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Theodore to start, Varlamov absent again

Jose Theodore will be between the pipes tonight against the Red Wings, and by making his third straight start, the veteran appears to have regained the No. 1 role in Semyon Varlamov's absence.

"He was relegated to the backup role because the kids were playing so good, [but] now it's his turn," Boudreau said of Theodore, who has posted three straight wins with a 1.55 goals against average and .948 save percentage in that span. "You go through peaks and valleys in a season. He was going through a valley at the time and the other guys were playing great. Now he's playing pretty good."

Varlamov, meantime, did not skate for the second straight day while recovering from knee and groin injuries. And for the second straight day, Boudreau insisted that Varlamov has not suffered a setback.

"He skated for the last seven or eight days and we wanted to give him two days to make sure the leg is totally fine," Boudreau said. "Yesterday he worked really hard off the ice, so we wanted everything off today. I'm under the assumption, at this stage, that he'll be on the ice tomorrow, not with the big team, but on the ice skating, making sure he's okay."

Boudreau said that if Varlamov "feels good" after two days of skating on his own, he could join the team after that. Asked for a realistic target date for Varlamov's return, Boudreau said: "January 1. But that target is already gone. I don't know."

Some other notes and quotes from the morning skate:

*Karl Alzner was recalled from Hershey and will indeed suit up tonight. Looks like he'll simply replace John Carlson on the right side of the third pairing with Shaone Morrisonn.

Although he was sent down earlier this month so that he would eligible to play in Hershey, Alzner's ice time was also on the decline before he was returned to Hershey.

"I'm looking at consistency, that's what I want out of him," Boudreau said. "It's not game to game -- there's some shifts he's fabulous and you say, 'Wow, what a great play.' Then all of a sudden there's a goal going in on him. We want to eliminate that and for him to do what he did in junior and the American league so successfully, [which is] be such a responsible player that we can count on him in all situations."

*The forward lines don't appear to have changed.

*Boudreau said he hopes John Erskine will return from what the team is calling an "upper-body injury" on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Erskine will miss his fifth straight game tonight.

*Brian Pothier, who has been sidelined the past two games, won't face the Wings and is starting to look doubtful for Thursday, too.

*When Boudreau was asked about the limited number of power-play chances his team has received in recent games (the Caps had one power play against Florida, one against Philadelphia and rank 18th in the league in total number of power-play opportunities), he responded, in part: "As for why we're not getting calls, I don't know. I see them but they're not getting called."

Boudreau then added: "It goes in cycles. At one point in the season we're getting four or five [power plays] a game and we're only giving up two or three a game. Now, we seem to be giving up four or five a game recently and only getting one or two a game. I mean, hopefully the cycle changes."

The Mike Green-led power play went 1 for 1 against Philly and leads the league at 25.1-percent. Green's 24 power play points lead the league.

But there's a good chance we won't see the unit much tonight. Detroit has taken the third fewest minor penalties in the league behind Nashville and New Jersey.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 19, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
 | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Jose Theodore, Karl Alzner, Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Red Wings at Caps

Comments

Primus!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Secundus!

Useless Latin trivia aside, @kuklaskorner says that Osgood starts tonight for the Wings. I wonder why.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 19, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Crap our top future goalie could be as fragile as a porcelin doll.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 19, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@kuklaskorner says that Osgood starts tonight for the Wings. I wonder why.

Posted by: kittypawz | January 19, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting -- Howard's been the hotter hand this year. Also means he will go until the finals or next year before he ever faces the Caps

He did look beatable against Chi. on Sunday.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 19, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

enough with the "goalie controversy" stuff; there isn't one. BB said he would go with the hot goalie. he is keeping his word. Theo is a veteran. that counts for more than a lot of people here will care to admit.

Posted by: doughless | January 19, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Starting Osgood is smart IMO.

Howard is a young goalie with his last 2 games being shootout losses. The caps at home is not an ideal setup for a young goalie who needs a confidence boost. Confidence is such a huge factors with goaltenders. I was shocked to see Emery play the last game against the caps. Not the best way to welcome your rusty #1 goalie back from injury.

Plus, Osgood played well against the caps earlier this year.

Posted by: hockeyguy44 | January 19, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

veteran or no, Bruce will play the guy who lets less pucks in...

Posted by: PonMan | January 19, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ott is a gritty, grinding pest. He is not an enforcer though.

Posted by: FLDave | January 19, 2010 12:37 PM |

When did I ever say he was an enforcer?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, starting Emery on Sunday was a cipher.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 19, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Osgood, he gets no respect in D-town. Wins a few Cups with the Wings, sees them to 13 of their 18 consecutive playoff berths, gets traded and spends 4 years away from the team, only to come back and get sat on the bench...again.

Maybe its his mask, people see it and think he's a relic and forget he's a darn good goalie

Posted by: breaklance | January 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Crap our top future goalie could be as fragile as a porcelin doll."

I'm concerned about this too. It's not like goalies get hurt often either. Semyon "Glass" Varlamov.

Go Caps!

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Goalies get hurt all the time.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

breaklance, they gave Osgood the chance at the start of the year. He hasn't been good at all this year, but really, neither have the Wings as a whole.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Ott scored 19 goals last season but had 135 penalty mins.
His cap hit is 1.425 million.
Turco would be nice in net too but with a cap hit of 5.7million.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 19, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Someone mentioned bringin in Ott could quiet the enforcer talk. I thought it was you, if not sorry...

Posted by: FLDave | January 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

There is a big difference between being "fragile" and hurt. The gut has a groin issue which is a very common occurence with goalies... if you know anything about the sport. Give the guy a break. He'll heal in time and be dominant once again.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 19, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

There is a big difference between being "fragile" and hurt. The guy has a groin issue which is a very common occurence with goalies... if you know anything about the sport. Give the guy a break. He'll heal,in time, and be dominant once again.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 19, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I said Ott might quiet the enforcer talk as he is another player that will step up if necessary. I dont think we need an enforcer but could use a player like Ott. Did anyone see him fight Harding last night against Minnesota? He went hard to the net, Harding gave him a shot and he came up slugging. I love it.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 19, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

who's going to be in pitt thursday night? i live in pitt, wore my red for the 6-3 caps win last january (ovechkin was no.1 star), then had to endure the taunts after the game 4 loss in the playoffs.

hoping to see a lot of red rockers at the game this week.

it's sooo much fun wearing the ovechkin jersey here in penguin land, especially because he's public enemy no. 1 in pittsburgh.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: redrocker2 | January 19, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm hoping that our newfound friend in the #25 sweater will continue as he has been. I wouldn't want to fight that dude. Jason Chimera is a B-E-A-S-T!

Posted by: irockthered | January 19, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@bigschu8

Ott doesn't add an intimidation factor to ward off players like Orr, Godard, Belak, Brashear, Fritz, etc. He's like most of the Caps, willing to mix it up and defend their teammates, but poses no serious physical threat.

We already have enough 'gritty' or 'team toughness' guys. IMHO we need a guy that can knock someone the F into next week.

Posted by: FLDave | January 19, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

He has yet to fight a notable fighter. Plus he has not been dominant in any of his fights. Chimera is not an enforcer, never has been, never will be.

Posted by: FLDave | January 19, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Count me among those who want to add more grit, not goonery.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 19, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Groin pulls are tough to get rid of. I used to get them when I played high school sports. You sit out, rest, then slowly start working out again, stretch good, think it's gone, then boom there it is again. I don't know about the knee situation, but Varly could have this groin pull problem the rest of the season....

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

There are plenty of players that can take regular shifts, throw HEAVY hits and fight. Bradley had @ 10 minutes of ice time on Sunday, Carcillo had the same amount of time with a better +/- rating in a losing effort.

Just because someone can fight does not always make them one dimensional.

Posted by: FLDave | January 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Ott- with a cap hit of around 1.5 million, I think he could work well here. It's true that he is not an eforcer-in hockey terms, but I don't think an enforcer is going to help all that much in the playoffs. He's a solid body and can get under peoples skin. I watched him last night against Minnesota. He is certainly annoying and can back it up with his toughness.

And per Wikipedia "As part of his pestiness, Ott learned and memorized offensive phrases in other languages to strategically annoy his opponents on the ice in a language they could understand."

Above and beyond. I'd welcome him.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder for those at the game tonight, if the Caps get 4 goals don't chant "We want wings," has to be "We want chicken wings" or something like it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder for those at the game tonight, if the Caps get 4 goals don't chant "We want wings," has to be "We want chicken wings" or something like it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It'd be a great bit of irony -- or something -- if it happened, but don't count your chicken wings. No jinxes

Posted by: Sonyask | January 19, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Enforcer, huh. Lets talk about something less beaten into the ground.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Over at Japers Rink they have an interview with Bobby Clarke who had great things to say about Ovi--definitely worth reading. He thinks Ovi would have been one of the best players back then too:

"Recently, Russian Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretiak was in Montreal and he said that Alexander Ovechkin must be half-Canadian, since he plays such aggressive hockey. Do you agree?

"Every Canadian dreams of playing like Ovechkin" smiled Clarke. "He's a real bull out there on the ice."

Would he have fit in with Philadelphia in the 70's?

"Easily! Ovechkin could have been the best player on any team at that time."

Even better than you?

"Much better! There's no way I could compare myself with him. Look how he skates, how he fights for the puck. Look at how much strength and drive he has. I'll say it again- he's a big bull. He just runs over people on the ice. It's really difficult to play against Ovechkin."

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Agreed--I'm done with that topic.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 19, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Lets talk about something less beaten into the ground.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 2:52 PM

Hmmm, well, theres always the Jeff Schultz debate. Ohhhhh, you said LESS BEATEN.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How about we talk about an Enforcer who happens to be a robust goalie? No?

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 19, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

How about we talk about an Enforcer who happens to be a robust goalie? No?

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 19, 2010 3:02 PM |

Johnathan Roy? THE RAYZOR?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Or even better, a bruising, stay-at-home robust goalie?

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with that. We definetely need a more stay-at-home goalie.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Is Hextal still around? How about Billy Smith? We could play 5 forwards all the time cause no one would go near our net. Whack!

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 19, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Varlamov is not the groin. That is a fairly common problem with goalies. My concern is that he had a knee injury last season and, now again, this season. It does not bode well for a young goalie to be having knee problems.

Posted by: rock-o | January 19, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Unrelated, but life is so mich better now that Verizon Center has started using lids for their draft beers. The people in the seats in front of me are grateful.

Now if they can just do something about the fur on the hamburg buns...

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm about as big of a Theo basher as they come, but I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due.

Theo has been the hot hand lately, and completely deserves the starts he is getting.

All things considered, I would rather *not* have a reason to bash Theo, I wish he consistently played as well as he has been the last few games.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

And per Wikipedia "As part of his pestiness, Ott learned and memorized offensive phrases in other languages to strategically annoy his opponents on the ice in a language they could understand."

Above and beyond. I'd welcome him.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 2:36 PM


@Fro_: LOL--that reminds me of Esa Tikkannen, who had his own private language in which to harangue opponents--some called it "Tikkanese"

Anecdote: during one practice while with the Edmonton Oilers, Tikkannen suddenly blurted out something that sounded like this:

"Atta dinna sticka who!"

Another Oilers player turned to Tikkannen's fellow Finn Jarri Kurri and asked: "What did he just say?"

Kurri stared a thousand-yard stare, slowly shook his head and muttered:

"I have no idea."

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Help. I just found out that I'll miss the Caps - Pens game this Thursday because of a business dinner in NJ. Do you guys know of online options to watch the game?

Thanks!

Posted by: jakopz | January 19, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

How about a stay-at-home goalie enforcer-type that can skate, plays well on the powerplay, and stays out of the penalty box.............

Posted by: gonchpup | January 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder for those at the game tonight, if the Caps get 4 goals don't chant "We want wings," has to be "We want chicken wings" or something like it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 19, 2010 2:36 PM


@ds_kelly:

IMHO, whatever words we do sing, they should be sung to the tune of the Meow Mix jingle...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Is Theo considered an offensive goaltender, since he has a goal?

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@jakopz:

I use channelsurfing.net

Has always been very reliable.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave
I agree that the Caps will stand up for each other and we do have some players who have a similar style to Ott. Someone mentioned getting Lehtinen from Dallas earlier and I simply agreed with richmondphil that the Caps could use a player like Ott more. I like the way he plays and the Caps could always use more grit going into the playoffs. I just don't agree that we need an enforcer. Oops, did I bring it up again. LOL

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave - No, he's not an enforcer, but he is willing to drop the gloves; he's fast, and he provides an element of grittiness. I like him.

Posted by: irockthered | January 19, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Fro. I'll check that out.

Posted by: jakopz | January 19, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Why is there always talk about who we need? My god, tied for first in the conference, most goals, a bit exciting to watch, don't you think? Then there are those that say we don't have what it takes to make it through the playoffs. The Caps are getting better as the year progresses and we have seen plenty of grit WHEN NEEDED! Some just want a team of Avery/Carcillo types. I say stick with the skill and class we have and if that's not good enough, start following the Rags or Flyers and be happy.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 19, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

To the people harping on Osgood, remember that he's already beaten us once this year...

Posted by: Raber | January 19, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

We need Ponger. and Fanoof.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

and Needlemyer.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Is Theo considered an offensive goaltender, since he has a goal?"

---

No, Theo is considered an offensive goaltender when he plays like he did against the 'Canes a couple weeks ago :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd much rather roll 4 full lines like we're doing right now than give a roster spot to a fighter with marginal skills - which would then take minutes away from the 4th line. Fresh legs, baby... they feed the wolf.


And Osgood used to be great, but has been painful to watch this year - Howard deserves every start he gets, so I'll take tonight's lineup.

Posted by: jay-17 | January 19, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil,

I think you meant Panger...true grit

Posted by: jeets | January 19, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again with BB making excuses for Theo: "He was going through a valley at the time and the other guys were playing great. Now he's playing pretty good."

How many times has it happened in the past when a couple of good performances restore BB's confidence, he praises Theo and makes excuses and then 2-3 games later the same thing happens.

Not that he has much choice, of course. I would like to know if he has lost confidence in Neuvy. Isn't he due for another start? I don't know what to think about Neuvy. I thought that he was slow in adjusting but solid and consistent once he got going. I imagine it takes a while to build confidence. But Theo is gone in a few months and Neuvy, supposedly, is the future. If anyone should be given chance after chance it should be Neuvy not Theo. Where am I wrong here?

Also what's up with Varly? Ordinarily I wouldn't think much of an injury except for the reputation he seems to have. I remember even readind somewhere that his frequent illnesses gave pause to the Caps in terms of permanently promoting him to the number one slot. What has anyone heard about it?

Meanwhile, had they kept Huet at all costs we could be on our way to the Cup now.

So far it seems that the experience with the two young goalies has not been conclusive. One had a setback in two consecutive games; the other was injured right when he was beginning to establish himself and prove his consistency.

Where does it leave us in terms of goaltending needs. Are the two kids ready to assume the number one and two slots on their own?

Posted by: caraveli | January 19, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Darren Pang(er)?

He's more of a roving, offensive goaltender, rather than a stay-at-home goaltender.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

No, he hasn't lost confidence in a 20-year old rookie goalie because of 2 bad games.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If we acquired Ott and Neidermeyer, there would be countless Animal House references from here to eternity. I say make it happen- for that simple fact alone.


Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

why in the world do you regret us not resigning Huet?

Posted by: _stevo | January 19, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Goaltenders get too much blame for losses, and too much praise for wins.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Generally the fighting is less and less the deeper you go into the playoffs. Therefore I would not go for an enforcer at this point in the season. The offense is great, no need to "sell the farm" for Kovalchuk. Now if Chimera can increase his "pest-ability", we could be okay there. The only glaring need is a tough "quarterbacking' defenseman. That would be the only move I would make. Other than that just hope for the goaltending to hold up.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

at the end of the day Caraveli, if Theo plays well the Caps have a good shot at winning any given game. so, you being a Caps "fan" and all, YOU too are a Theo fan. the Theo bashing is more played out than the enforcer bit.

Posted by: doughless | January 19, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

A PK forward is a more "glaring need" than a defense man.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

huet is looking good these days because the hawks dont let any shots get through to him...they give up the least amount of shots in the league.

i used to play hockey on a company team for a little software company over here in redmond washington...the #1 goalie on that team was a Sr VP that couldnt skate. he split games with our #2 goalie that was better.

funny thing was #1 had the lower GAA...reason was b/c we knew we couldnt let anythign get through to him...we were diving in front of shots from center ice...of course, once they switched up in the middle of the 2nd period...as a team we would relax and our #2 goalie would get pounded with shots...

the short of it is we have 2 very promising rookies (plus one in the cupboard) and a fairly solid veteran. they are all inclined to get hot...adn they are all inclined to get cold...thats what goalies do.

BB is taking the right approach...ride the hot one until he goes cold and then ride which ever one gets hot next...

not a bad problem to have...really...its not a problem. its an asset to have the options...

Posted by: deadskin | January 19, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Someone get caraveli his bottle. It's time for his nap or something. Unless he knows the exact performance of each of our goalies including Theo, I don't see why we should even debate using Theo while he's doing well and still part of the team. It appears that Varlamov and Neuvirth still need a little more time to grow into the role.

Someone give caraveli his marching papers with the Doofus Brigade.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 19, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

stevo:

Are you kidding about Huet? He helped us turn around the team and make the playoffs. And look what he is doing for Chicago now. I consider him the main factor for their success.

We never had the kind of unpredictability we have with Theo when Huet was in goal. I well remember how happy we were to finally be able to rely on a good goal tender. And signing him up would have kept the momentum and created consistency until Varly et al were ready. I do believe that Theo's up and downs cost us getting deeper into the playoffs last year.


@doughless:

I am not sure what people mean by "bashing" Theo. I think "bashing" implies someone being victimized and unfairly beaten up when the odds are against him. Theo is not a victim, neither do I see anyone attacking him just for the pleasure of humiliating him. He is just not up to the standards of a stellar goaltender a team needs on the elite level. I think the evaluations of his performance have been more than fair.

Of course I want him to shine and win games for us. My problem is that, after re-gaining my confidence in him only to be disappointed over and over again , I have accepted that he is not the goaltender we need.

And here is my issue. When you know that your goalie under- performs 60 or 70% of the time, do you just sit there and hope that he will have a good game next time you are up against a rival or during playoffs? Logic tells me, no! You make plans rather than make excuses.

For a while, it looked like between Varly & Neuvy, Theo was no longer an issue and our golie problems were at last solved. But it is now looking like Theo is once again in the mix and neither Varly nor Neuvy can be counted on as alternatives (at least for the time being). Of course, I can't expect the coach or GM to share their plans and thoughts with the fans. But I would like to believe that there is a plan, rather than hear excuses. I would hate it if this was out situation going into the playoffs, wouldn't everybody? Am I the only one to worry about our goal tending?

Posted by: caraveli | January 19, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If we acquired Ott and Neidermeyer, there would be countless Animal House references from here to eternity. I say make it happen- for that simple fact alone.


Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 4:14 PM |


@Fro_: Um...no. Anybody who's ever watched Animal House knows that Niedermeyer was a member of Omega house, not the Deltas--i.e.,he was one of the Bad Guys!.

ergo, we would not want him.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Considering Huet the main factor for CHI's success makes me think you haven't watched them play.

They have so much offense, and they play a stifling defensive system. They allow the least amount of shots per game than any other team in the league.

Huet has been yanked/demoted several times this season, giving rise to Anti Neimi.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

goalie situation = it is what it is. since i am feeling zen today, I guess we will just have to trust that GMGM and BB have their plan submitted to the hockey gods. we are along for the ride as it unfolds.

Posted by: doughless | January 19, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention he lost the #1 spot last year to Khabi.

So, he lost the #1 spot last year and is on a give and take with Neimi this year and somehow he's the main reason for their success?

You know what's a pretty good indicator of when a team's defense deserves more credit than the play of the goalie? When the goalie's GAA is good, but his save percentage sucks.

Posted by: richmondphil | January 19, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

the playoffs start in April... no need to panick about the goaltending situation till then

that's when they will need a healthy Varly... they don't need him right now

if you wanna worry about something, worry about the PK... that's a lot more pressing concern.

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Stars vs. Minn game last night. Ott would be a perfect fit. Caps better hurry, his agent is already talking with stars about an extension.

Go Caps

Posted by: Redcaps1 | January 19, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

if you wanna worry about something, worry about the PK... that's a lot more pressing concern.

Posted by: joek443

You are right. Need a change of scenery from goal-tending to PK. What on earth is going on with PK? And I noticed that we have also allowed 2-3 short-handed goals lately. I don't ever remember us surrendering that many shorties--not that close together.

Posted by: caraveli | January 19, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Bucci's Power 5

1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. Washington Capitals - After they get that top-four defenseman and a healthy Semyon Varlamov, they will be the favorite in the East once the playoffs start.

3. San Jose Sharks

4. Vancouver Canucks

5. Buffalo Sabres

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Jimmy Howard not starting?

Should be a good one then. I think our streak of 4 goals a game shall continue tonight. =)

Posted by: rachel216 | January 19, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Ryan miller is boss. But if the Caps/Sabres met in the playoffs, could he survive 7 games of #'s 8, 19, 28, 22 and 52 (among others)?

Im not sure..

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

And I threw Knuble in there for the crash-the-net/rebound aspect of this team.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 19, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm getting ahead of myself but isn't Marc Andre Fleury injured right now? I wonder who'll start against us on Thursday. That would be awesome if it was our old friend Brent Johnson. The last game PIT played their rookie goalie Curry gave up 5 and got pulled.

Posted by: rachel216 | January 19, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry caraveli, but to suggest BB is "making excuses" let alone "again" for Jose sounds pretty laughable given BB's approach to Theo this year. I think he's been relentless in his criticism most of the time and has deprived him of too many starts.

Jose deserves our praise for his recent play. He's been terrific.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 19, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris Osgood is the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or could this be a statement game? Don't come here with your tired, your poor, and your weak...Or we'll spread chicken wings all across town.

Posted by: terlin1 | January 19, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse


I know I'm getting ahead of myself but isn't Marc Andre Fleury injured right now?
live TV link http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | January 20, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

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