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Theodore appears set to start in Carolina

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't announce his goalie for tonight's game against the 'Canes, but based on the morning skate, it looks like Jose Theodore is going to get his first start in seven games.

Semyon Varlamov is hot, but Boudreau doesn't like his goalies to sit for too long.

It will be Theodore's first game since yielding five goals on 18 shots in a 5-2 loss in New Jersey more than two weeks ago. He's facing the league's worst team and least productive offense (57 goals). Alex Ovechkin, for comparison's sake, has 18 goals on his own.

Some other notes and quotes from the morning skate:

*Shaone Morrisson (concussion) skated this morning but won't play tonight.

"He's not feeling 100-percent, and when you're not feeling 100-percent and you've got other guys playing good, then you don't usually play," Boudreau said.

*Tyler Sloan has returned from a brief personal leave. As for his status, Boudreau would only say: "We'll see how he feels. If we need him, we'll use him."

*Alexandre Giroux remains with the team and appears set to get a second shot on the top line, despite an uneven effort in Montreal on Saturday.

"He took two penalties," Boudreau said. "On the one, he didn't touch the guy. And the other it's his responsibility not to take that penalty. But he made some good plays, had an assist, and has an offensive mind. Maybe he'll be more relaxed, and I anticipate a better game from him."

*Looks like Michael Leighton (1-3-0, 4.51 goals against, .832 save percentage) is going to get the nod for Carolina. Also looks like Joni Pitkanen will return from an upper body injury.

*Alexander Semin (sore wrist) is skating at home, I'm told, and could be ready to go on Thursday.

*Ovechkin has eight goals and eight assists in his last nine games here and 19 goals and 21 assists in 30 career vs. Carolina.

*Boudreau said he's as confused as the 'Canes about their sudden (and somewhat unexpected) dropoff this season. Just in case you haven't looked at the standings in a while, they're in 30th and have lost four in a row. Earlier in the season, they endured a 14-game losing streak.

"I don't know the reason they're in the position they're in, but I do know that in this division they're as close as we have as a real strong rival," Boudreau said. "They play very hard against us. I keep thinking of them as the team we played last year. We know it will be struggle tonight."

There could, however, be some help on the way for the 'Canes. Franchise goaltender Cam Ward (lacerated leg) is skating again and could be back within a week.

*Brooks Laich, a day later, still was lamenting his Saskatchewan Roughriders' 28-27 loss to Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup. The Als won when they got a second chance at the game winning field goal because of a too many men penalty on the Roughriders.

"We all make mistakes," said Laich, who watched the game in his hotel room on his laptop.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 30, 2009; 12:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at 'Canes

Comments

I guess this is as good a time as ever to get Theo back into it.

Posted by: PonMan | November 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Go Theo. Go Caps! Pick up a couple o' points tonight.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Caps!!
Can't wait to have Semin back in the line-up on Thursday.

Posted by: capsfan01 | November 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

All the best to Theo - really pulling for a great game!

Posted by: irockthered | November 30, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope the caps dont take this team lightly cause every time they do it seems to bite em in the butt.Theo really needs this win to get his confidence back.To lose against the worst team could only hurt him so i hope he has a good game and gets back on track.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 30, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The Caps will be up 3-0 at the end of the first...and down 5-4 with 10 minutes left...only to win 7-6 in a shootout...

Should be a good one.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 30, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Go get'em Theo. Looking forward to a solid game tonight.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 30, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm... it does not become you.

Posted by: irockthered | November 30, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

If anyone saw the Carolina-Ottawa game on the 26th, in which referee Dave Jackson got *nailed* by Rick Nash...

From the Ottawa Sun,

"Referee Dave Jackson will require surgery and could be done for the season after suffering MCL and ACL damage in his knee when Rick Nash slid into him during the first period."

Not cool. That's the third major injury Nash has caused this season, accidentally or not. The man's a wrecking ball!

Posted by: irockthered | November 30, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Best game possible for Theo to find his edge again. Good luck to him, and hopefully the team won't sleepwalk through this one. That is one scary building down there when it's fullup.

Posted by: EricS2 | November 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, let's hope the Caps take it to the 'Canes. The Caps don't want to be the reason the 'Canes gained confidence to spin out of their funk. I absolutely believe any team can be beaten by any team in the NHL.

On another topic, not sure how many of you know this, the Pens are off to their best start in franchise history. They do have a game in hand, but we're tied with them. The sky is in fact, NOT FALLING.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 30, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Dave Jackson will be put on LTIR so that the officials aren't over the cap?

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 30, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

As we know all too well, ANYONE can be basement-dwellers at Thanksgiving time, and that doesn't mean they should be overlooked.

Go Theo and Go Caps!

Posted by: CapsChick | November 30, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Hope Theo doesn't stink tonight...he needs to play like it's 1.) he wants to be a number one somewhere 2.) his job is on the line bc it is 3.) it's a contract year. I know he has been a lot of personal problems, but I'm not so sure management is going to be as forgiving if he keeps up his average play.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 30, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock - it's actually even better than that - we are the ones with a game in hand.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | November 30, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The instigator rule is the worst rule in hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

During the Hot Stove discussion on HNIC Saturday night, there were suggestions that assignments could be on the way in Carolina if they don't turn it around.

The team could be playing desperate.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 30, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

As someone already mentioned basement dwellers at Thanksgiving should not be overlooked.

Thanksgiving day, November 22, 2007. Our beloved Washington Capitals were 6-14-1.
Glen Hanlon was fired after after a 5-1 route at the hands of the Atlanta Thrashers on Thanksgiving Eve, and those of us at the game chanted "Fire Hanlon." Less than 12,000 showed up for that game. There weren't many people willing to Rock the Red with die-hards at that time.

Thanksgiving morning Bruce Beaudreau got lost on his way to the Kettler practice facility, and the team had a closed practice Thanksgiving Day. Caps fans have been experiencing outstanding, exciting hockey since November 23, 2007 when Nick Backstrom scored an overtime goal to beat the Philadelphia Flyers, in Philly.

Not until February did home crowds get respectable (17,000+), and didn't hit a sellout stretch until the last 3 games of the regular season.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 30, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

We were at last Wednesday's game (W 2-0), and watched Saturday's (W by some miracle in SO 4-3). If that's any indication, we'll be in for a wild ride tonight. Go CAPS!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | November 30, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

... the times they are a-changing ...

... and tonight I hope, Theo will be at his best to make it even more difficult for BB to chose the right one ...

GO CAPS

... by the way, Ovie needs some more goals and Steckel a multi-point game ...

... just drinking some very good Kölsch, cheers to all ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That was the first time any team has come back from 14th or 15th to playoffs. Doesn't really happen.

Basement dwellers should never, ever be overlooked. Unfortunately, this claim is usually quoted by people with double standards. (This mentality is only fueled by Tarik, who loves to make off-handed comments about how the Leafs or Canes should be beat "handidly" by the Caps)

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

... and unfortunatly such mentality carries over into the playoffs, where basement dwellers are a good bet for an upset ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

.. and unfortunatly such mentality carries over into the playoffs, where basement dwellers are a good bet for an upset ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 2:48 PM |

Well...technically if they are in the playoffs, they are bottom dwellers. :)

haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It is time for OV to have a 5 point night just like Crosby! Hope he gets 6 points just to go one better!

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 30, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

aren't* bottom dwellers, that is.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

... they are:
8th placed or 7th placed teams can be seen as "bottom dwellers" in the "new season" called playoffs - if they win, it is always seen as an upset ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

8th placed or 7th placed teams can be seen as "bottom dwellers" in the "new season" called playoffs - if they win, it is always seen as an upset ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 3:04 PM |
Ah...you got me. haha.

Kolsch, eh? I was born in Germany so I have a weird affinity to German beers. Not the biggest Kolsch/Alt fan though.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

... Kölsch: there are a lot of different brands ... you should try "Früh" or "Reisdorf" :-)

... and definitly no Alt (this is not a beer, it is - well - some coloured ***) ... ;-) ... people from Cologne don't like the town where Alt beer is "brewed" at all ... (it is like committing a sacrilege to write the name of the town in the same sentence with Cologne) ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's a bit of a friendly rivalry now, isn't it? I've had Reisdorf and Beishrebung? Something like that.

I'm not the biggest beer drinker to begin with, but I like to stick with my plain ol Pilseners. I love Warsteiner.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

... friendly rivalry ?
Sometimes some teams are build with celebrities from each town playing against each other in TV-shows and the Düsseldof-team (ups, I typed the name of the town ;-) ) always lose ...

... however, would you called it a rivalry if you would play hockey against Ovie ? or going into a SO against Varly ? ... ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | November 30, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

the game is in HD tonight.

CSN+ makes me cringe...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 30, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

On any given night any NHL team can beat another NHL team. Bad is a relative term here. The Canes have some really good players. Having noted that however is why I think the Caps need to make a statement and stay focused tonight. Wear them out so that the Canes have nothing left at the end. We need to play smart hockey--not necessarily safe-- but smart.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 30, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I have a question: what changed for Carolina? How did they go from a playoff team to not winning this season. I know their goalie Ward is put now but their slump(s) started much earlier right from the start of the season.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 30, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Rod Brind'Amour is a -17

I think his nose is blocking his view of the puck.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

There are a few factors that are contributing to Carolina's malaise: 1. Injuries http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/injuries; and, potentially, 2. a Stanley Cup hangover(?). Other than that, I'm completely mystified. The return of Cam Ward should give them a big boost.

Posted by: Terptwin | November 30, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

By Stanley Cup hangover, I'm referring to the fact that Carolina played long series and advanced deep into last year's playoffs. (I know, it's a stretch!)

Posted by: Terptwin | November 30, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

So this is what posters mean by that their farm system isn't very good--they don't have good AHL players to call up? Whereas we have had many great call ups and future Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 30, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


I can't help it. I am feeling really nervous to have Theo in goal--whether it is worrying about us holding on to a lead or worrying about him not embarrassing himself, I feel uncomfortable when he is in goal. But I agree with Capsyoungguns

"But I am very glad he doesn't have the weight of the season on his shoulder's alone. That he shares it with Theo."


What can we expect from the game tonight? I want to say it will be easy but every time I think it, we lose. Low achieving teams seem to become transformed into champions when they play against us. Any words of encouragement or rare insight?

Posted by:

Posted by: caraveli | November 30, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Steckel will get 4 tonight.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 30, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock01

Amazing how good the record is, given the rumbling from BB, etc. We're only two points off best in the league. Frankly, I don't think we're playing as well as we can, but we're getting there. The team can get better.

I was at the "fire Hanlon" game. Something to ponder: was anyone who was at his last game as Caps coach also at his last game as the KHL team coach? (Not to pick on the poor guy, but...)

The crowds are great now, not only because of DC fans, but because puck fans all over the world will come to see a great team play, and with Ovie, Backstrom, Green, Semin, et all, this is a team people will travel to watch.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 30, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town : Your posts kill me! Lol. Joe B. and Locker should make the same prediction :Caps in the shootout. The Rod Brind'amor one was good also.

Posted by: Puckthepens | November 30, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey person named Svantje: are we going to win tonight or not? What you say goes.

Posted by: caraveli | November 30, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This feels like a trap game. Hope the guys rally around JT. Would luv to see him have a strong game and get some confidence back.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 30, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

the PK is just pathetic, they can't even stop the carolina PP

77% (24th ranked) and sinking...

Posted by: joek443 | November 30, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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