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Varlamov appears set to start

Here's a quick run down of the Caps' lineup/injury situation from this morning's optional skate at ACC:

*Semyon Varlamov appears to be line to start tonight at ACC while it also looks like he'll be backed up by Jose Theodore. Michal Neuvirth, meantime, has been reassigned to Hershey to make room for right Andrew Gordon, who was recalled from the Bears today.

"We had to make room on the cap, so we sent Nuevirth back down," Coach Bruce Boudreau explained. "And we needed a roster spot, as well."

Why Gordon? He's got 20 points (eight goals, 10 assists) for Hershey.

*Ready or not, Theodore will suit up tonight. Boudreau, however, wouldn't say when the veteran, who has been given time to refocus and deal with family matters, will be back between the pipes.

"Physically he is" ready to play, Boudreau said of Theodore. "So I don't know when...He's not going tonight, but he's available to go tonight."

*Vesa Toskala (0-4-2 with a 4.26 goals against average and .854 save percentage) will start for the last-place Leafs, who have only three wins this season.

*Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn took the morning skate, but he's been ruled out after losing consciousness briefly during a collision against the Rangers.

*Tom Poti, who suffered an upper body injury in the second period last night, did not travel with the team and is day-to-day, Boudreau said. Poti didn't return to the ice after the Canadiens' first goal.

*Also not traveling are: Milan Jurcina (groin), Alexander Semin (wrist), Boyd Gordon (back).

In all, the Caps will be without seven players who were on the ice in Boston on opening night against the Leafs. But that's no excuse for a letdown against a team they should beat handily, Alex Ovechkin said.

"It doesn't matter what place they are," Ovechkin said. "They still have a prett good team and pretty good players. It's not going to be easy to beat this team especially in this building."

"It doesn't matter who gets hurt - we have to step up," the two-time MVP added. "It's a big opportunity to show what they got. They've done a great job."

Boudreau is taking a similar view.

"We're going to make do with what we have," he said. "We have [seven] regulars out. I just talked to Quintin [Laing]. He's trying to figure a way to get back in the lineup. He's that kind of guy."

Boudreau was joking about Laing, who has a broken jaw. I hope.

*Boudreau on whether Alex Ovechkin can help offset all of the injuries: Not "if he plays like he played last night. Normally he's the best player on the planet. We need him going at full speed to compensate."

I'll check in with a lineup later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 21, 2009; 12:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Maple Leafs

Comments

lets hope they play better than last night. I know its hard with all the injuries but i was at the game, and it was dreadful. Maybe with Varly the guys will react differently? lets just hope. We can't afford to lose against a team with three wins...

Posted by: bleedred | November 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope to see a better all around effort from the Caps tonight! Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: NatyBG | November 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Still not understanding how Theo being back and Neuvy being down got us cap space, but I'll leave that to others.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

With Nuvi up we were carrying 3 goalies. Theo can't be sent down without clearing waivers - so we were carrying all 3 cap hits last night. Sending down Nuvi takes his cap hit off our books.

Posted by: patrone | November 21, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

With Nuvi up we were carrying 3 goalies. Theo can't be sent down without clearing waivers - so we were carrying all 3 cap hits last night. Sending down Nuvi takes his cap hit off our books.

Posted by: patrone | November 21, 2009 12:46 PM |

Oh yeah, I'm an idiot. For some reason I was thinking Theo's hit was off the books. I have no idea why.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I dont mean to burst Tarik's bubble, and I dont know if Im the only person to notice,
but Gordons 8 goals and 10 assists doesnt equal 20 points !

Posted by: jacobware222 | November 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

A.Gordon has 8 goal + 12 assists in 18 games. He's a +7. 9 PIMs. 6 power play goals.

Posted by: tess2201 | November 21, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey cut Tarik some slack writers are good with words, numbers not so much.

Posted by: caps512 | November 21, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Re CSN and CSN+ - I think there should be a rule that, between the Wiz and the Caps, the team with the worse record gets shown on CSN+. Actually, I think hockey should always get the preference, because HD makes a more significant difference for hockey than basketball. After watching hockey in HD, watching it in regular TV is almost unwatchable (and I wouldn't if it weren't the caps).

Posted by: hook99 | November 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I say bring back ch.20!!!

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know what the policy is going to be in terms of caps on CSN+? Watching CSN+ on a HDTV is TERRIBLE! What are the ratings for Caps vs. Wizards?

Posted by: ralph4100 | November 21, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ralph4100 | November 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

they probably get higher ratings than the Caps... DC has always been a basketball city.

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

also, depending on how the Caps are doing this season, it looks like Wizards could be better ratings. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/11/wiz_tv_ratings_up_93_percent.html

Am I the only one who thinks that's crazy?

Posted by: ralph4100 | November 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

the Skins own the DC area but it's not a football town, it's a basketball town. When Maryland basketball is doing well, it trumps Caps' hockey any day.

it's just the way it is...

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Nylander's gotta stop this Hamlet routine -- Caps need the cap space.

Posted by: tfirey | November 21, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Caps always get shafted by being aired on CSN+. I don't get it. Basketball is so boring. How are those lame fouls at the end of the game NOT whistled for being intentional? Kidding me? If you get your butt beat all game long, you shouldn't be able to sneak back into it in the last 2 minutes by touching/slapping someone's wrist.

Posted by: F_Danny_Boy | November 21, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I lost my interest in basketball after Len Bias died... before then I was a huge hoops fan

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

SO DID HE

Posted by: sidehillman | November 21, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain why it's not possible to have two HD csn channels?? Same deal with masn. Is it bandwidth or cost or something else? Don't understand that at all.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 21, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Well you were certainly having fun with all the trade rumors on the last thread.

1) A whole sh*tload of people for Peverley of Atlanta

2) Sending both Jagr and Nylander to join Semin on the Oilers. (Only problem, is Edmonton really that eager to take on a 9-10 Million Cap hit for only two players?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@bleedred

No, we can't afford to lose against a "bottom feeding" team like Toronto, especially with Vesa Toskala in goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"In all, the Caps will be without seven players who were on the ice in Boston on opening night against the Leafs."

...huh?

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | November 21, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

But that's no excuse for a letdown against a team they should beat handily, Alex Ovechkin said.

"It doesn't matter what place they are," Ovechkin said. "They still have a pretty good team and pretty good players. It's not going to be easy to beat this team especially in this building."


________________

Is it just me, or does this not seem right? Ovechkin was saying that you really should not look at it like you "should beat a team handily". I do not see how this pertains to using injuries as an excuse.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@ShariLeigh131

Our current injured list: Semin, Gordon, Jurcina, S. Morrisonn, Knuble, Poti, Laing.

They played in the opener.

We're so bad off in that department that we have to do creative cap management to call up guys from Hershey.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 21, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

CSN+ may be in transition to HD, since the Comcast MontCo HD guide lists it as being HD, but it's actually 480i. And over the next couple months, 48 HD channels are being added to their lineup.
And then there's the Comcast purchase of NBC deal,so I have hope the plus will be HD someday.

Posted by: Max231 | November 21, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Re; CSN+ and Wiz/Caps

Gotta realize we still live in America, and not anywhere near the North of it. Basketball and Football will always reign supreme, and as joek said, that's just the way it is.

Gotta disagree with him on DC not really being a football town though.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Boy isn't that true Capsfan75--they are banged up.

What I heard from Ovi and BB when asked by reporters about how weak a team the Leafs were and shouldn't we beat them handily was that no one should ever underestimate the Leafs, indeed any NHL team, and that we were not at our best because of injuries. Hopefully the young blood can bring some momentum.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

What I heard from Ovi and BB when asked by reporters about how weak a team the Leafs were and shouldn't we beat them handily was that no one should ever underestimate the Leafs, indeed any NHL team, and that we were not at our best because of injuries. Hopefully the young blood can bring some momentum.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 21, 2009 5:16 PM |

Exactly. But it seems that Tarik is implying that the comment means that they should not use injuries as an excuse if they lose to a team that they should beat easily.


"But that's no excuse for a letdown against a team they should beat handily, Alex Ovechkin said."

Ovechkin didn't really say that at all. On fact, Ovechkin says they have a pretty good team, it does not matter what place a team is in, and that it won't beat easy to beat them. Frankly.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Re CSN / CSN+ for Caps/Wiz - Caps are on CSN+ 12 times this season (4 already behind us) and Wizards on CSN+ 14 times (2 behind us).

So Caps have 8 more CSN+ games to go; Wizards have 12 more.

Posted by: grackle5 | November 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

well I was listening to the Tony Kornheiser show last week and David Aldridge who used to work for this newspaper and is a DC native was on. And what he said made sense to me.

he said, "DC wasn't a football town, it's Redskins' town... there's a difference, if anything, it's a basketball town". His reason being the area has never been big on college football and it hasn't produced many football players... on the other hand it has produced many famous basketball players.

Also the Redskins aren't just a football team in the area, they're an institution... which is true.

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

he said, "DC wasn't a football town, it's Redskins' town... there's a difference, if anything, it's a basketball town". His reason being the area has never been big on college football and it hasn't produced many football players... on the other hand it has produced many famous basketball players.

Also the Redskins aren't just a football team in the area, they're an institution... which is true.

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 5:39 PM |

Hah, good point. Not a football town, but just a Redskins town.

That kid Eric Hayes graduated from my high school. Is he supposed to be NBA-bound?

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Did you learn Math with George McPhee?

20 points== 8g 10a?

Posted by: CapsandRavens | November 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Did you learn Math with George McPhee?

Posted by: CapsandRavens | November 21, 2009 5:48 PM |

What's this even supposed to mean?

Posted by: richmondphil | November 21, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil--I agree with you--Ovi and BB both said the Leafs were a pretty good team, could really bring it to us, have great players, and they work hard. Neither of them used injuries as an excuse. I think it was kind of a lame question to tell the truth. Clearly my answer was too convoluted--I was trying to say that they were answering a reporter who brought up injuries and the Leafs should otherwise be easy to beat

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 21, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh and I listened to the video where the quotes came from. I didn't read the piece above very closely. BB today said to the reporters something about where he wasn't confident about tonight because they were banged up and that the Leafs were a really good team--don't underestimate them. I'm paraphrasing here. Same true Ovi--have to bring their game. Frankly they sounded a little down to me.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 21, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not liking Ovi in the crease on the power play. I know he tried hard and was reasonably effective last night. But isn't this strategy like hiring Michelangelo to paint your barn? Don't we have other guys who can play that role in Knuble's absence? I'd hate to see Ovi get dinged with a slap shot from the point or slashed by an opposing d-man.

Posted by: zmega | November 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

maybe BB had enough of him turning the puck over at the blune line on the PP

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

at the blue line

Posted by: joek443 | November 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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