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Theodore: 'I'm Not Happy With My Game'

Jose Theodore's performance tonight against the Rangers did little to put goaltending concerns to rest, and the Caps netminder seemed keenly aware of that after the game.

"For playoff hockey, obviously, [I was] not good enough," Theodore said. "They only had a couple of shots in the first, and after that, I tried to find a rhythm. I'm not happy with my game. I wasn't good enough. But in the playoffs, you bounce back and that's it -- you have to turn the page.

"I've been around long enough that there's really no excuse," he continued. "When you're out there, you have to be ready to make a couple of key saves and key moments, and tonight, that just wasn't the case."

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  April 15, 2009; 10:31 PM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau Facing a Big Decision

Comments

Please start Varlamov in game 2. The Caps aren't going anywhere with Theo. And bring up Alzner and sit Schultz while your at it.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | April 15, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

At least he mans up and says it. Plus I lay a lot of blame on Schultz. Schultz is actually worthless. Theo can be off and on.

Posted by: Hals3 | April 15, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

no excuse. For him, or our defense.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

So....is reality sinking in Caps fans?

For however good everyone thinks Ovie is, he doesn't stand between the pipes.

Caps won't see the Second Round *again* this year, and the fans will find scapegoats.

Don't hate the Pens when they go to the Finals again this year.

Posted by: docciavelli | April 15, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

OK. So is there a confidence problem now? Either Theodore with himself or the team with him?

Posted by: kingbonehead | April 15, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Lol.

Pens won, Caps lose. Here comes the Pens trolls.

Its a hockey game, calm down kid.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Theodore: "I'm not happy with my game."

He spoke for us all.

Posted by: acesdc | April 15, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Theo and Schultz need to sit. They both stunk up the joint.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 15, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Observations from Game 1:

Good teams: Teams with solid defense win - seedings get thrown out the window but tonight you see why Pittsburgh and NJ's seedings are right. They took care of business - the Caps - not so much. Still the same running around in their defensive zone.

DEFENSE AND BACKCHECKING: These two components are the most important if you want to win a championship. Yes goaltending is as well but I'm emphasizing these because they burned the Caps. There is no excuse for letting the Rangers walk in as far as they did over the blueline. Mind as well just've laid out a red carpet to the net. Backchecking - one thing that our talented forwards need to realize that instead of GLIDING back up the ice anticipating a breakout - you need to backcheck and get the damn puck. Why do you see so many teams beating the Caps with a WIDE OPEN late guy coming down the slot or off wing. There's no excuse for any of that. NONE. This defensive zone coverage of Boudreau's sucks. It needs to change.

I SAID IT OVER AND OVER AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: This team was much better defensively when they had guys banged up early in the year and call-ups came up and made smart plays with the puck keeping everything to the outside.

JEFF SCHULTZ OUT FOR GOOD - SOMEBODY ELSE IN: I don't care if it's Pothier, Alzner or whoever - but if the Caps FO can sit up there and still believe Schultz deserves to be up here then they are out of their minds. There was no excuse for him committing to the half wall so early. He telegraphed it and got faked out of his jock.

Theodore - I only fault him for the first goal. Second goal (great shot top shelf), third goal (he was screened by his own d-man) and game winner - another great shot but at the same time it never hurts to have your goalie step up and make a huge save in that case.

I've been on edge about our D all year but this loosey goosey letting guys come free in our zone we got away with enough - it's to be no longer tolerated now that the playoffs started. It almost seems like this team has learned NOTHING from last year's early exit. If they don't clean it up and make the necessary adjustments - it's going to be another early exit.

Good news - is they see the Rangers and what they're like under Torts now. We'll see how good this team adjusts.

This was a slap in the face but it's one game folks. Still a long series. Ice breakers and goal shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 15, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing the excuses from JT60. He has given up 10 goals in 2 games. That is a 5.0 goals against average. Do we have to say anymore. He's going to give up at least three goals a game. That's the bottom line

Posted by: diner99 | April 15, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

im not happy with your game either. theodore! and ive defended you since day 1 and have been defending u ever since, but regardless of the non-calls or cheap hits. U LET IN SO MANY SOFTIES. you dont deserve the start in game 2, sorry but give Varlie one chance. because we can reward that eprformance with another start

Posted by: capsfan387 | April 15, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Turn the page... to Varlamov.

Posted by: noptov | April 15, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

hope gmgm has some time to watch teams that advance past the first round before he starts resigning some of our deadweight

Posted by: wendel2 | April 15, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I think it is far too premature to yank him from Game 2. If he has another game like this, by all means. Remember guys, Theo still has won every first round he has been in and Varlamov is still a rookie. Cam Wards and Roys are rare.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'll take less than 4.5 million a year to stink.

Posted by: FancyDan | April 15, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

You are kidding your self if you think you can do a better job than Theo. He sucked tonight, but let's keep some perspective here. You suck at hockey compared to him.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

THE GOOD NEWS!!!!

1. we hit the cr*p out of them. green and ovie each had a couple of HUGE hits.

2. moreover, we outplayed them consistently _ALL_ game. from start to finish, we were the better team excluding a few bad goals from theo and a couple of embarrassing defensive miscues (that's generous, i know).

2. rangers offense is entirely ineffectual, with the big exception of a few well-placed wristers. statistically, i'm guessing they just got a little lucky

3. we have some serious ringers in the wings in case we keep struggling: alzner, pothier, and varly

4. ovie was dominant all game. he made the whole rangers team look bad.

SOOO.... This game was a f*cking disaster, but I think it could bode really, really well for the caps _IF_ Theo settles down or Varly gets in and steps up. Other teams really won't stand a chance if we can get average goaltending. So chalk this one up to some early nerves or whatever. If we can last long enough to survive, we'll be really dangerous!!

Posted by: TripDonkeys | April 15, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@skinfans...haha,use blogs to try and sound smart, but 10 bucks said your dumbass barely even made it through high school

Posted by: _stevo | April 15, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm glad we had more hits, faceoff wins, and zone time.

So what?

Posted by: FancyDan | April 15, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"Good news - is they see the Rangers and what they're like under Torts now. We'll see how good this team adjusts."

That's the problem, they don't adjust. It's going to be the exact same game plan on Saturday and it's going to end up with the exact same result. You can't play like garbage for 20 games and expect to just crank it up in the playoffs, especially not for such an inexperienced team.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | April 15, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

We've seen the upside of Josie after Brent Johnson came in early to relieve his weak start and forced him to re-group. He doesn't come out to challenge and the big men on D need to use that size and stand them up at the blue line! When Theodore's liabilities lead to another loss I hope the Caps and Varlamov's mission isn't too far past a revival!

Posted by: nickc | April 15, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget the 2 shots that rung squarely off the iron Jose!

Posted by: EsMyDee | April 15, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Theo is awful, enough said. You don't go far with a terrible goaltender. Put Varly in to build something.

this team will waste great seasons by numerous player by a goalie who lets in softballs

Theo has not, Yes Richmond Phil, nor will he be, the answe

Posted by: gtydings | April 15, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Fair weather. Always seem to find the negative.

Gee, what would all you guys be saying if we lost 4-1 like Philly. It would be a madhouse.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 15, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I heard Theo has talked to OV and has come up with a post game ritual ...they both put their sticks beside the ice cream to keep them well chilled!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 15, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

nj cooled Carolina off. Pens schooled the Flyers. And we have to wait till Saturday. I'll be in a bad mood till then. for the sake of all who know me, I hope it stops there.

Posted by: oo7 | April 15, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes the Caps outplayed them, outhit them, out face-offed them, but still lost. Therefore you've got to look for the reasons: goaltending and defense. I don't have the answers. Let's be honest, these Caps haven't been the same team for weeks now. Now they're forced to win game 2 at home, and must win one game in NY to come back even. Maybe it will all come together, but a solid win is a must have on Saturday.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | April 15, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Start Theo for Game Two.

But depending on the result, I'm in favor of Varlamov possibly starting Game Three.

Posted by: Cerealman | April 15, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL bench theo ...look this team thought they had a playoff goaltender . thats why they didnt make a move at trade time ..now you have to live with the team decision

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | April 15, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

BB has a nagging crush on his NHL-sized former Bears players who have only brought AHL-sized efforts. Bench, trade, send down, just do something with Schultz, Steckel, Fehr and Gordon. I am so tired of their average game and average efforts.

I'd rather have Sloan, Alzner, Aucoin and Giroux up here any day. Give me immaturity over NHL-sized oafs that can't skate or hold on to the puck. I'll gladly take it.

This is not all Theo's fault. The holes were everywhere tonight. The glare of stupidity and mediocrity was shining brightly.

Posted by: DCwho | April 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@docciavelli: I love that caps are so important to you that you had to go out of your way to come and post here =)

anyways,I think we can bounce back from this. our energy was right from the get go and I think if theo had been on his game today, the game would have been more like 3-1. I really do think it was just the nerves that got to him especially with how much he's been on the spotlight lately. let's hope for a solid performance on saturday.

Posted by: jogabonito | April 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan6 - you are my brother. Well stated synopsis (although I'd put two goals on him; and oh those two iron shots would have beaten him also).
The Caps have collective ADD. I'm amazed at the frequency with which most of the guys zone out. Wonder if they hear voices...

Schultz should move to North Charleston SC.

Posted by: beeman | April 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

""Postseason Hinges on Theodore""

When that was posted, it sealed the Caps demise. Good job Wash. Post, way to jinx a goalie and an entire team.

Posted by: Cheef | April 15, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

@Cheef

For once, I agree with you. Was thinking the same thing.

Posted by: DCwho | April 15, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@Beeman - thanks for the kind words haha. I didn't lose sight of the fact that yes there were two pucks that pinged off the iron too haha. Forgot to include that. Yes the Caps ADD kicks in just inside their defensive zone.

Here's to hoping a better and improved effort for Game 2.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 15, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@Beeman - thanks for the kind words haha. I didn't lose sight of the fact that yes there were two pucks that pinged off the iron too haha. Forgot to include that. Yes the Caps ADD kicks in just inside their defensive zone.

Here's to hoping a better and improved effort for Game 2.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | April 15, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the money decides more than the hot hand? Varlamov and Aucoin were the hottest players on the team at year's end...look at St. Louis...time to let our 6 foot plus cigar store Indians the door! They've always good decor at the door but it's past time to move these wooden statues outside!

Posted by: nickc | April 15, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

THEODORE SUCKS BALLS...I USE TO HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR HIM BUT I LOST IT ALL, WE JUST ASK HIM TO NOT LOOSE THE GAME, YET HE FACES LIKE 2 SHOTS IN THE 3RD AND LETS ONE IN...WHAT A PATHETIC LOSER, IF I WAS OVIE I WOULD HAVE KICKED HIM IN THE FACE...I HATE HIM, AND PLEASE SERIOUSLY IT'S TIME TO GET RID OF SCHULTZ AND PUT IN ALZNER AND VARLY.

Posted by: masterx09 | April 15, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Our secondary scoring will happen when we work the crease ALL THE TIME. That's what brings the game full-circle. I don't see that happening with the 6-foot-plus oafs. Give us the smaller, hustling Aucoins and see the scoring opportunities turn from mirage to points on the board.

Posted by: DCwho | April 15, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin ? Don't expect him to contribute "enough", notfair to put that on a minor pro.
Sad day when big money Nylander floats without being held acountable.

Posted by: Cheef | April 15, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

did brashear even play? did he re-injure?

Posted by: oo7 | April 15, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Laying this all on Theo is unfair. The defense was terrible in this game -- two of the four goals were made from the slot with no defender between the goalie and the shooter. Shultz misplayed the puck and fell down, but where was his backup? Same thing with the goal scored when Green fell down.

The offense had a lot of shots, but you don't win games by racking up high SOG totals. Very few of the shots were quality shots in front of the net -- most of them were from the outside of the faceoff circle dots near the boards (you know, the same kind of shots Jagr took when he was here).

I lay blame on the whole team not just Theo. They simply didn't play good enough to win tonight. The defense had holes and the offense was not taking good shots.

Posted by: raymitten | April 15, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

You win and lose as a team but in order to win, the goalie needs to make a timely save, that didn't happen.
Theo pooped the bed, he sucked.

Posted by: Cheef | April 15, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Ray. Two goals scored after the defenseman falls down. It'd be nice for Theodore to make the first save on either of those shots, but he should never have been in that position in the first place.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 15, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I SAID IT OVER AND OVER AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: This team was much better defensively when they had guys banged up early in the year and call-ups came up and made smart plays with the puck keeping everything to the outside

___________


This was exactly my comment to my husband. They were much stronger with the Hershey guys.

I really wish our management would try a bold move and give Varlamov the rest of the series.

Theo has had all year to prove himself. There were a few games where he played outstanding, but he's way too fragile a personality to have in goal. How much more evidence do you need when you have a playoff game on home ice and the goaltender is still giving up soft goals?

I'd much rather lose Round 1 with an inexperienced, but future franchise goalie than lose Round 1 with someone who can't find it in him to be up for a playoff series game on home ice.

Posted by: sasha_206 | April 15, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Post season is entirely different than the regular, people should not think minor pro players can step up now, rather than the big boys.
It's not the same.

Posted by: Cheef | April 15, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I will not accept any more excuses or defense of this horrible goalie. Playoff or not he has sucked all year. We all knew, everyone knew this was gonna happen. He was gonna lose us a game. It didn't take long.

The team played great. This loss is entirely on Theo. We dominated the Rangers, but while Henrik made at least 5-6 ten bell saves pretty much every remotely decent shot went into our net. It was just unbelievable! The only goal I would give Theo the benefit of the doubt on is Antropov's. He was horrendous tonight!

How long are we supposed to be listening to the same old crap from Theo about bouncing back? He can't bounce back. He just sucks. His fundamentals are all wrong. It's as clear as day.

Boudreau has two choices now, as I see it. Either he keeps being politically correct and plays Theo because he's our supposed number one goalie and has a big contract and we get knocked out in the first round or he gives the reigns to a much better goalie, Varlamov. I'm absolutely sure that if you asked the players in private, off the record, they would tell you that they would like to see Varly start.

THEO LOST US GAME 1. Don't let him lose us the series!

Posted by: ranndino | April 15, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

You can't blame Theo for everything - but you can lay this loss squarely at his feet. Anytime we got any momentum in this game Theo gave it right back to the Rangers. There were some defensive breakdowns (Schultz falling down is an obvious one) but all in all we didn't play poorly.

Theo didn't come up with one big save the entire game. He wasn't challenging shooters and he got caught leaning on the goal where the shooter was his sole responsibility. You need big saves to win Caps style hockey.

All that said, Theo starts game 2 - but on a very short leash. 1 or 2 bad goals and we'll see Varly. However, I'm not sure he'll be a savior. He isn't that good...yet. Hopefully he won't need to be - we just need those 1 or 2 BIG saves a game and the offense will take care of the rest.

Posted by: patrone | April 15, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

One other note - I was impressed with the Caps ability to get the puck out of the zone 5 on 5. None of their 5 on 5 goals came from sustained pressure - it was all fast break goals. Theo comes up with a save or two and we win that game by a big margin.

Posted by: patrone | April 15, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Theodore: 'I'm Not Happy With My Game'

Makes two of us...

Posted by: TheSkyIsntFalling | April 15, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, everyone including JT60 knows he was the difference in this game. Face it, BB is not staring SV40 next game. However, if JT60 plays the same way, I wonder if BB has the nuts to make the switch.

Here's my prediction for Game 2, Jurcina sits not Schultz, Pothier in. Remember, JS55 is BB's boy.

Game 1 is no history, let's hope things turn for the better.

Posted by: puckman | April 15, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I think Bruce will come back with Theodore for Game 2, and I'll tell you why in a second.

But I hope he doesn't.

I think the smarter move would be to start Varlamov -- at home -- with the only pressure being that a loss puts us down 2-0.

If Theodore starts Game 2, plays poorly and loses, now we're down 2-0 and what are you going to do then -- start Varlamov IN Madison Square Garden, with the pressure being that loss puts us down 3-0.. effectively ending the series? Completely unfair for a rookie.

I think it's smarter to give Theodore the day off Saturday. And actually, I might even tell him that he'll be back in for Game 3, even if Varlamov pitches a shutout.

But I think coaches are often too optimistic. I think Bruce will say, 'Well Theo's my guy -- I've got to put him back in there.'

That's simply not the case, and it's not the smart move for this Saturday.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | April 15, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

@docciavelli: Yeah man, it has to suck that the pens are so much of your life you have to come here to boost your own self esteem.

I apologize to regulars but to answer his question:

Yes, as I sat in front of my 50" tv in my posh flat(City Center M√ľnchen) the realization that the caps need to adjust a few things sunk in. It also sunk in that, based on their performance aside from the flubs, they are more ready for the second season than I had anticipated.

Even if they do lose and the Pens go to the finals, no big deal it is only a game and I will still love the Caps. I'm 23 and make well over 6 figures so I will have much better things to do than come reign on the parade which will be the high point of your year/life.

Posted by: trunkenmath | April 15, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
you're going to give yourself a heart attack. Maybe you should choose another team with a better goalie to root for.

they win and LOSE as a team. no one player lost this game tonight

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | April 15, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm back because Crosby stopped giving me his "hot stick"

Posted by: CPortisRun | April 15, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Have you all forgotten Druse and Zednik...we're not talking experienced vets there...they both got playoff hot as young pros early...why? No pressure is the answer. Too much explaining to do if they bench JT so be prepared to live or die with the guy! Please don't tell me it's D so much, the guy almost let in one of every 3 shots and more than 2 woulda been considered soft! He's weak and has been since a strong 2nd 3rd of the season - 1st and last 3rds showed why he was an expendable luxury. Varlamov could be our Mason - too bad we'll never find out this playoff! However, there is just no reason we couldn't have Steckel come up injured and get Aucoin in. If we can't have Steck play like a Kerr let's have Aucoin play like a Dino! Speed on D is sorely missing and it's alot deeper than a couple more call ups! Unfortunately accept for a very solid PP unit tonight you better just get ready for more huge shot counts but very few quality shots!

Posted by: nickc | April 15, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

ny scored 3 goals in which theo left open gaping holes

wash scored 2 goals when there was traffic in front of the net

these seem like lessons that people could learn from

Posted by: am_jim | April 15, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

green fell down causing a goal too.

Posted by: derk45 | April 16, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

@realOneal

Thank goodness you don't coach, if Varlamov pitches a shutout, that is clear cut heroic and you go back to him. TELL THEO HE'S BENCHED!!!!! Hot goalies carry a team, ask Olie! He was ON FIRE in 98....nuff said

Posted by: bhound69 | April 16, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

here's a question:

What happens to the Caps in almost every second period? They ease up, let teams come back on them, play sloppy and ultimately loose the momentum of the game or have a hard time getting it back.

Why? When will this team realize that they give up in the second? Yes it happened tonight (the second half of the 2nd period) when most of the breakdowns happened, and the crowd was out of it.

The second period says a lot as to when we loose, keep an eye on it.

Posted by: caps28fan | April 16, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I think ovie should take fewer, better shots.
NY's plan was simple: play strong defensively and make themost of the caps mistakes. The caps scored three, but need toceash thenet more. too much long distance shooting, too many telegraphed passes. NY took away the passing lanes and were well prepared. Caps have two full days to reboot and get ready. all is not lost. changes to line ups will be made. But BB doesn't want to kill Schultzs confidance after the gaff. He's a players coach, right? Pork wasn't ready for this game. Erskine was pretty good.

Maybe, just maybe, the system isn't appropriate for the blueline and goalie they have.

Posted by: oo7 | April 16, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@ bhound69

As I said, I think it's going to be a moot point because I think Bruce will mistakenly go back to Theodore. I hope that works out. If it doesn't we're in big trouble.

As for 1998, Kolzig was 28 years old that year -- in the prime of his career. It would be a lot to ask Varlamov to do that at age 20.

In other words, if Varlamov starts Saturday, you have to believe that we'll still see Theodore back in again at some point. Game 3 in MSG would be the best time for that to happen, and it would be Theodore's last chance to prove himself.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | April 16, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

@oo7

It's more like the goalie isn't appropriate for the system. What to change: system or goalie?..

Lundquist: 0.914, Theo: 0.810 save % tonight. Yeah, right, this is just one game but Theo was a PRIMARY point of criticism the whole season. There's no chance in the world he's going to perform miracles on ice ( >= 0.910). Bench him now. And Schultz. And Nylander.

Posted by: fnralch | April 16, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

The nylander/flash/fehr line has been playing well the last few games. why bench nylander? i hope that line scores a few on saturday to shut you up.

Posted by: derk45 | April 16, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

BB simply does not have the guts or the moxie to start Varlamov and replace Schultz with Alzner. We have to hope we win game 2 with Theo and perhaps Pothier (who really isn't a huge improvement over Schultz)

Posted by: asharifi10 | April 16, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Were there a few defensive lapses, yes, but nothing that couldn't have been overcome. However, Theodore's performance is a different story. He looked nervous and uncomfortable all night. Everything about his game tonight was terrible, pure and simple. Stating the obvious, the Capitals are the better team but the Rangers have the better goaltender and that may be all that matters in the end. I have seen games where the better team lost because the goalie stood on his head but that was not the story tonight. Although Lundquist was good (not great he gave up three), this was more about Theodore being bad. The Capitals cannot win this series if Theodore plays like that for the remainder of the series.

Having said that, I don't want to see them play Varlamov. His future is too bright. Playing him could result in the destruction of his confidence which is typically fragile in a young netminder. Just ride out Theodore win or lose.

Let's keep this in perspective tonight. The Caps are a very young team and its highly likely that they are going to be good for a very long time. What we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. They are only going to get better as they mature and a few more of their highly rated prospects develop. Young teams in all sports go through this. The key is patience.

Lastly, I wouldn't worry so much about the Penguins. Eventually they are going to pay the price for trying to fill holes with aging veterans every season. They have not done as good a job as the Caps have in surrounding their young stars with young talent. I guarantee you they would love to have the depth of young talent the Caps have.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 16, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

My opinion is that Theo had one weak goal. There was a D-man named Schultz who made two goals possible for Rags and he should be getting the blame 50/50 with Theo. I have my respect for Theodore and none (yet) for Schultz.

Posted by: Hazz | April 16, 2009 5:04 AM | Report abuse

This is actually really funny to me. The same people that were on my case about saying that Theo was no good when we signed him are now all of a sudden jumping on the band wagon because we lost 1 game in the playoffs. Now I agree it was a tough loss and Theo's performance was poor last night, but his performance has been average at best all year. So everyone made the decision early in the season that they were going to have confidence in this guy so you can't back away from that now.

History repeats itself.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | April 16, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Defense wins championships in all sports. While the defense may have had lapses, it is still up to your goalie to make "basic" or "routine" saves. We say nothing about other team's defense when they face 35+ shots a game and give up 1 or 2 goals. But when the Caps face 21 shots and give up 4 goals it is the defense's fault. The "defense" had probably 10+ blocked shots last night. So imagine if they shots hat gotten to Theo - could have been worse.

Theo is an ugly baby and we have to call him an ugly baby and stop pretending he isn't. The defense can be somewhat to blame but when the other side of the ice turns away 33+ shots and doesn't give up one to the goal scoring leader, there is something wrong in the Caps net.

You think if we had Lundquist or even Mason we'd be talking about defensive breakdowns or poor play?

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | April 16, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Excerpt From Pierre LeBrun's interview with Jeff Schultz after the game:

PL: Jeff, that was a tough game...
JS: Yeah, the Rangers played well...
PL: You often have been critized for not playing a physiacal game?
JS: Yeah, it's geting annoying! This whole "checking" thing is overrated, and frankly sometimes it hurts.
PL: But you are a big player...
JS: Yes, but I think hitting people is mean. I'm much better at waving my stick back and forth really fast in the air...if you do it fast enough it makes noises like farts! Plus, I know Jose is behind me, so that pretty red light will come on and it gives the stick the strobe effect which is cool along with the farting noises.
PL: What happened on the Rangers fourth goal?
JS: Dubinsky is really fast. If I push him into the wall and stop the play...I stop. I'm so slow that if I stop it takes me half a shift to get going again. He came down the wing and I looked at my skates to make sure they were still on...I have to look...have you ever walked on ice without skates? It's cold, man...really cold! So he goes by me, and I tripped on something? I looked down and it was my jockstrap...I could tell it was mine because it had Schultz written on it.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 16, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Theo you stink. Your skill is mediocre at best. This is the third worst signing in Caps history, behind Jagr and Nylander.

Schultz, you will never be good enough to succeed in the NHL. You are not physical enough for your position and make dumb decisions at the wrong moments. You need to get traded for a draft pick this summer.

That is all.

Posted by: madflava | April 16, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

1). Theo needs to go - I've been leery about him all year, and the goals he allowed last night (direct shots, no-screen, no-deflection, 15-feet out) were pretty typical of his place during the regular season. These are ROUTINE goals that he's allowing, and the media/announcers need to be more harsh on him. The announcers on CSN and the Post haven't directed the blame/criticism like they should to Theo - stop giving him a free ride and tell it like it is: our biggest liability all season has been goaltending. Our offense puts up consistent production - nearly any goaltender in the league would die to have that performance up front. Theo is holding us back and, unfortunately, I'm not really sure there's a better option (20-something goaltenders in playoff intense action just doesn't sound right).

2). Yes, Schultzy blew it on that play. He should and will get benched; Pothier instead will get the nod. We can't call Alzner up b/c of roster limitations, but Schultz will not play on Saturday. Schultz, however, is a big defenseman that has decent skating ability so he does have some utility...so let's not forget that.

Posted by: caps4life | April 16, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

CapsFan44

I agree. Everyone was on my case too and were very offended by Wise's article which, I thought, was fairly objective. But having made the decision to stick with Theo for the regular season, I don't see how BB can drop him at his first weak playoff performance.

I feel for the guy. He really wants to be great for us so badly that his anxiety and head games get in the way of his performance. But he has to be given a chance to redeem himself--not through the series but at least for the next game. My bet is on Boudreau starting him on Sat.

Posted by: caraveli | April 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't panic unless we're down love 2.

Yes, blame must go to Theo because those shots are stoppable no matter how bad the Dee in front of him was playing. He just went down too early & the shots were up high on him. That's his style & his weakness.

He gets another shot Saturday. His last if it doesn't go well.

Also, I think there was too much running around by us last night head hunting.
Like we were trying to prove something to the rangers. kinda played right into their hands.

Yes, we were the more physical team but do we really care about that or playing CAPS hockey?

Most of our shots were from outside & there was hardly any traffic in front of the their goalie.

Go things happen when u go to the net hard (see VK's goal).

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 16, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Excerpt From Pierre LeBrun's interview with Jeff Schultz after the game:

PL: Jeff, that was a tough game...
JS: Yeah, the Rangers played well...
PL: You often have been critized for not playing a physiacal game?
JS: Yeah, it's geting annoying! This whole "checking" thing is overrated, and frankly sometimes it hurts.
PL: But you are a big player...
JS: Yes, but I think hitting people is mean. I'm much better at waving my stick back and forth really fast in the air...if you do it fast enough it makes noises like farts! Plus, I know Jose is behind me, so that pretty red light will come on and it gives the stick the strobe effect which is cool along with the farting noises.
PL: What happened on the Rangers fourth goal?
JS: Dubinsky is really fast. If I push him into the wall and stop the play...I stop. I'm so slow that if I stop it takes me half a shift to get going again. He came down the wing and I looked at my skates to make sure they were still on...I have to look...have you ever walked on ice without skates? It's cold, man...really cold! So he goes by me, and I tripped on something? I looked down and it was my jockstrap...I could tell it was mine because it had Schultz written on it.

Posted by: lylewimbledon
-----------------------------------------

I have been pissed of since getting home from the game last night, was in a sour mood while reading this thread but this has me laughing. So it's 0-1 time for the Caps to step up. Avery took a bit of a hammering too.

Posted by: Redwolf1 | April 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at how fair weather and panicky a lot of you are. Was Theo bad? Yes. Did the defense leave him alone on an island a few times? Yes. Is this game an unmitigated disaster? HELLZ NO. Will all you fair weather, sky is falling, bandwagoners jump back on instantaneously if the Caps win Game 2? HELLZ YEAH.

In a seven game series, losing Game 1 (as long is it's not a blowout) is not a huge deal. Games 2 and 3 really set the tone for the rest of the series and I look forward to a better effort then. Also, Gabby should stick with Theo for Game 2, going to Varly this early is like throwing chum in the water for the Rangers, they would LOVE to pick on a rookie goaltender right now.

Posted by: playahatah | April 16, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I just read all of the posts and how can no one comment on the statement that "Cam Wards and Roys are rare"? Are you really comparing Cam Ward to Patrick Roy. I mean Ward is a decent goalie but lets not get ahead of ourself.

I have tried defending Theo all season saying that it was the defensive lapses that lead to his bad numbers but those first 2 goals last night should have been stopped and really the 4th one should have as well. I might be wrong but I believe all three beat him glove side high. Does he not know how to use his glove? I would still start Theo on Saturday but if he lets in 2 soft goals then yank his ass for Varly. Or it would be great if Johnnie could get back in there.

As far as Sarge goes, I haven't been a fan of his all season. I would love to see Alzner up but I understand leaving him in Hershey to get experience. And whoever it was who says that Potsy is not a huge step up from Sarge is just wrong. Potsy knows when to step up (especially in the offensive zone to keep the puck in the zone) but is also MUCH faster then Sarge to get back. Bench Sarge and get Potsy in there. He is a vet with playoff experience.

But again it is only 1 game of a 7 game series. Remember we won the 1st game last year and went on to lose the series so you cannot jump ship just yet. Also, don't we have a really good record this season playing weekend games at 12:30 or 1?

Posted by: pkendrick | April 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Ok Schultz's interview with LeBrun just pisses me off even more. He is too slow and too indecisive to be a puck mover and thinks its mean to hit people. Well BOO F'ING HOO Jeff. This is hockey and it is a game of hitting.

Posted by: pkendrick | April 16, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Ok I am an idiot and I just woke up. Nice work lyle

Posted by: pkendrick | April 16, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I think the right thing to do would be to give Theo the start in game 2. First softie he gives up, snatch him out. That way you give him a shot to get back on his game without looking like we're panicking. And there should be no reason to panic yet. It's only one game. As long as he's part of the team, you cant turn your back on him. But you can't let him ruin things for everyone else either.

Posted by: jfwil | April 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Of course Theo is not happy with his game. His last two appearances he has a 5.0 goals against and a 81% save percentage. Those are ECHL numbers. Did any of the Caps pro scouts bother to watch last year's playoffs. Yes, Theodore was the goalie for the Avs victory vs Wild. It was a 7 game series and the Wild have historically had trouble scoring goals. But did you get a load of the Red Wings series. I think his GAA was 5.5 with a 84% save percentage. Now the Rangers are not last year's Wings, but they sure looked like it last night now didn't they. nough said...

Posted by: diner99 | April 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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