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Varlamov: No Longer a No-Name

(Jahi Chikwendiu - The Washington Post)

In case you haven't gotten enough of the Caps' superstar goalie (thinking that's a safe bet), check out Barry Svrluga's story for tomorrow's paper:

Simeon Varlamov said not a word when he took yet another black Sharpie from yet another outstretched hand early yesterday afternoon at the Washington Capitals' Arlington training complex. He looked directly down at the jersey in front of him -- one with his name across the back, an island in a sea of red sweaters bearing the name "Ovechkin" -- and signed an autograph. It was not legible, whether the alphabet in use was Roman or Cyrillic, just a swooshing, low-riding C-shape that marked his first name, a scribble for his last, followed by "40," his number, the only unmistakable aspect of the mess.
"Thank you, Varly," the fans said, over and over, as Varlamov continued to sign jerseys and hats and hockey cards, only looking up as he slid through the crowd, stopping when someone wanted a picture. Two months ago, Varlamov could have walked through the metal gate that separates the players from the public at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and marched to his Lexus unscathed. Yesterday, though, he was less than 24 hours removed from all of Verizon Center chanting a nickname he never had growing up in the industrial city of Samara, Russia -- "Var-ly! Var-ly!" He was less than 24 hours removed from making what was instantly described by an NBC analyst as "the save of the playoffs," a sprawled-out, reach-back-with-the-stick, oh-my-gosh-did-he-stop-it-before-the-line robbery of Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby.

Click here to read the full story.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 3, 2009; 10:16 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Semyon, Syoma, Sasha: A Russian Lesson
Next: Morning Reading List: Game 2


Posted by: RichC3 | May 3, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RichC3 | May 3, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Lindsay, can you reassign Barry to the Caps beat permanently, to do these lovely stories as an accompaniment to Tarik's fabulous game stories? Please???????? His immense talents are being wasted on the Redskins beat!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 3, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Carolina beat Boston 3-0 and the great Tim Thomas had 3 goals on 22 shots. I guess nothing can be taken for granted. If we win, I would much rather face Boston than Caroline. How does everyone else feel?

Posted by: caraveli | May 3, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Haha, RedBirdie... I wouldn't say his talents are wasted on Redskins, but I agree he does a great job with Caps features. We'll have him for the rest of the season, at least!

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | May 3, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

We're probably all tired of the Russian phonetics lessons at this point but if you really want a phonetic transliteration, shouldn't the name be pronounced: Var-LA-mof? When the Russian "v" ends a word, it gets de-voiced to an "f". That's why Slava Malamud wrote that Kozlov really sounds like Kahz-LOAF. Slava, am I wrong? (I used to live in Russia...)

Posted by: CAP-lanta | May 3, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli - Ditto on that. By the same token, Boston wants Pittsburgh, so let's take extra care that they don't get what they want, and WE DO! ;-)


Posted by: irockthered | May 3, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Hershey Bears are up 2 games to 0 on Wilkes-Barre. John Carlson scored his first pro goal in the 2nd game (the game-winner)

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 3, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Penguins are going to win Game 2. Every series is going to be tied 1-1.

Posted by: SC87 | May 3, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'll have to take Barry for "just" the rest of the season! I was devastated when he left the Nats beat, to be honest. And I'm such a fan I still have that outstanding piece he wrote on Kenny Rogers' redemption against the Yankees from the 2006 baseball post-season.

(if Barry's taking requests, I'm really curious about David Steckel :) I think he's skating pretty much his entire pro career with Bruce behind the bench)

Go bears! beat the baby pens! whooooooooo!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 3, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

obviously all the other game two's have everything to do with tomorrow - thanks for the tip - i won't even bother watching now

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 3, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Caps were only one of the two home teams to lose both starting games at home last series...they like to march to their own beat, thank you very much :)

Stand your ground tomorrow Caps!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | May 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, glad to see that Kronwall is back and recovered rather quickly from what sounded like a gruesome eye injury!

Also, someone asked in a previous post about the goal scored on Nuevy late in the third...I was at the far end of that net, but it looked like a a top shoulder, generated after a bit of traffic around the was not a particularly brilliant goal, or a bad goal (from what I could tell), but it kind of had the feeling of inevitability...almost as if someone in the crowd said the word "shut-out" out loud at some point during the game.

But, I will say Nuevy made some really good saves. He made a great glove save at one point, as well as a really good kick out save. He just looks very sound at the moment! Woohoo!

Go Bears! Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | May 3, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that Little Kronwall (Big Kronwall just laid some dude out today in the Detroit game!) is back from injury! And I'm happy for Nuevy, too, because it always seems like he's the bridesmaid to Varly's bride, so its nice to see him putting together this huge win streak for the Bears.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 3, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

irockthered: I had no idea that "Boston wants Pittsburgh." Where did you hear that? If so I am very flattered that they consider us better than Pittsburgh. It makes sense since we beat them in most games last year.


Posted by: caraveli | May 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse


Boston's lost just 1 out of 6 games in the playoffs so far. Carolina was just 100 sec from elimination and due to Brodeur's VERY soft goal is in. I'd still prefer Canes. However, let's first crush the Pens and therefore...


Posted by: fnralch | May 3, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I love this Ahl-NHL mirror.
Sounds like Neuvirth wants washington to not forget him. Keep it up, kid, and it will be hard to. 6 wins in a row. Not bad.

Posted by: oo7 | May 3, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse


But we beat Boston I think all but one time. Somehow we got their number. Let's win the series and it won't matter who we play. Here's to a win tomorrow.


Posted by: caraveli | May 4, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

@SC87: Different screen name doesn't change your m.o., huh? Given that the Men have the Game 1 victory under their belts, I'd hardly dismiss Game 2 as a sure loss. That's just silly. But then, if you're in fact SC1987, then it shouldn't surprise any of us. Thankfully, you don't have enough ammo to dismiss the Caps. No bad things to say about Syoma. So, if constant victory is the way to keep your pie hole shut, then Capitals take Game 2 as well. Troll.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 4, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Go, Bears! Go, Caps! Rock the Red tomorrow, folks!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 4, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Neuvy is doing great and it's good for him to get this time playing against men, as GMGM had pointed out Varly was further along in that he had experience prior to this season doing just that. Many of the former Bears who are now on the Caps speak glowingly of their experience winning a Calder Cup and how it prepared them for success up with the Caps. Here's to hoping the Bears accomplish that feat again and get that experience to the next round of young guns who will be fighting to fill out the roster in the next year or two.

Thomas had a great year, but don't forget he lacks much playoff experience. Before this year he had a 3-4 career playoff record. That being said Ward had a tremendous game and it was a solid split up in Boston. I said that series was going at least 6, anyone's series now too.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | May 4, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan, I know it's not a sure loss, but it we've all seen that it is tough this round for a team to take both home games starting the series.

and honestly, I'm a different person, I don't know who SC1987 is, I just joined yesterday

I'm not here to start sh!t I want to talk hockey with knowledgable fans, not idiots on other sites

Posted by: SC87 | May 4, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Penguins are going to win Game 2

you won't get too much hockey talk - when you start your posts like this - take a look at the name you choose - first thoughts from most caps fan (myself include) is that your in here to be a pest.

other than the other series are 1-1 - what makes you think the pens will win? i'm biased - but i think the caps only played about 40 minutes of decent hockey and this should give them some incentive to pull their heads from their arses and skate for a full 60 so they don't have to go through want they did with the rangers. this games could possibly be the most lopsided game of the series - in the caps favor.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 4, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

lopsided games and lopsided series are not the Caps MO. They're not the beloved (and occasionally cursed) Cardiac Caps for nothing!

That said, I sure hope they win game 2 because I didn't get to see game 1 :(

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 4, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Other series' results have as much bearing on Monday night as all the playoff meetings between the 2 franchises in the '90's.

The only stat really relevant to these 2 teams in their current forms is the regular season record, and to be honest I don't even think that applies. In the playoffs, between 2 teams this good, expect anything and everything. Although I think it will be another close game.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | May 4, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse


I wouldn't say his talents are wasted on Redskins, but I agree he does a great job with Caps features

The Red who? Who are these "Redskins"?

Posted by: chrisd3 | May 4, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

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