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Theodore to Start Against Rangers

Some quick notes from the morning skate:

*As anticipated, Jose Theodore will get the start in goal against New York. Theodore faced the new-look Rangers on Sept. 24 in the second-to-last preseason game, which the Capitals lost, 3-2.

*Brian Pothier is back in the lineup after sitting out against Philadelphia, while Milan Jurcina is the odd man out as the rotation of healthy scratches on defense continue. Eric Fehr and Michael Nylander are the other scratches. You'll likely only see the lineup of seven defensemen and 11 forwards until Fehr, who is still on the ice, and Tomas Fleischmann are ready to go.

*Tyler Sloan will indeed make his season debut against the New York Rangers tonight, skating as a forward on the fourth line with Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley. Although the Caps didn't wear color-coded jerseys, the rest of the line combinations appear to be the same as they were through the first three games.

*The Rangers are extending their reputation of bringing up young defensemen. Rookies Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy have combined for three goals and four points in New York's first three games this season.

By Katie Carrera  |  October 8, 2009; 10:50 AM ET
 
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Next: Caps Need Resilience Against Rangers

Comments

Going to be Rockin the Red in Sec. 425 tonight! WOOOO!

Posted by: SmallZ827 | October 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Go Theo!!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 8, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse


I like the last name, [Porsche] Carrera [GT].

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 8, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't Boudreau sit Tom Poti on defense? He was awful against the Flyers.

Posted by: apva2 | October 8, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

less news, more Ovie blogs, plz.

Posted by: TotallyTacos | October 8, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

apva2 - I'm sure Bruce has his reasons. It was one game for Poti and probably not as bad as you might think. I know we all have our opinions (particularly on the players) but I have complete faith in coach. He knows hockey and his players, and with all of the stuff that goes on behind the scene, I (for one) feel no need to question him.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Looks like any D is going to be eligible to sit out any night, aside from Green anyway.

Posted by: Sonyask | October 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Right and if any D is eligible to sit out, then why not Poti? Jurcina had a great game against the Flyers. He even took out van Rymsdyk with a great check. Doesn't really make sense.

Posted by: apva2 | October 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Remind me again, why didn't theo start the last game? I thought he was the main guy. I thought the main guy keeps going until he gives up a bunch of goals.

Posted by: rjma1 | October 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@rjma - good point about Theo.

I'm not a huge fan of Theo, and really - not sure about Varly. Goalies are never sure bets. (see Maxime Oulette + more for Caps).

I think that's why I respected Olie so much b/c the guy was a work-horse day-in/day-out for the Caps when they really sucked.

I'll have to defer to Boudreau but why play Sloan at wing?? He doesn't want to do it...so just to get him some ice?? Doesn't make any sense to me.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 8, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe so many FANS think they know more than Bruce.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Sloan on the 4th line could work out well. 6'4", 210 but he plays a bit bigger (heavier) than that I think. He may be able to work the corners pretty well. And I see him bringing in a nice forecheck too. No Sugden tonight, eh?

Posted by: Fro_ | October 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Went to the Frozen 4 this past year, and watched to Rangers/Devils game the other night. Gilroy is going to have himself a nice NHL career.

Posted by: Fro_ | October 8, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

A couple of quick replies from previous threads.

I didn't say that Lucic wasn't a good player. I simply stated that he isn't worth $4 million a year. I stand by that opinion. He's not skilled enough to be paid that much. Kessel scored 36 goals as a 21-year old and was the most dynamic player on the team.

I keep finding it ridiculous how people already find fundamental problems with Varlamov's game simply because he has allowed possibly 2 bad goals in 2 very open, high scoring games aside from also making a ton of great saves. For a little perspective see the starts to the season by Luongo and Brodeur. According to such "experts" those two must totally suck and also need to be sent to the minors to work on their fundamentals. Jump to conclusions much?

Posted by: ranndino | October 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup -

That's not the argument at all. I'm not saying that I know more than the coach. I'm just trying to understand the logic behind taking a player out of the lineup that is coming off of a good game, as opposed to keeping another player in the lineup coming off of a dreadful game.

And I'm also trying to look at the big picture here as well. This team is going to have to make a decision sooner or later as to which 6 defensemen they want to keep. The more I think about it, in this day and age of the salary cap, Tom Poti and his $3.5 million cap number seems pretty expendable to me. Especially when we have numerous other cheaper options.

Posted by: apva2 | October 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@SmallZ827

What Row in 425? That is where my tickets are and I'd like to say hello. I am in Row H 1 & 2

Posted by: opus1m | October 8, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

In Bruce I trust. I think for once our coach is able to look to the post season and I think he's started planning now. Why else would he be testing all the guys already? Better to
mix it up now, fewer surprises in the playoffs!

Posted by: mrszilla | October 8, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Read the Japers Rink article on Varly. Since for some reason I'm not able to login and comment there...

The whole argument that Varly allows goals in bunches seems factual, but only from the point of complete disregard of how the goals were actually scored. It's nothing, but a generalization. That's like saying that a goalie is having major problems because he has allowed 10 goals in two games even though all 10 were allowed on 2-on-nones and he had no chance on any of them. I don't find that to be an intelligent analysis. Stats don't always tell the full story. Like I and someone else have pointed out if you examine each goal on its own Varly can hardly be blamed for more than 2 of them. On all the rest he did as much as was humanly possible to stop them and the results wouldn't have been different if any other goalie was in his place, including ones that are currently considered the league's best.

Posted by: ranndino | October 8, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@opus1m

K 13 & 14

Posted by: SmallZ827 | October 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Right and if any D is eligible to sit out, then why not Poti? Jurcina had a great game against the Flyers. He even took out van Rymsdyk with a great check. Doesn't really make sense.

Posted by: apva2 | October 8, 2009 11:51 AM

-------------------------------------------

I believe he got called for a penalty for that hit. Nonetheless, I agree Juice had a better game than both Erskine and Poti.

Posted by: Raber | October 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Just to add to my last sentence, if anyone truly thinks that Theo would have done better they live in a fantasy world. Had Theo been in goal vs. Toronto we could have easily been down after the 1st period when Varlamov stopped numerous 99% chances which we turned into goals at the other end. The Flyers game wouldn't have even been close.

Posted by: ranndino | October 8, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@opus1m

K 13 & 14

Hope to see you there.

Posted by: opus1m | October 8, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Can't believe so many FANS think they know more than Bruce.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 12:07 PM

gonchpup: Tuesday night and Wed am, about a dozen of us posted that Ersk and Poti had had a rough time against the Flyers. Then you and a few others wrote back, basically to chill, it was a long season, one pt on the road vs the Flyers was still good.

Next thing, though, and we have quotes from BB saying the 3/4 pairing was bad; a story lead-in from Tarik saying same; and then I think we read here an article from another paper again with the same premise.

So...bottom line...none of know nearly as much as the coach, but maybe sometimes were not as dumb as some might think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Anyone heard the latest on Green's injury? It's too early in the season for him to continue to play if he's injured more than he's led on.

Posted by: UngaBunga | October 8, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ah hah:

The article about Varly in one of the links in Tarik's story about this morning's round up, sums up exactly my concerns. The writer says that it is not so much the number of goals but what the MANNER of goals score might indicate:

"...But the manner in which Varly has been allowing goals lately is particularly worrisome because, as Boudreau notes, it's indicative of a problem that may be more mental than physical. Sure there are technical flaws in Varly's game. But if he doesn't get his head straight, he may not get a chance to correct them at the NHL level.

How bad has it been for the young Russian? Corey Masisak expands on the "bunches" to which Boudreau referred:

Five of the last six times Semyon Varlamov has put a Washington Capitals uniform he has allowed three goals in a period. -- vs. Pittsburgh in Game 7, @ Buffalo and vs. the N.Y. Rangers in the preseason, and vs. Toronto and @ Philadelphia in the regular season. This doesn't even include that Duchesne Cup disaster when he yielded nine goals.
The kid looks great for long stretches, but when they start going in ..."

I rest my case. This is exactly my concern rather than the technical issues that can be corrected. Remember, he already had the reputation of someone who was sick a lot and got easily tired. In my experience with my goalie grandaughter and other players I know, frequent illnesses are signs of stress for some people.

Are we back to depending on Theo and hoping for a miracle?

It is disheartening that we have scored the highest number of goals but we also have the highest number of goals against. Imagine what we could do if we had better goal tending and defense. But, as someone said, in Bruce I trust.

Posted by: caraveli | October 8, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

everybody, rantdino has spoken...your opinions are worthless. move along

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

ranndino: Many of us know that you back Varly more than most. I too believe he has the potential to be a solid goaltender in the NHL. The fear I have, and probably many other is his track record since game 7 of the Pens series. He had an obvious meltdown in Game 7. Now, I will be the 1st to admit we were in Game 7 of the 2nd round because of his great goaltending. It still doesn't take away the fact that something happened to Varly's confident in that game way back in May.

Now, fast forward to this pre-season, and I know, it was preseason, but Varly was in a 3-way dog fight. He gave up 3 goals in the 3rd period of the game in Buffalo. Again, I realize preseason, and I saw replays and maybe he could have saved them, maybe not, but he didn't.

He then gave up 3 goals in the 3rd period against the Rangers in the last preseason game.

Then in the game against Toronto he gave up 3 goals in the 3rd. Granted, he played a nice game, but 3 goals in 1 period for the 3rd time in a week and a half.

Then came the 2nd period in Philly where he gave up 4. To say only two were his fault isn't much of a defense since he gave up 4 goals in, what, 12 minutes.

Again, IMO Varly can be our goalie of the future, but HE needs to believe he can and regain confidence in himself. Hopefully the team leaders can run defense for him as far as the media in concerned because he doesn't need that distraction.

I heard a good saying regarding goaltenders a long time ago. If they have to make 5 or 6 highlight saves a game, they may only be highlight saves because they aren't where they are supposed to be. Think about Roy and Brodeur. Some people say that part of their success is luck because sometimes they didn't see the puck and it just hit them. Well, it HIT them because positionally they were in the right place.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

was there any question that JT60 would start??

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

wonder who will spar with Brash tonight ?

Posted by: outrbnksm | October 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Opus & Small - 425 is well represented here - I'm in same, row G.

Rock the Red!!!

Posted by: TerpGrad | October 8, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Again... I understand that we all have opinions and that at times fans witness players making mistakes. All I am saying is that I am sure that the coaching staff sees them as well, and the players themselves know when they didn't bring their best. The difference is that they know how best to deal with it far better than any of us. The other night there were those that pointed out the mistakes and called for changes and others who downplayed the situation. It's a long season - sometimes you need to let players work through things - especially the goalies... not something that I envy of the coaches. Many of these decisions require far more consideration than any of us are privy to. I am sure that Bruce and his staff are making decisions about Poti, Erskine, etc... with far more to go on than us.

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Only caught a glimpse of it, but what was that talk about Forseburg? Spelling is wrong, but you know who I mean. Was there any talk about bringing him on?

Posted by: coastallp74 | October 8, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

section 421 in the hizouse

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

ranndino

Believe me I am a great supporter of Varlamov and want things to work out. My concern, as I said before, is not the number of goals but the possibility that he has a mental vulnerability that gets him rattled in certain situations and that may be an obstacle in fulfilling his extraordinary potential.

I speak from experience, though perhaps experience is making me less objective. I have watched an incredibly talented hockey player in my family self destruct and leaving behind a promising hockey career because of mental issues (by which I mean lack of the kind of mental toughness it takes).


I am not sure how this is overcome. I am rooting for Varly that he has what it takes and that, maybe, he needed these early melt-downs to toughen up.

It is interesting that BB put him in goal that time because he wanted to tested him in a highly pressured situation. It tells me that he is concerned about his ability to sustain performance against relentless pressure.

Posted by: caraveli | October 8, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup: Fair statement. I agree.

What it comes down to though is the Caps fans are split into two camps:

Camp A: The team as constructed is likely the way we should compete for the Cup;

Camp B: The team needs to acquire a 1st pair, defensive defenseman by next April.

I am in Camp B. Possibly, but unlikely, that player can come from within. Very unlikely I think. So, since that player isn't in the system, you need to make a ttrade, or so we believe. That leads us Camp B fans to: 1) call for resolution to Nylander situation to free cap space and 2) get on your nerves by pointing out deficiencies to the current defense.

Amazing that everyone has backed off on ShaMo. But, whichever defenseman has the most recent worst game in a loss, that person will be getting ire all year from the Camp B'ers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | October 8, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

as a camp B'er and past critic of ShaMo, i think he has stepped up his game.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

tominfl - I guess it's obvious that I'm in the A camp. Ready to take the Cup? Close. I think our young defenders need some work and the coaches need to find a way to get everybody to buy into the system at both ends of the ice. I can understand camp B's concerns about D, but it is very difficult to pick up such a quality player at the end of the year. If one is available, several teams will be banging on the door for him and the GMs will have their hands full - That is one of the reasons we need to count on making the most of what we have to work with in case a deal can't be made. Hey... at least we all want the same end-result!

Posted by: gonchpup | October 8, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the only reason Erskine is playing tonight is to take on Brash. That's why Sloan is starting at forward. When Erskine in the box for 5 for fighting BB can move Sloan back to D and not have to double shift any other D.

Posted by: ravenfan1 | October 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

A couple of quick replies from previous threads.

I didn't say that Lucic wasn't a good player. I simply stated that he isn't worth $4 million a year. I stand by that opinion. He's not skilled enough to be paid that much. Kessel scored 36 goals as a 21-year old and was the most dynamic player on the team.

I keep finding it ridiculous how people already find fundamental problems with Varlamov's game simply because he has allowed possibly 2 bad goals in 2 very open, high scoring games aside from also making a ton of great saves. For a little perspective see the starts to the season by Luongo and Brodeur. According to such "experts" those two must totally suck and also need to be sent to the minors to work on their fundamentals. Jump to conclusions much?

Posted by: ranndino | October 8, 2009 12:20 PM

@ranndino: Well Said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | October 8, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

apva2 - "That's not the argument at all. I'm not saying that I know more than the coach. I'm just trying to understand the logic behind taking a player out of the lineup that is coming off of a good game, as opposed to keeping another player in the lineup coming off of a dreadful game."

There are thousand possible reasons. Maybe Jurcina is dinged a little. Maybe Boudreau doesn't want to mentally crush players by sitting them every time they have a bad game. Maybe they worked on things in practice that they want to work on in the game as well. My guess is that Boudreau planned out a rotation a while ago and sticking with it to make sure all players stay mentally and physically ready. It's game 4 of 82 not the playoffs. Long way to go and a lot of determinations still to be made.

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

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