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Varlamov Interview on CSN Tonight

Tarik's out of town this weekend covering the Indy 500, but Comcast SportsNet's got your Caps fix covered tonight and tomorrow night.

Part 1 of Russ Thaler's interview with goalie Simeon Varlamov (translated by Dmitry Chesnokov of Sovetsky Sport) airs this evening during SportsNite at 6:30. Part 2 will air Friday.

In the interview, Varlamov sets the record straight on how to pronounce his name, but then adds that fans should probably just stick to calling him "Varly." Check out a preview below:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 21, 2009; 4:10 PM ET
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Next: Morning Look Back: And Then They Cheered


The NHL should fine Crosby for his playoff beard attempt.

Posted by: SA-Town | May 21, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

And I thought he had a messy face from eating chocolate cake or something...

Posted by: Greg S. | May 21, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anyone told Thaler that his chanting of "Varly" in the interview sounds like when the crowd is getting on an opposing goalie after letting in a few goals, not a chant the crowd does after a big save.

Varly seems like a good kid with a sense of humor.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 21, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout do an interview with Neuvy?! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | May 21, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

That was a nice snippet to watch. Makes me sentimental. The season of yearbooks and temporary good-byes is over. Now, all we gotta' do is wait until next season. *sigh*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 21, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: richmondphil | May 21, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Moose33: I agree, Varly seems to have his head on straight. Doesn't seem as though that last game bummed him out.

Posted by: dezlboy1 | May 21, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit my comments are based on the previous article.

I noticed Ovi and Orpik were rated among the most rugged players in the NHL. It's interesting that the picture of Orpik shows him knocking down Alex Semin. (He spend most of the series knocking down, cross checking, and otherwise abusing Semin.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 21, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Go Canes - Defeat the Flightless Flowl! 3-2 Canes!

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 21, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse


Agree with you. The Canes are the lesser of two evils. Then again, I'll root for anyone against the Pens, even Philthy (as I did this playoff series.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 21, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Varly may or may not end up being a great goalie, but the kid needs to work on his hair.

Posted by: superpaqman | May 21, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

How can ya not love Varly? Great goalie, great kid, great sense of humor ... I dig him. VAR-LY! VAR-LY! VAR-LY! BTW, THN has an article about him in their latest issue, too.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 21, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether anyone posted this link yet or not...good article about John Carlson:

Posted by: tess2201 | May 21, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Varly rules.

Carolina is getting spanked again. They are likely to get swept. This series is proving how much better Varly made the Caps. they were likely to get swept if he wasn't in net.

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 21, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Bummer. I so wanted Carolina to win. Oh well, hopefully the Wings will sweep 'em!

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 21, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

anyone think it is at all possible that someone would take the bait on Theo based on his stats? He had over 30 wins and was at 90 save percentage. Maybe someone with a lot of cap room and a young goalie in need of a mentor?

Posted by: bleedred | May 21, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

They'd have to be pretty desperate given the price tag. But he did have decent stats at the end of the season, so who knows. Having said that, based on what GMGM, Ted and BB have had to say, sounds like they all expect him to be here.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 21, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you. I hope the Red Wings are really hot for the Stanley Cup this year so they can take care of the Pens.

(How did the Pens get on the right side of the hockey gods? And how did the Caps get on the wrong side?)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 21, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Boo & bleedred, THN ranked him as their top off-season goalie acquisition. Now, his competition is pretty much just Huet & Conkblock, but still...

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 21, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Bleedred and Boo,

I'm expecting Theo to be back -- likely as the backup goalie.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 21, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Varly played much better than cam ward has played so far for the canes. Goes to show you that future is bright in net for us. Game 3 is do or die for the canes. No way they will come back from 3 down.

Posted by: samb99 | May 22, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov was so amazing most of the time in the playoffs. I'm still shaking my head at some of those saves. As endearing as the Hershey/Caps helmet was,let's hope he gets a new helmet with only the Caps on it.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 22, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

McPhee expects Theo to play well. Somewhere there was a comment from him about it being "the last year of Theo's contract." Sad, but true, that apparently Theo plays better when the new contract is getting closer. Maybe they should have inked him to a week-by-week deal. Then he'd play lousy on Monday, but really kick it up for those big weekend games.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 22, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse


Huet and the Caps had agreed to the 3-year, $15M deal that was what Huet was asking for last offseason.

Would the regular season have been any different?

Would the playoffs have been any different?

How would that have affected how we currently perceive Varly?

And, how would having two more years of Huet under contract have affected Caps goaltending going forward?

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 22, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Huet ever agreed to that deal. He wanted a lot more, that's why he went to Chicago. He's not even started for the Blackhawks, so who cares?

Posted by: rachel216 | May 22, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Don't get me started about Jose ... you read those emails between 117 and I ... you know that mauree loves to pick on me about that ... YOU KNOW!! ;-)

I agree - he will be back as a backup, or 50/50 at best. I don't think the hockey gods love the Pens. I think they love to get their hopes up and then hit 'em when it hurts the most - the SC finals. So close, yet so far ... ;-) I think the Caps get theirs next season - Winter Classic, Stanley Cup, all sorts of new records, hardware sweep in the off-season ... it's all good.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

The Canes are so much better than the Caps, their defensemen move the puck up ice so much better, they clear the crease...squeak squeak squeak...that is me raising the BS flag. The Caps played the Pens pretty darn good. The 2 best teams in the Eastern Conference played in the semis rather that the Conference Finals. Just a few little tweaks and we're there.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 22, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Huet started earlier in the season, and I think Bulin was even sent down for a spell. In fact, Huet even got the starting nod at the highly touted Winter Classic. I don't the GMGM walked from the deal because Huet wanted more, or even because he wanted a longer term (although that was probably more of an issue). I think GMGM walked because the Caps finally agreed to his terms but then he changed them again ... not cool.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

That was - I don't think ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Huet started earlier in the season, and I think Bulin was even sent down for a spell. In fact, Huet even got the starting nod at the highly touted Winter Classic. I don't the GMGM walked from the deal because Huet wanted more, or even because he wanted a longer term (although that was probably more of an issue). I think GMGM walked because the Caps finally agreed to his terms but then he changed them again ... not cool.

Posted by: --Boo--

Boo, correct as I recall Huet requested 3 years ~ $15M: GMGM agreed and then Huet upped the ante, at which point GMGM said see ya and the best goalie available to fill the void was Jose. Now we have Varly and Neuvy - seems like a good place to be in terms of long term goaltending plus there's another young kid in ECHL (Holtby) that's also supposed to be a stud

Posted by: Redwolf1 | May 22, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Agreed - and don't forget Cheese!! ;-) I think it was a classic case of 'everything happens for a reason'. And there was nothing more enjoyable than seeing Huet get pulled on the "world's" stage at the WC!! (Is that wrong?!?)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Did you guys see the Canes-Pens game last night? First I was noticing all the things the Canes did that the Caps failed to do (like clearing the puck) and was frustrated. This was up to the point they were 3-2 ahead. The game completely turned in the second period and I must regretfully say that I was blown away by the Pens.

For one thing they seem to be consistently dominant and "on" throughout the playoffs. There may be a slightly off period here and there but not a breakdown. They have two consistently brilliant players in Malkin and Crosby and their offensive strength is balanced by defensive strength.

I am thinking however that this team is like the Caps in many ways and that we may be looking at the Caps 1-2 years from now if we play it right. What the Pens have that we don't is good defense, discipline and consistency and these are all things we can develop.

Do you think we have or can have the Malkin-Crosby equivalent? If Semin was consistent, we would have it. What is our equivalent to the Pens pairing?

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else no longer see the comments on the next post ("Morning Look Back: And Then They Cheered")?

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What comments? I can't find any comments under this article("Morning Look Back: And Then They Cheered". Where are they?

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

There were comments there this afternoon. They disappeared!

Bears game 3 at Providence starts in a few minutes. GO BEARS!

Posted by: tess2201 | May 22, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

That's what I'm saying! :-) They were there earlier ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

1st intermission: Prov 2 - Bears 0

Posted by: tess2201 | May 22, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I am glad I didn't post any comments there then, since I want to be sure any utterance I make remains for eternity.

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

12 minutes to go in the 3rd, Bears and Bruins tied 4-4.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 22, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that would be a shame.

Thanks for the bears update - keep em coming! (Sounds like an exciting game?!?)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Holy Toledo - you guys watching the Wings/Hawks game?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Bears win 6-4
Goals by Bourque, Gordon, Giroux (2), Mink and Helmer.

Lead the series 2-1. Game 4 Sunday night.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 22, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

So does anybody have any thoughts about the questions I had above: what can we learn from the Pens and if we have an equivalent to the Malkin-Crosby duo etc.?

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow!! Wish I could have seen that game - that's incredible. Thanks again for sharing!

Check this out:

Washington forward Alex Ovechkin, Sporting News' NHL player of the year, was named on 36 of 39 ballots by league coaches and executives and heads SN's 2009 All-NHL team. The other top forwards are Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, the second-leading vote-getter with 31, and New Jersey forward Zach Parise, who garnered 20 votes. Washington's Mike Green was the leading vote-getter among defensemen with 30 and Boston's Zdeno Chara was second with 17. The goaltender selection is Tim Thomas, SN's goalie of the year.

All-NHL Team
Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals
• Topped 50 goals for the third time in the past four seasons.
Evgeni Malkin, F, Penguins
• Led the NHL with 113 points, the highest total of his skyrocketing career.
Zach Parise, F, Devils
• Gets better every year; 45 goals put him among the league's elite scorers.
Zdeno Chara, D, Bruins
• Led Boston's resurgence with a physical presence and NHL's hardest shot.
Mike Green, D, Capitals
• The seventh defenseman in league history to score 30 goals in a season.
Tim Thomas, G, Bruins
• Led the league in save percentage (.933) and goals-against average (2.10).

Player of the year: Caps' Alexander Ovechkin
Coach of the year: Bruins' Claude Julien
Executive of the year: Bruins' Peter Chiarelli
SN's rookie of the year: Blue Jackets' Steve Mason
SN's goalie of the year: Bruins' Tim Thomas

Notice who's missing?!? HA!!!

One more amusing tidbit:

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

We do have that pairing. Semin may be inconsistent but he is getting better all of the time. If he can stay injury free he will be unstoppable. Malkin was solid in the regular season but has been less than consistent in the playoffs - I'd say he's had two really good games (but then again I have not watched all of the Pens games for fear of losing my lunch). Frankly, I think the Caps have more potential going forward than the Pens do. Where the Pens beat the Caps is in sticking to their system ... the Caps can get a little wild west when when things are not going their way. So I agree with your discipline comment. And D? No doubt - they need better D. But they're getting there ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Khabibulin was the Hawks number one goalie.

Huet only played when Khabby went down with the injury.

Huet must have hated Washington because he would have started pretty much every game here instead of being a backup goalie.

Posted by: digster1013 | May 22, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Last summer it was not clear who the Hawks would pick as their starter and actually seemed to be leaning towards Huet. They tried to move Bulin and even sent him down for a bit. So my guess is that Huet went there thinking he would be #1, but he didn't earn it.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. I too think that the Caps could be better than the Pens and everybody else if they harnesse all their considerable talents. There are some pretty foundational pieces missing though because, as you said, they can get a little wide west and totally fall apart. I think this is why it is so frustrating.

You are kind of famous, right? I am still relatively new but when I first joined this blog everyone was making references to you so I kept waiting for you to post something. Though, of course, not as famous as Ranndino who has been quoted in the Post a few times! Maybe he has a better publicist.


I always thought Huet must have hated the Caps because he left right when he was being treated like a God by the fans. I had assumed that he would have bonded with us and felt at home. He got what he deserved in Chicago.

My husband stopped watching hockey as soon as the Caps were eliminated and has forgotten all about it. Why can't I wean myself from it? Is it a sign of the sad state of my social life?

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Tarik used to play hockey? I just wonder how he became interested in hockey?

Posted by: caraveli | May 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Me famous? No. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that people were making comments about me? Guess I should read the comments more religiously! ;-) I've just been around here a long time; that's all. I have seen you here before - seems like for a long time (surely we exchanged comments at some point?!?). I guess you missed my soapbox today - it was blown away with all of the other comments in the next post. Anyway, always happy to see another hockey chick! :-) But if you want to know how to let it go, you're asking the wrong person. My DH, however, might have a few ideas. BTW, Ranndino got quoted for doing videos; I don't do video ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes he did - I think he still might.

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 22, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse


I guess my social life is a sad state of affairs also. Normally, when hockey is over, I pay more attention to baseball. Except the baseball teams are terrible this year too. Most of my life, baseball was my favorite sport -- until this group of Caps came along. A group of Caps that are around the age of my first born. (I did finally make it to the Nats game tonight, along with my husband.)

I'm having trouble weaning myself from hockey (and keep wondering what would have happened if they had won either Game 3 or Game 5. I feel they should have hung onto their lead in Game 5.) And dreading the fact that the Pens will probably make the SC finals when I detest their cast of characters.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse


Yes, would be nice if Semin could stay injury free. For an inconsistent guy, he was actually reasonably consistent in production. It was a rare game where he didn't have either a goal or an assist. I counted it up once and it was over 85% of the games.

Summary: Much improved over last year. Had a very high Plus/Minus rating as opposed to a Minus in previous years. Got lots of assists this year, as opposed to last year. I would vote him as the most improved Caps player for the year. (Inspired by your swim teams who vote for the Most Valuable Player and the Most Improved Player for an age group.) In Caps case, Ovi as Most Valuable and Semin as Most Improved.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 23, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse


It is impossible to wean yourself from this addiction we call HOCKEY. I've been hooked many, many years. And now that we have the wonders of the internet it is possible to stay addicted year-round. In the old days there was down-time between the SC Finals and preseason games. Now there is the free-agency frenzy, summer development camps, olympic camps, etc. You have to search a little harder, but the info is out there to feed your addiction over the summer. It's a good thing.

And I think I heard Tarik say that he played goal when he was a kid.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 23, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | May 23, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that's really weird. I'm looking into why comments don't work on the post above. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | May 23, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks! They were there yesterday during the day, they just disappeared in the evening.

Thanks for the article - sounds like quite a game! Did you watch? If so, how is Nuevy holding up? Who's #2 - Cheese or Holtby? BTW, is it wrong that I am hoping for a game 6?!? :-|

We're all fans of the female persuasion, right? Maybe there's something to that ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | May 23, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait until Sim speaks more English in interviews. He is going to be great!

As for the hair, he needs to keep all of it short or all of it long - no half and half. I vote for long enough to show the curls.

And just to be girly, I agree with the other posters who said we have the most adorable/sexy group of goaltenders in our system.

Note to NHL marketers, there are a lot of female fans out there who are serious about the sport. If you want to market a pretty face use one of the Caps' goaltenders.

Alright, that is enough female silliness from me.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 23, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm.....I dont remember hearing about Khabibulin starting the year in the minors, interesting.

"The 35-year-old Khabibulin had seemed destined to be sent to the minors, traded or opt to play in his native Russia by the time the Blackhawks open their regular season Friday night in New York against the Rangers."

Khabibulin had always been a number one goalie though. Huet had to have known he would have played more here.

I also remember his interview when he first got traded here last year and he said something like he wasnt happy about it but he will play anyways.

It would just be interesting to hear why he had to intentions of staying here. I know he wanted his pay-day, but he didnt even consider us.

Posted by: digster1013 | May 24, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

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