff_ | January 27, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh Wiley_One1,
The "shots on goal" statistic is just that, a number of shots that actually are ON the goal. Those that are wide or high, or blocked are not counted. Nobody tracks shots that are not actually on goal, and therefore don't require a goaltender to save them (or allow a goal). When you add up a goaltender's saves and goals allowed, it equals the other team's shots on goal.

Posted by: pcalver1 | January 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Not that it matters all that much, but Eklund has Nyls being moved (e4-5). I know, I know, it's Eklund, but his e4-5's are fairly accurate.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eklund/Updates-on-Kovalchuk-Phaneuf-and-SourayNylander-to-Jokerit-done/1/25804


And Mark, I appreciate you mentioning Joffrey Lupol as quick as possible. The thought of game 7 still makes me ill.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

i think shots taken is tracked, but is clearly not a part of any shoting/save percentage or count as shots on goal for the player. i recall i the game ovie was held "without a shot" there was some stats that he did take 7 or 8 shots but they were blocked or went wide/high.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 27, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The ESPN.com box scores show missed shots (shots taken that do not end up on goal) as well as shots on goal, but I don't think anyone tracks those officially anywhere.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 27, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Those are tracked officially. Missed shots (or shots attempted/taken) and blocked shots.

Can't wait til this weekend. Got tickets to both games.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 27, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think we're gonna have two tired teams on the ice tonight.

Ducks need the win...Caps just need to not get hurt tonight...

4-2 Ducks...

Prove me wrong El Capitals...

I would have also thought we started Laing and Sloan to add some fresh spark plug to the line-up.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 27, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

over/under on the number of times Locker says "the rubber duckies of Anaheim" tonight?

Posted by: rademaar | January 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@pcalver1 - Attempts blocked and missed shots are definitely counted in the Event Summary for every game.

Posted by: irockthered | January 27, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Comcast just moved the Caps game from HD to CSN+ so that they could show the William & Mary vs. JMU game in HD.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 27, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Comcast suxs

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@SA-town, Really? Is that even D-I?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 27, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

From where are you getting that programming change? CSN website still shows the Caps on HD and the Temple game on CSN+.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 27, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

a shot off the post is not a shot on goal correct?

Posted by: deadskin | January 27, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

".. It was so big that, as Varlamov finished his workout and went over to sign some autographs, a UPS delivery driver who had just finished dropping a package off at Kettler started asking questions about just when the 21-year-old would appear in an NHL game again."

WOW!! That is big! If a UPS delivery driver is asking, then Varly has arrived into the big league. Congratulations Varly. - Come to think of it, a UPS driver once asked me when I would my move car ...

Posted by: hock1 | January 27, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Comcast just moved the Caps game from HD to CSN+ so that they could show the William & Mary vs. JMU game in HD.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 27, 2010 4:00 PM

FAIL

Posted by: Raber | January 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: You are kidding, right? I'm a William & Mary alum, and I've been enjoying watching them have their best basketball season in 20+years, but this is absurd.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse


The rumors that tonight's game is being bumped to CSN+ is not true. I just spoke with a person in Comcast Sportsnet's programming department and she said they are not even carrying the JMU game. Temple vs. UNCC will be on CSN+. She also said there is only one more Caps game to be shown on CSN+ this year, the 3/5 game against Atlanta. They are looking to have a second HD channel for next season so hopefully we won't have to put up SD Caps games for much longer.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 27, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town,
If you were yanking chain, I'm seriously not amused, not one bit, not at all, seriously. You can stop laughing now.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | January 27, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

over/under on the number of times Locker says "the rubber duckies of Anaheim" tonight?

Posted by: rademaar


The real question is what is the over/under on "BIG RIG" by Locker and Beninati for "Even and full strenght, five on five!" Last night he even said after a penalty kill that "BOTH teams were back to even and full strength, five-on-five." A real and true blue member of the department of redundacy department!!!

Posted by: CapCenter105 | January 27, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"The Capitals' shooting percentage during this current seven-game winning streak is 16.9 percent, which translates to a .831 save percentage for opposing netminders."

Not sure I understand the logic here. What about all the shots that went wide or over the bar? Shouldn't those be charged against the shooter but not for the goalie?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 27, 2010 3:04 PM

LOL. Logic on some of these writings? Heck look at the math. You have to read between the lines and then guess what they are really trying to say. LOL. Once you get used to it, it is easy.

Posted by: hock1 | January 27, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well done SA. I would feel bad about taking the bait there, but we're talking about CSN so that was a very believable post.

Posted by: Gould23 | January 27, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

RE: WAS 7, NYI 2:

Too bad Fred Rogers isn't around anymore...he might characterize last nights game somethign like this:


(Singing)
"...could you be?"
"...would you be?"
"...my neighbor?"
(music ends)

"Well, I saw an amazing hockey game last night, boys & girls. It was great because the Washington Capitals scored a lot more goals than the New York Islanders, even though the Capitals' best forward and their best defenseman didn't get any of them."

"Can you say 'Offensive Juggernaut' boys and girls?"

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 27, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the empty-netters, which count toward shots on goal but don't count against anybody's save percentage.

Posted by: 106T | January 27, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin:

Correct- a shot that hits the pipes is not a shot on goal.
Hence the stat: "shot ON goal" SOG

Posted by: gewhiteva | January 27, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Moving the game to CSN+ is nothing to joke about. Last night the picture on my tv was so bad, it looked like John Erskine picked his spot, and scored on a sweet move to the net!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 27, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, SA, Bravo. I still am not sure that JMU is D-I, though.


Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 27, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

JMU and William & Mary are both Div.1 in basketball, but Div. 1AA in football.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 27, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. I didn't even realize they had Football.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 27, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I understand. A shooter takes aim at the space between the blocker and the left post. If he misses an inch to the left, the puck whistles past the post, the attempt does not count as a shot on goal and does not affect his shooting percentage. But, if he misses an inch to the right, it bounces off the blocker, the goalie records a save, and the shooter's save percentage takes a hit. So, if you're a sniper who cares about his shooting percentage, you would always prefer to miss completely that be on goal. How does this make any sense?

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | January 27, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@Wiley_One1:
No actual NHL goal scorer cares a hoot about his "shooting percentage".

Posted by: pcalver1 | January 27, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company