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Jose Theodore vs. Brent Johnson

Caps vs. Pens.

Alex vs. Sid.

And, of course, Brent vs. his former teammates.

Tonight's game has got it all. But since the first two rivalries have been done to death, let's talk about the other one, shall we?

Brent Johnson spent the previous four seasons in Washington and was one of the most popular players in the dressing room. But tonight he'll be in the Penguins' net, facing his former buddies in the most anticipated game of the regular season.

Johnson doesn't talk in the morning on game days, and today was no exception. But Bruce Boudreau shared his thoughts on "Johnny," who, as I pointed out last night, is 4-0-0 with a 1.16 goals against average and a .956 in his career vs. Washington.

"He's a tremendous guy," he said. "We love Brent. He was a really good goalie, too. We were sad to see him go, but when you've got young guys that we had, I guess you have to make decisions. It was tough. But we were glad he bounced back. We wish he wasn't here, but he's a good goalie, so we have our hands full."

Boudreau also said he doesn't believe the Caps' familiarity with Johnson, and vice versa, will have any effect. (I still say it's worth looking to see whether Alex Ovechkin and Co. will pick on Johnson's blocker side.)

"You can think of five reasons why it's an advantage for Brent, and you can think of five reasons an advantage for us," Boudreau added. "But in the scheme of things, the goalies play the way they play. Only if you have a breakaway do you think of what his tendencies are. Usually it's bang-bang situations."

Johnson will face Jose Theodore.

Some other notes and quotes from the Caps' second-to-last regular season morning skate at Mellon Arena:

*As you've seen by now, rookie John Carlson has been recalled and might play tonight. Boudreau said a few players are nursing "ouchies." He wouldn't get specific, but the speculation is that Mike Green might not be able to play.

Green, who was involved in a heavy collision with Todd Bertuzzi on Tuesday and did not practice yesterday, skated this morning but looked awfully stiff. Green would only say "we'll see" when asked if he'll suit up. Boudreau said he's a game-time decision.

*Brian Pothier did not travel and won't play; John Erskine skated but stayed on the ice for extra work so it looks like he's out. Quintin Laing also stayed out, so it looks like he'll be a healthy scratch.

*Boudreau on whether he's seen any difference in Ovechkin since he became captain: "You guys build that so way out of proportion. There's no changes. Nobody changes."

*Based on the morning skate, the forward lines with be unchanged: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble; Laich-Fleischmann-Semin; Chimera-Morrison-Fehr; and Gordon-Steckel-Bradley.

The D-pairings will obviously depend on whether Green plays.

*And finally, the barista here at Starbucks is wearing a black Kris Letang jersey t-shirt. His name tag says he's from Woodbridge, Va. What's up with that?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 21, 2010; 1:41 PM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Mike Green, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Next: Video: Alex Ovechkin on the Penguins and Sidney Crosby


First. Go Caps!

Posted by: derk45 | January 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Johnny was odd man out. I really liked him in a Caps jersey.... But he is dead to me.... for tonight... :)

Posted by: _Mark | January 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

We would still have Johnny if Theo didn't have a 4.5 mill price tag (plus the 4.8 Nylander weight...which I know is now off our books)...

Bottom line, we need Varly to get well...AND SOON!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

As good as Johnny was for the Caps, you're telling me that Semin, OV, and Backstrom don't have a manual on this guy's shortcommings? It's not like he's gotten any younger either. Go CAPS!

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The advantage has to be with us. Johnny was a great guy. Came through in some clutch situations but time after time he was suspect. I say that with the best intentions as I know put in some great performances. BUT...there's no way he can stop Semin (if he keeps hold of the puck) and the boys from scoring.

My prediction...4 goals for the the first period...OV drops the gloves with crybaby..and Matt Superman Bradley comes flying out of nowhere and pummels the crybaby.

Anyone know of a good bar to watch it in...I want a loud place with atmosphere. (MD or DC... not VA)


Posted by: TottenhamCaps | January 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

random thought, not about tonight's game, but about the "Mr. Nasty" article on the Bog the other day--

I was watching the Blues - Canadiens game last night and there was a fight in the first few minutes of the game between some guy named Crombeen or something for the Blues and Travis Moen of the Habs.

Pierre McGuire who unknowingly christened Schultzie "Mr Nasty" when he said he was a whole lot of nasty, apparently recycles his comments. At the outset of the fight, he described Crombeen as "bringing a whole lot of nasty to the party." Maybe it'll spawn a nickname for him too...

Go Caps!

Posted by: jason595 | January 21, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@ As good as Johnny was for the Caps, you're telling me that Semin, OV, and Backstrom don't have a manual on this guy's shortcommings? It's not like he's gotten any younger either. Go CAPS!

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | January 21, 2010 1:57 PM

That works both ways. Johhny might have the "book" on our shooters as much as any goalie, but I hear what your saying!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | January 21, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse


Keep in mind shooters can change it up on the fly, goalies not so much. I'm hoping for a 7-1 win by the Caps and Cindy gets ejected for whining too much.

I know the second one isn't going to happen but the first one still might.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I was watching the Blues - Canadiens game last night and there was a fight in the first few minutes of the game between some guy named Crombeen or something ...
Posted by: jason595 | January 21, 2010 2:12 PM

B.J. Crombeen. Winger from Denver, played in Dallas before being traded to Blues.

Posted by: Dalliquippa | January 21, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Tottenham: JP and Puck Daddy are having a viewing party at Bailey's at the Ballston Mall.

The Caps are having a viewing party at one of the Hard Times Cafe in VA (not sure which one).

Finally it is "the game of the month" at all locations of The Greene Turtle .

Posted by: CapsNut | January 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Still not in love with that third line, but I guess it's not the one we'll be taking into the playoffs.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@ jason595:

Pierre McGuire says 'a whole lot of nasty' about everyone. I am Canadian so I get Wednesday Night Hockey on TSN every week, and he says that same thing every single week. He also says 'monster', 'spectacular' (in reference to a save, and '(insert team name)'s fans, get excited about this guy' about 19 times a period. You guys shouldn't give 55 a nickname that Pierre McGuire gave him, because if every team did that they would each have 2 or 3 players with the same nicknames.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You could tell that barista to go to hell, but it seems like he's already found it...which is to say Pittsburgh...nevermind.

Let's go Caps!

Posted by: dkw9s1 | January 21, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

SO much to comment on, I barely know where to start...

To Tarik -- Stop by the SBUX over here at Ballston some time. The Baristas LOVE the Caps and wouldn't be caught dead in any other team's garb.

To JohninMpls -- I LOVE that 3rd line, and I predict, so will you in time.

To TottenhamCaps -- I would pay extra to see Ovie fight CryBaby.

To Everyone -- We have the edge over Johnny, not the other way around. Coach was just being his normal diplomatic self, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Go CAPS!! Go Mr. Nasty!!

Posted by: Caps16Fan | January 21, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Pierre McGuire says anyway...

Posted by: gonchpup | January 21, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse


We all think a nice crosscheck or a boarding would have been justified! After you got your drink of course!

Posted by: Cheer2Caps | January 21, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Geez, who moves from NoVA to Pittsburgh to work at Starbucks?

Posted by: CapsChick | January 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Go Pens!!

Ovechkin loves Semi(E)n?, hahahaha

Posted by: scottwvu | January 21, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse


Your comment explains why you are attending WVU.

Posted by: AADCDERM | January 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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