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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov expected to miss 7 to 10 days

By Greg Schimmel

Coach Bruce Boudreau said goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be out an additional seven to 10 days from yesterday and will not be traveling with the Capitals on its trip to Florida and Tampa Bay.

Varlamov has not skated the past three days with an apparent knee injury -- and hasn't played in a game since Feb. 20 -- but had been listed as day-to-day before this most recent update.

"He'll be out, according to yesterday, about seven to 10 days, and then we figure we'll get him back," Boudreau said. "That was the latest."

Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby will be the goaltenders heading on the road, and Boudreau said he is confident that Holtby is healthy enough after his own recent knee injury to play when called upon during Varlamov's absence.

"He can play," Boudreau said, "and he might play one game this week."

Neuvirth has played the Caps' last five games, allowing two goals or fewer each time out except for in an ugly, 6-0 loss against the Rangers on Feb. 25.

Neuvirth said Friday he has no problem playing back-to-back games, and isn't worried that his already heavy workload will likely continue to increase.

"It's been a big opportunity for me playing every game, and that's what I like," Neuvirth said. "We've got a tough schedule ahead of us but I think I can handle it."

By Greg Schimmel  | March 4, 2011; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: Line change: Submit questions for Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman and Marco Sturm


I'm ok with the lightly attended practice.


Re: Arnott- He probably had to finish his move from earlier in the week. SO YES, he is still (along with Knuble and Laich) the leader of this team.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Man, Varly is always hurt. If I'm the Caps I would give consideration towards trading him over the summer if they can get a good return. It sucks but Neuvirth is already locked up for cheap and Holtby's going to be good too.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | March 4, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Trying to find a bright side to this, what can I am a glass half full kind of guy, every game he misses is more money comming off his next contract and could allow us to have both goalies at fairly low costs once again next year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@SoaringCaps - I think we can agree that annointing "leaders of the team" is something best left to this blog: we def do NOT want the players debating this. Ovie is young but willing. He'll learn what he can from Arnott and in a few years he can be a more well rounded leader.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, he's 11 days now, so we can almost LTIR and get a smidgen of cap relief.

Greg/Lindsay: What say we get an article or blog post here on how the Caps are getting all these new guys, plus a total roster at about 22 skaters and three goalies (even w/Fehr and Poti LTIR) and making it under the cap. Are they using the bonus cushion?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | March 4, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo - >
"Ovie's passing is way underrated"

Strongly in agreement in you! Ovie's got great skills - it's easy to forget that. It's why I think BB likes him at the point. It takes great hands and quickness to keep the puck in and Ovie does that and makes perfect passes from that position as well. I like him remaining there on the 2nd unit of the PP...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 4, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It takes great hands and quickness to keep the puck in and Ovie does that and makes perfect passes from that position as well. I like him remaining there on the 2nd unit of the PP...

@RedLitYogi - agreed on most of the above [certainly the athleticism and skillset of #8 is undeniable], and I'm a huge believer in having two PP units for the playoffs, in case one goes cold but also so guys [read: #52] don't get complacent. Hartley used to drive me up the wall pulling off Forsberg's unit after 35-40 seconds in CO sometimes [but it worked], I'm not saying that's the answer but Caw-Caw leaving Green out there for the full two, every two also ain't it, either.

I also like Ovie down low, which they could do for the 1st unit. There aren't many d-men who relish taking him on in the corners. And I really liked Carlson feeding Ovie for the one-timers, that could be one and Wideman feeding Green for the other.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Joe Reekie for Coach

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 4, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I liked Arnott on the point:

First unit: 44, 6, 19, 8, 21/22
Second unit: 74, 8, 90, 28, 21/22

Fill in Green for Carlson when he is healthy.

Posted by: _828 | March 4, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Confession time: I think I have to admit that, regarding a certain #27, sgm was right [telling me all last spring and summer to be patient] - and I was wrong. Damn. He just seems to get better every game - and make no mistake, he and #74 are put in some pretty challenging situations for young NHL d-men. I've played since I was five [on skates before I turned two] and I still find playing D a challenge, and hard work - in beer leagues. I can't imagine doing it at that level, against some of the best offensive players in the world.

Then again, patience never really was my strong suit ;-)

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 4, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Redlit- I agree.

I don't think the players care who is the leader...

Players gravitate to guys like Knuble and Arnott mainly because they have been in the league so long. Same with Hannan.

Plus, those guys are DOERS...they are not just talkers and no action.

That's why Semin and Backstrom are great players, but not leaders.

I noticed Backstrom's A is gone...I like that...he played much better last night than the past 4 games.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

IMO, barring injury, I think in about 1 to 2 years Alnzer will be one of the most dependable D-men in the NHL for a 5-7 year period.

He will not put up huge points or anything or make any highlight reel play, but he will continually be on the ice against the opposing teams top line, be in the correct position 99% of the time, consistently make the correct play(whether passing it around the boards, skating it up himself, etc.), and play very solid D consisting of everything including solid to good physical play, good to great stick work, and great defensive positioning.

In addition, one great thing about him is that he does not seem to get rattled by anything. Which is very important for a defenseman. For all of the good qualities Green has, I think the biggest problem for him in the playoffs was that he would get flustered and make mistakes. Pressure seems to bother Green.

Barring injury, the Carlzner pairing looks like it will be the Caps #1 D pairing for a long time.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Varly is fast becoming the Gaborik of goalies.

Posted by: phknlwyr | March 4, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Pressure seems to bother Green.

Hopefully, Wideman can alleviate some of those pressures that Green has.

Posted by: _828 | March 4, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the positive posts about Alzner. One of the reasons it might have taken him a season longer to make it a permanent stint with the big boys is the responsibility of his role. Carlson made the leap sooner possibly because of an easier transition as a more wide-open, offensive defender. Alzner, being more of the "state-at-home" variety, required more time to mature into the role. He's had Carlson's back in many cases and they have developed into an awesome pairing. Great to see Alzner living up to expectations.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 4, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Wideman- STEAL of the

I was a little skeptical of this, but he really has been wonderful...

I hope he keeps it up, and you are right, Green wilts under pressure, but this year Green won't have to do anything but skate his normal shift. Wideman will do the rest!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 4, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Are we just ignoring the next thread that has been up 30 minutes?

Anyway Hall in Edmonton is out the rest of the year after his fight last night. Star players should not fight, would have thought people would have learned with what happened to Colorado when Stewart broke his hand in a fight but I guess not.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Oops looks like another fake twitter hoax. Some people have no lives.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Barring injury, the Carlzner pairing looks like it will be the Caps #1 D pairing for a long time.

Posted by: sgm3

Unless GMGM signs a couple more Tom Poti contracts, then we would not be able to afford them!

Or there is another dreaded limo incident and Ted tells GMGM to ship them out of town like Abe did with Stevens...

Posted by: PhilR | March 4, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR, I thought the Limo was Dino's ticket out I thought Stevens was all about $$$ and not wanting to match St. Louis's offersheet.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow fake Oilers twitter used NHL_OiIers as the name which in twitter's font looked exactly like the real NHL_Oilers.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

It was Stevens and Dino in the limo along with a couple other guys. They all were gone a short time later, rumor has it that it was Abe who made the decision that they ALL had to go.

Posted by: PhilR | March 4, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Further, from what I was told the offer sheet from St Louis made it that much easier as he could blame the departure on that and wouldn't have to explain any further to the fanbase. That is the story I have always heard anyway.

Posted by: PhilR | March 4, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Interesting the font where you type can tell the difference between the lower case l and the upper case i but in the actual section the font is different and you can't see the difference.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR, I am only 23 so don't remember it first hand only heard about it from my dad. All I remember from that time was crying because my favorite player was now on Detroit and my dad couldn't tell me why, as I was too young to hear the real story. It is part of why, as a young child, I turned my back on the Caps for a while and started cheering for Detroit. As I got older and could hear the real story I started coming back to the Caps but still root for Detroit as well.

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 4, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I really like the Wideman trade, but this coupled with the extension givne to Poti, likely means that Hannan will be gone after the season. He's probably got one more 3 or 4-year deal for big $'s left to sign and the Caps will not have the cap room.

If Green or Poti were healthy, I'd sit Carlson to give him a rest both mentally and physically. He's made a lot of mental mistakes he didn't earlier in the year and seems to get overpowered in the defensive end. Alzner has goten stronger as the season went along while Carlson is now struggling....better to continue to use Wideman for 25 minutes a night for the rest of the season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 4, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: Did you see Hall's leg buckle yesterday though? I was hoping to see him live next week at Verizon, I don't think that's gonna happen.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 4, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's all hope that Poti decides he is done and retires after this year so the cap room is there to resign Hannan.

Posted by: PhilR | March 4, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The limo was the ticket for all. The offer sheet was just the timing. Jeff Courtnall and Nick Kypreos were with Dino and Stevens. I can remember that Stevens just said he was in the back watching and eating KFC Chicken.

It was a hot story for a few weeks.

Stay Home Boys, we got a cup to win.

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 4, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Here are tonight's Rooting Instructions:

PIT (81 points) @ NJD (60 points): Go Stecks. Go Marty. Go Devils.
NYR (70) @ OTT (53): Sens helped us out last night by beating ATL. Can they repeat the feat? Go Sens.
CAR (71) @ CHI (76): 'Canes in 7th seed after defeating Buffalo last night. They must be punished. Go Blackhawks.
CBJ (69) @ CGY (75): Out West only 3 points separate the 4th seed from the 11th seed. Despite their recent winning ways, CGY needs a win to cling to 8th spot. Go Flames.
DAL (74) @ ANA (73): More confusion out West. Go Ducks.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 4, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

to the limo, Stevens & Kypreos were not in the limo, Kyper was eating the chicke, the girl claimed Stevens & Kypreos were acting as lookouts outside the limo...Abe did not say to get rid of Scotty, he went on his own, the offer started at $1 mil per year, at the time Langway made $400K and Bourque $500K, it was a ridiculous offer...David Poile has since stated that was his biggest regret as a GM, not matching the offer, Stevens was good and up & coming but he was not on the same level as a Langway or Bourque at that time...the Caps decided not to match the offer and received 5 first round picks - The picks ended up being
1991 Trevor Halverson
1992 Sergei Gonchar
1993 Brendan Witt
1994 the pick (and Mike Ridley) was traded to Toronto for Rob Pearson, Quebec's first round pick (#10 - became Nolan Baumgartner) and pick #15, became Alexander Kharlamov
1995 Miikka Elomo

Posted by: boomer44 | March 4, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@Soaring...there is no Practice tomorrow, just a Morning Skate

Posted by: boomer44 | March 4, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Or there is another dreaded limo incident and Ted tells GMGM to ship them out of town like Abe did with Stevens...

Posted by: PhilR

I'm not sure what your real point is. But I'm fairly certain Abe won't have a say in future moves. And it was like 20 years ago.

Stevens left via free-agency to St. Louis when they offered the largest contract for a defenseman in NHL history. There weren't 5 teams that would have matched that deal. Plus, the Caps got FIVE first-round picks for him in compensation.

In fact, the league was so upset with St. Louis that a "neutral" arbitrator awarded Stevens to New Jersey as compensation for signing Brendan Shanahan away from the Devils the very next season.

Don't blame Abe!

Posted by: noslok | March 5, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Search online for "123 Get Samples" if you are looking for famous brands samples. It is the best and I always have success.

Posted by: lyndagraze | March 5, 2011 5:16 AM | Report abuse

As I recall the limo deal, it involved Sheehy (who brought the girl to the party), Dino, Courtnall, Kypreos and Stevens. One of my buddies was at the bar where the party was held that night and saw Stevens before the incident took place...said he was so tanked he could barely stand, so the lookout story makes sense. The offer sheet he got from the Blues was off the charts for those days...Rod Caron was the STL GM, and was way out of the rest of the league in his willingness to pay...but it did give Abe a convenient excuse.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | March 5, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for mentioning Dino twice...his evil twin must have been there also.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | March 5, 2011 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov and Neuvirth have been hurt so much this year that there was actually talk about bringing in a goalie before the trade deadline. This, after we let Huet go two years ago (the same Huet who now has a Stanley Cup ring) and Theodore last year (after he had that long winning streak). Then we keep Bruce Boudreau, though I'm curious if he has enough time for the team with all his time dedicated to his dumb commercials.

I hope George McPhee has put the right team together here because the playoff failures the last couple of years, along with the supreme lack of goal scoring this year, is driving fans nuts.

Posted by: chris1chris | March 5, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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