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Theodore set to start in Boston as Caps go for 11 (updated)

The Caps just wrapped up their morning skate here at TD Banknorth, and it doesn't appear as though there will be any surprises with the lineup.

Jose Theodore came off the ice first and will start in net tonight as they go for a franchise-record 11th straight win. The veteran goalie had a 19-save performance in a season-opening 4-1 victory here and has won seven straight starts overall, which matches the longest winning streak of his career. It's also the longest streak for a Caps goalie since Cristobal Huet won nine straight during his brief tenure here.

Karl Alzner was called up from Hershey, but he stayed on the ice with the scratches, so he's going to be the odd D-man out. Quintin Laing also will be a scratch, as will Mike Green, who is serving the second game of a three-game suspension.

"We're on a trip, we've only got six defensemen, and you never know if someone gets sick during the day, we don't want to be caught flat-footed," Coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked why Alzner was recalled. "I know Quint will play anywhere, but we don't want to play him on defense if we don't have to."

The mood around the Caps, as you might expect, is pretty upbeat. At one point before the morning skate, I could hear all of the players erupt in raucous laughter as they were suiting up. When Alex Ovechkin came off the ice after the skate, he was rapping along to Jay-Z, who had been blaring from the speakers a little while earlier.

"It's going to be fun if we win it and make history," Ovechkin, who needs four points to reach 500 for his career and become only the ninth player in NHL history to accomplish that feat in his first five seasons. "We want to win and move forward. We want it."

The last team to win 11 straight games was the Sharks in 2008. The last streak longer than 11 belonged to the 2000-01 Devils, who won 13 in a row.

"It's light, but at the same time, that's what they normally do," Boudreau said of the loose vibe surrounding his team. "They get along well with each other. But I think they were pretty serious in the meetings today. We know Boston is a very good team and we know they're about to break out of this slump. We just don't want it to be against us."

Tim Thomas will be in net for the Bruins, who have lost seven in a row overall (0-5-2) and six straight at home. Despite the slump, which has them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, Coach Claude Julien said morale remains high in the Boston dressing room, especially after two strong (but losing) efforts the past two games.

"They have a lot of skill on that hockey club, so we've got a challenge," Julien said. "The only way to get out of this is by sticking together.

"The only motivation we have winning a hockey game here," he added when asked if snapping the Caps' streak might provide a little extra motivation. "That should be motivation enough. We're capable of doing it. But the challenge right now is a little bit bigger because the team coming in is playing well and has played well all year, is very confident and has a lot of depth. We have to respect that."

Two interesting notes from the Boston Globe's Bruins blog:

*The last time they went winless in eight straight games was between Dec. 22, 1955, and Jan. 12, 1956.
*Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom have combined for 83 goals. Marco Sturm, Patrice Bergeron, and Blake Wheeler, the Bruins' top three goal scorers, have 40 strikes between them.

One more note: Injured goaltender Semyon Varlamov practiced in Hershey this morning, according to Bears beat writer Tim Leone. Varlamov is still on the Bears' roster.

Goalie Semyon Varlamov, recovering from a knee injury and still officially assigned to Hershey, went through a full practice with the Bears. Caps goalie coach Arturs Irbe is in Hershey.
"I was happy he was able to go through practice," Bears head coach Mark French said. "I was able to focus on him a few times. He looked good. I guess probably the true test is when he's done practicing what he's saying to Arturs and to the trainers."

Update: ESPNBoston.com is reporting that Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara has been playing with a dislocated finger and might need offseason surgery.

Also, join Gene Wang tonight on Caps Insider for another live game chat at 7 p.m.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Boston Bruins, Jose Theodore, Karl Alzner  
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Next: Live game chat: Caps at Bruins

Comments

Continuing from previous thread, wouldn't Polak be a better pick from St. Louis? Reasonable price, strong defensively, a hitter.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, Jackman has a pretty high salary and 2 years left on his contract.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

For what its worth, BOTH Alzner and Sloan have been having some difficulty moving the puck out of our own zone, but I just think that Sloan offers a bit more in the physicality department. He is a nice guy to have skating around when things get rough. He did make some direct mistakes that led to scoring chance, but he did pinch in nicely for a scoring chance himself and usually is good at taking out the body of other players. Alzner seems like a more timid version of Pothier right now. Pothier by the way has been playing more physical than I have ever seen. He loves to hip check which you don't see much anymore.

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | February 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | February 2, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Chara is so big, Im starting to wonder if he is losing his motor skills already...kind of like Gheorge Muresan?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Skins fan...

Both guys haven't played well.

Carlson in my opinion has played better than both of them.

But anyhow, I really like our forwards.

As much of a hater of Chimera I was, he has done a great job over the past 10 games.

I like that every player has a role and they are perfecting it. Also BB has gotten everyone involved. Brads on PK is awesome, same with Stecks and Gordon.

Third line is grinding it through and our top 2 lines are as good as any line in the NHL!

Theo has been playing well, but I am not sold on him in the playoffs. When he fails, who are we turning to? Varly? What if he's hurt? Neuvirth?

This is a big question, because I think we have a two year window, before it gets more difficult (with all the FA at the end of the year)...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 2, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Off the subject, I am preparing for an extended trip to Iraq. And getting Caps games are all but impossible. How can i get in touch with Ted regarding caps games? I would hope that he might make them available on line somehow.

Posted by: fatboy08 | February 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

OUCH, Chara!

Trying to hold a stick for a slap shot with a dislocated pinkie finger can't be easy. :-(

Posted by: irockthered | February 2, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Fatboy

Good luck on your trip...be safe and THANK YOU for everything you do to defend our freedom!

You can get the NHL games at NHL.com. It's like 20 bucks a month.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

SC,
That sounds like a very good option, I will be sick when I have to go and I have to give up my Center Ice.

Posted by: fatboy08 | February 2, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes, fatboy08.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@fatboy08

Be safe in Iraq.

I haven't used it myself but isn't slingbox
supposed to let you watch your home TV (and,
in your case, your Center Ice) anywhere??

Posted by: sldyer1 | February 2, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

anyone else see Varly's new mask?

Looks awesome. Hope he gets back soon

http://ingoalmag.com/masks/semyon-varlamovs-new-washington-capitals-mask/

Posted by: CentralPACapsFan | February 2, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@fatboy08

Best of luck to you!!! Definitely write Ted about Caps feeds to Iraq. Knowing him, he'll be all over that. And if you're back by June, I'm sure the Caps will still playing! Stay safe and endless thanks. xo mo

Posted by: mokentoff | February 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt be nervous with any of our three goalies going into the play-offs. Call be crazy if you want, I just feel a certain confindence in the "team".

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt be nervous with any of our three goalies going into the play-offs. Call be crazy if you want, I just feel a certain confindence in the "team".

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 2, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Folks,
Does anybody have Teds email? It would be wonderful if i were home for this years playoffs, but I won't be home until next March, just in time for our Caps to make a repeat run!

Posted by: fatboy08 | February 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the double post....

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 2, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

If the Wings can do it with Osgood, the Caps can do it with Jose, Varly, and/or Neuvy.

Posted by: thomas20 | February 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

YES!! Live chat!!! =)

GO CAPS! Make your daddies proud!! and your fans!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Crosby should be the sixth player to reach 500 points in his first five seasons. Right now, he's on pace to hit 499.69 points by the end of the regular season, so it could be close.

In other news, Ovi is on pace for almost 120 points this season. He's averaging 1.617 PPG and the team has 27 games left in the regular season. 43 more points would put him at 119, the most points in a season since Crosby in 2006-07.

For historical perspective, the most points in a single season accrued by an active player is 132 (Selanne, 1992-93). 119 points would put Ovi fourth among active players in total points in one season (the other three being Crosby, Recchi, and Thornton).

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

fatboy,
i think it's ted@washingtoncaps.com. you can check tedstake.com too. good luck to you. hs

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

fatboy,
i think it's ted@washingtoncaps.com. you can check tedstake.com too. good luck to you.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Ted's email address is washingtoncaps@aol.com

Posted by: rockingthered | February 2, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

fatboy08 - try this site to watch games online...http://www.channelsurfing.net/. I haven't tried it but know of someone who has. They list tonights game vs boston.

Posted by: jimc93 | February 2, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, and I will continue to monitor CI as I always enjoy the conversation.

Posted by: fatboy08 | February 2, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

espn america does NHL games overseas

Posted by: joek443 | February 2, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

fist pumps fatboy08!

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Bucci's Power 5

1. Washington Capitals

Explosive and balanced scoring, and much of that scoring is coming from young players who are still getting better. Worried about goaltending? Here are your Stanley Cup-winning goalies since the 2004-05 lockout: Cam Ward, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Chris Osgood and Marc-Andre Fleury. That isn't exactly Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. What do all four post-lockout Cup-winning teams have in common? They all scored a lot of goals.

Posted by: joek443 | February 2, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Crosby should be the sixth player to reach 500 points in his first five seasons. Right now, he's on pace to hit 499.69 points by the end of the regular season, so it could be close. "

Probably not. He usually has a game or three where his tampon doesn't quite fit right. I expect him to fall a little short.


Posted by: Wiley_One1 | February 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Ted's email address is washingtoncaps@aol.com"

Like millions of others, he would probably love to have a real email address someday.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | February 2, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@ fatboy08: At the risk of redundancy, thank you for your service to our country, be safe and come home soon.

Posted by: TimDz | February 2, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Back to the regularly scheduled stuff. I watched the Fri game yesterday (DVD'ed, as I was out training in the snow). I was of kinda taken aback by Lockers assertion that the Fla player cheap shoted Green when Green injured his knee. I didn't rerun it but I thought it was aclean hit. Locker was saying that the Fla player stuck his leg out, and I just didn't see that. Injuries do happen on clean hits, it's part of the game. I guess Laughlins expertise just dropped in my opinion.

Posted by: fatboy08 | February 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm out of town today and am desperate to watch the game. Any tips on watching a stream? Thanks in advance!

Posted by: letsgocaps819 | February 2, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm out of town today and am desperate to watch the game. Any tips on watching a stream? Thanks in advance!

Posted by: letsgocaps819 | February 2, 2010 3:16 PM
__________________________________

www.sportsmansguide.com/net/browse/Browse.aspx?c=50&s=450

:)

Posted by: TimDz | February 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Try atdhe.net for games on the internet. It is pretty reliable and links to a lot of games in various sports including NHL and AHL games.

Posted by: _Mark | February 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@fatboy08 - I spent a good bit of time this past weekend going over video of various hits and reading the NHL rules. My conclusion was that Kulikov "led with the knee" but did not "extend the leg outward." As such, it would be a 2 minute minor rather than the 5 minute major for kneeing. You could also make a case for charging under Rule 43. I did not see it as an "intent to injure" situation which leads to game misconduct and potentially a suspension - intent to send a message definitely, but probably not to injure.

Posted by: zmega | February 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

fatboy08,

channelsurfing.net is the way to go. I don't need it for the Caps but I watch all kinds of other events for free even when they are from a pay site. All NHL games are typically broadcast plus a ton of college basketball games.

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 2, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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