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Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Varlamov to start against Lightning, Semin out

By Katie Carrera

Alexander Semin did not make the trip to Tampa with the team and will be out for tonight's game against the Lightning. Semin hasn't played since Jan. 8 against Florida because of a groin muscle injury.

--Goaltender Semyon Varlamov was the first off the ice for the Capitals at the St. Pete Times Forum this morning and he appears set to make a third-consecutive start. Varlamov is 4-2-1 against the Lightning in his career with a 1.85 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.

--D.J. King and Tyler Sloan were out for the scratches skate so they're likely the odd-men out in Tampa.

--Although Alex Ovechkin didn't take part in the morning skate it looks like Jason Chimera will be back on the top line against the Lightning skating with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

More to come.

By Katie Carrera  | February 4, 2011; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Semyon Varlamov, Tampa Bay Lightning  
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Next: Capitals frustrate Lightning's system in 5-2 win

Comments

Another morning skate with no sign of the team captain. Guess it must've been good times in Ybor City last night...

Posted by: StikSav | February 4, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Time to earn your bona fides Katie. While all this talk of must wins and the latest former decent player to call out his team mates is interesting (though now trending toward dull) we all would like to know why this team seems to be imploding. Let's have some investigative reporting like the post used to do. Can't leave it all to the Washington City Paper.

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@Semin
@Cheef

We need both Semin and Fehr back. Those "play off beasts" !!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It really is sad that Katie can't write without being blackballed, because that's exactly what McPhail & Co. would do to her.

Look at Montreal and you find relentless coverage and criticism, it's great.

Posted by: Cheef | February 4, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin was clearly at the rink as he was speaking with BB, so him not taking a warm-up skate is not a big deal.

I do wonder if it is possible that Ovie and Semin had some sort of disagreement. They obviously were/are friends and spent a lot of time together. I wonder if something happened between them (i.e. something involving a girl. And no, I don't mean a threesome).

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Repost.

"It really could be anything, it could be personal such as some dealings by one player with a girl, girlfriend, or wife of another player, coach, trainer, whatever. (I'm not saying it is, but this is often the culprit for internal problems with sports teams)" - sgm3

Hmm Im thinking it's Sloan (in a dress of course and desperate to find any way to stay up with the team and not be sent down) slept with Ovie, BB, Green, and is now hanging out at Semin's. And BB is was with him last, hence BB is benching Semin. GMGM came in and asked what the locker room problem was and found out Sloan has been swinging...and stormed out because he knew Ted was going to be on his a$$ soon because with all time Esskay spent man-whoring, there is no way that the Verizon Center hot dog sales have met their monthly quotas.

True story.

@hunterforcoach

He was a beast against the midgets, just not a scoring machine. IMO of course.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 4, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@Cheef

A tough position to be in for sure. Shut out by the team, or abandoned by your readers....

Posted by: festus75 | February 4, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I do wonder if it is possible that Ovie and Semin had some sort of disagreement.

sgm3- I don't get what this has to do with the game? Ovi and Semin are fighting over a girl, so Backstrom decides pass up an open shot? Not trying to be an a_ _hole, I just don't follow your logic.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 4, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Backstrom feels that he, other top players should set the tone..."

Well, he might want to start by skating instead of just standing around or gliding/riding his flats. Late in the 2nd period of Tuesday night's game Knuble was in the corner in the offensive zone facing the boards fighting for the puck against 2 Canadiens. Backstrom, the closest man, just stood there. Finally Ovechkin left the front of the net and went below the goal line. Knuble saw Ovechkin and passed him the puck and Ovechkin went on to create a scoring chance. That play burnt me up and Backstrom is in my doghouse big time. So Nicky how about you quit talking and start doing something?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 4, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The Caps don't blackball people, they "Nylander" them!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 4, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

what's the follow up on gmgm storming out the other night (if there is any)?

Posted by: fesslercw | February 4, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

BetterOffWithFedorov

Be careful how you decide when to get mad.

It turned into a scoring chance, so maybe the Center (in that situation) is supposed to stay there. Had he jumped in and the puck ended up on the wrong stick, creating an odd man rush, you might not have been mad but the coach would have.

If it ended in a positive, take it as a good thing.

Posted by: Cheef | February 4, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't get what this has to do with the game? Ovi and Semin are fighting over a girl, so Backstrom decides pass up an open shot? Not trying to be an a_ _hole, I just don't follow your logic.

Posted by: ablake70

It would have to do with Semin not playing which then would effect the Caps product on the ice because they don't have Semin.

It would also have to do with possible trades being made and internal locker room problems.

The players are still going to go out and play hard, but if guys truly hate each other because of some serious issue with a wife or girlfriend, that causes problems on the team.

I'm only speculating, but a strife between Ovie and Semin would be an issue. Especially because Ovie is probably a big reason why Semin is on the Caps. If Ovie wants Semin gone, I would have to believe the Caps would get rid of Semin.

Again, this is all just speculation and it probably isn't true. Just throwing out what ifs.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

This thread is deteriorating to the level of absurdity. Now we are reaching for conclusions that involved one player fighting with another player over a girl? LOL. Im not even sure Semin is human, let alone able to speak, so him getting with any girl other than a blow up doll is suspect at best. On a serious note, according to 24/7, OV has a girlfriend, and has had one for some time, so unless she were banging Semin on the side it seems implausible that the two are/were arguing over a girl. Whatever is wrong with this team, and I have my theories, I dont think is has to do with 1) OV being upset at Semin being traded or 2) A dispute over a girl.

Posted by: opticlguy | February 4, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not a wife issue, otherwise a player would be gone immediately.

Most likely not a girl issue because they don't really matter unless it's a serious girlfriend, then a player is gone as well.

A groin takes time and is tricky, not surprised if they're playing safe, especially after handing him a bank.

Posted by: Cheef | February 4, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

HAHA looks like the Pens Brent Johnson has hands of stone as well...just not the same kind of stone that ChimChim's are made of.

"DiPietro Out 4-6 Weeks
Goaltender sidelined with facial fractures and knee swelling"

Smokey: Dee-bo, Dee-bo....YOU GOT KNOCKED THE F$#K OUT!.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 4, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Face the fact no one is going to ask GMGM about storming out of the locker room. I don't know what it is about this team that causes reporters not to ask probing questions. Ok, so they deny your access. Then sit in the stands and write your story with the rest of us slobs paying ridiculous concession prices. Sure you won't get the sliced roast beef, etc, but you can still cover the game.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 4, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Semin and the Real Doll. Great movie!

Seriously though, I think Semin's value isn't anywhere near as high as we may like to think. His injury record alone will hamper most deals from going down. He may not be tradeable in any real-life scenario. Meaning, I don't think we'll get back enough for him to justify the trade in the media's eyes, fans' eyes, and the GM's eyes.

He's going to be a Cap until his contract expires. So to make the most of that, we need to get him a different coach and a better center. I've resigned myself to this fate.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd guess that "Patches" is Pacioretty. Slurpee hopped on the Habs bandwagon during the playoffs.
------------------------
Then maybe he'd better hop over to their site and leave this one.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 4, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Nope, not then. It was gradual. When they beat Pittsburgh in their 2nd game of the season sealed the deal...in blood.

It wouldn't be good making fun of the local team without knowing at least something about them.

I do spend a lot of time over "there" anyway.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | February 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

sgm3

Wild theory. I just think Semin is sitting out so that he can completely heal. Practice is much different from game situation. Teammates (in theory) aren't trying to hurt you.

Despite the losing streak, the Caps are still in 5th place in the conference. The team needs a healthy Semin in April more than they need a gimpy one now.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 4, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3 -Please keep the what ifs to trade rumors. At least those are bearable and I'm able to read the entire post.

Posted by: jwash4472 | February 4, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I also give Semin one game back into the lineup before being sidelined again.

We're better off keepin him on the shelf and massaging him like they do kobe beef until the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 4, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Semin hasn't played since Jan. 8 against Florida because of a groin muscle injury."

Maybe if he'd stop boning his new girfriend so much he'd be able to play hockey.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 4, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

re: Semin not making the trip

Anyone know if he's been practicing full contact or in the yellow jersey?

Posted by: fesslercw | February 4, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have come to this...

1) Divided locker room
2) Team stating it is a must win (in feb)
3) No Captain on the ice for morning skate, despite everyone else being on the ice

4) "Star" player still injured, and rumored to be in a big part in the divided locker room.


Wow. Where is 24/7 when you need them...this would be great TV...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 4, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

So if we're gonna trade Semin (supposedly) who do you want in return?

D and a 2C?

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | February 4, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@semin

Did ya' see Alan May's highlight clips of Semin's "second effort" on shots he took against the Habs ?

Semin could work for the DMV in Gaithersburg with a work ethic like that.

Let's get some real hockey guys in here, and stop goofing around with these "cupcakes". This is pathetic !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Wild theory. I just think Semin is sitting out so that he can completely heal. Practice is much different from game situation. Teammates (in theory) aren't trying to hurt you.

Despite the losing streak, the Caps are still in 5th place in the conference. The team needs a healthy Semin in April more than they need a gimpy one now.

Posted by: ablake70

I'm not saying any of this did happen, but there is something very odd going on.

Semin has been practicing fully, with no non-contact jersey now for a little while. That is not something you do with a groin or knee injury.

Those are not contact injuries like a shoulder, those are tears in the muscles or ligaments in areas that are not contacted but are aggravated by putting strain on them while skating and cutting. The fact that he has been a full participant in practice the past few days would say that he is not aggravating the injury. If he was he wouldn't have continued to practice.

Semin was practicing full before the Habs game, so the Caps have had time to see how Semin reacts the next day after a full practice. They continued to practice Semin fully on Wednesday or Thursday.

Then you add in the report of a divided locker room and GMGM storming out of the locker room on Tuesday and it all adds to something strange is likely happening.

Could it all be coincidence and nothing of any significance? Sure.

But usually, where there's smoke there's fire.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI,

Watch the replay again and you will see that Johnson completely missed DiPietro with his fist and nailed him flush with his elbow to the upper check/right eye. Not really surprised there are broken bones but that is what a goalie gets for getting involved physically.

Posted by: PhilR | February 4, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I come to realize three things about the Caps this season.

1) Many of our guys are not that bright.

2) Our GM is actually lazy.

3) Our owner is a nice guy, but he is "hockey clueless"

Already knew BB was not "NHL material" !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Where is 24/7 when you need them...this would be great TV...


Posted by: SoaringCaps

That's a good point. Crap. It was interesting to note that Semin didn't even appear on 24/7(as far as I can remember).

Posted by: sgm3 | February 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@tom in socal

After reading all these posts about the disaster that is the Washington Capitals, I'm ready TONIGHT to wizz on Abe's grave.
He gave birth to this MONSTER.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 4, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I really hate to break it to you but 24/7 only showed the barest glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. I really wish our "experts" here realize 24/7 is a highly edited and somewhat scripted take on what actually happens.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 4, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I really hate to break it to you but 24/7 only showed the barest glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. I really wish our "experts" here realize 24/7 is a highly edited and somewhat scripted take on what actually happens.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 4, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I really hate to break it to you but 24/7 only showed the barest glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. I really wish our "experts" here realize 24/7 is a highly edited and somewhat scripted take on what actually happens.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 4, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

the only way this team saves itself from utter, abject failure is by either bringing in a coach who isn't afraid to hold star players accountable...or by getting rid of all the dead wood on this team (semin, poti, schultz, etc.). Further - OV has no business as team captain. A REAL leader leads on and off the ice...and doesn't skip practices. He is showing himself as a prima donna...and is quickly losing my loyalty as a fan.

Posted by: dingram3 | February 4, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a soft player and refuses to skate unless he is 100%.

Veteran players that win in this league realize they are rarely at 100% having played 50 games into an NHL season.

If this team is counting on Semin to win in April and May they might as well forget it.

Tonight's game is about as important as they come and anything short of being hit by a taxi should bring the players to suit up and take to the ice and play.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 4, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Be careful how you decide when to get mad.

It turned into a scoring chance, so maybe the Center (in that situation) is supposed to stay there. Had he jumped in and the puck ended up on the wrong stick, creating an odd man rush, you might not have been mad but the coach would have.

If it ended in a positive, take it as a good thing.

Posted by: Cheef

Players standing around not skating is not a good thing. If BB is teaching that a) that's why the Caps are struggling b) should be fired.

Things ending in a positive because of good luck is not a good thing. What happens when your luck runs out? Things ending in a positive thing because you do the right things like skate and drive the net - that's a good thing.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 4, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What does Ovie do instead of practice?

Posted by: Albright4Snapper | February 4, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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