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Varlamov on nerves, fans, the save


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Here's another update from Russian reporter Slava Malamud:

Oh, how many ways there are for a goaltender to make an eye-popping save. It's one of those wonderful things about the game of hockey. And I bet you haven't seen a lot of saves like Semyon Varlamov's arms-raising, crossbar-grabbing, heads-up shootout beauty against Trent Hunter last night. The highlight-reel stop really put a nice finishing touch on a tremendous game by the Russian youngster, whose play early this season had Caps fans thinking of the dreaded second-year jinx.

I had a chance to catch up with Varlamov after the game and, as usual, he was more than happy to go into details.

"It just happened," Varlamov said in Russian. "I started sliding back into the goal really quickly and the puck was trapped between my pads. The momentum was carrying me and the puck across the line, so I tried to grab the first thing I could."

Is this something they taught you in Russia, to grab the nearest stationary object?

"No, it's just my own thing. An automatic reaction, more or less. I've done it a couple of times in practice. When you feel that you are about to be carried into the net, just grab what you can -- a crossbar, a goalpost..."

A defenseman's leg?

"Whatever the play dictates, you know (laughs). If I didn't grab the crossbar, it would've been a goal."

What did you feel when Coach Bruce Boudreau put you in this early in the game?

"It happened so fast. I remember looking at the coach and immediately he says, 'Get up, you are getting out there.' I was out on the ice before I could even realize what was happening. To be honest, I was really taken aback. As I got in there, I was thinking, 'No [expletive] way! Why am I in the net now? It's a bit fast, isn't it?'"

Was it difficult to get composed as the game progressed?

"The most important thing is to make two or three saves right away. This gives you more confidence. Because you are simply not going to be ready right away. It's a very sudden change, from the bench to the ice. You are standing there, like in a fog: 'Bam, bam, what's going on?'"

Why does it happen sometimes that the goalie change immediately affects the way the rest of the team plays?

"It's probably all psychological. Tonight the guys really turned it on when I got in the net. Especially in the last two periods. Maybe they started thinking, 'This is a young goalie, he just got in, we can't let him down.'"

Does this usually happen when you are in goal?

"It happened after the first period tonight, but generally I haven't seen much difference in how they play with me [as opposed to Theodore]."

How frustrating was the goal in the last minutes of regulation?

"Very. I said to myself, 'Oh, hell! Why? Why did you let this one in?' ... Well, actually, I said it differently, but you won't print that. But yes, I was very upset. Though, he whammed it so good, there wasn't much I could do. But this is the NHL. You saw Sasha Semin score eight seconds after the puck was dropped. The same thing could have happened to me right after the [game-tying] goal. So I couldn't afford to get down on myself."

You seemed to be very emotional out there.

"Yes, the emotions were bubbling, especially in the shootout. I have never had a series as long as this one. It was five attempts, max, before. When Clarke was shooting, I wasn't even watching. I watched all the other ones, but this time I had just turned to the stands. When they started yelling, I just thought, 'Finally!'"

Do the local fans frustrate you sometimes? It's the second time they've thrown hats on the ice for a supposed hat trick during the shootout. Does that get you off your rhythm?

"Actually, no, it doesn't. On the contrary, it gives me more time to tune myself in. I was even thinking, 'Come on, throw a couple more!'"

How important was this win, considering how the season has been going for you?

"Very important. It's true, the season has been [disappointing]. I get wins, but I allow too many goals. Games like this give you a lot of confidence."

KHL boss Alexander Medvedev was in Washington. Have you met?

"Yes, he took us out to dinner, all three of us. We talked about different things. We asked him about the KHL, told him how we are doing here. But we didn't have any negotiations (smiles). He came to visit [Commissioner Gary] Bettman; after all, they've got enough business to discuss. ... Actually, during the game I was thinking at times, 'Oh, Medvedev is here! He is watching me play.'" (laughs)

By Slava Malamud  |  November 12, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Just 'a couple of days' away?

Comments

gotta love Varly!!

Posted by: caps4life2 | November 12, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Excellent interview. Thank you Slava for another great read. Interesting comment from Varly on the "Washington Hat Trick".

Posted by: MHPosoloso | November 12, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so when Varly is in net throw things on the ice after every Caps goal in a shootout......not hats though, something original...like Detroit has the octopus.....suggestions??!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where I can find a video of Varly's unique save? I saw it last night at the game and on On the Fly, but I'd like to show it to my husband. Any YouTube entries?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 12, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

HiLARious comments at times! Wonderful way to get to know Varlamov. Thank you!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 12, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't like reading about Medvedev getting face time w/ our Russian players. He has no business with them. It's also disrespectful to his host for the evening (Leonsis).

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 12, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGirl,

If you rolled back a few posts to this morning the NHL-embedded highlights show the grabbing the crossbar save toward the end.

Posted by: saintex | November 12, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Great interview! It’s nice to get a glimpse of what’s going on inside a goalie‘s mind during a game.
I would‘ve loved to hear from Semin after that game. Why wasn’t he interviewed as well? I’m getting the feeling that Semin just don’t like interviews and his reluctance to interviews has nothing to do with the language barrier.

Posted by: guer_j | November 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Hatfield223 -
I agree. Wonder if the Caps or NHL had a Russian-speaking rep seated at the dinner table? Hmmm...

Posted by: beeman | November 12, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

PhilR wrote ---------------------

Ok, so when Varly is in net throw things on the ice after every Caps goal in a shootout......not hats though, something original...like Detroit has the octopus.....suggestions??!!

---------------------

Not after each Caps goal during a shootout, that’ll be kinda annoying after a while.
But I’m on board on throwing something other than hats when a ‘Oveshkin Hat Trick’ happen. How about throwing those annoying cowbells? Hmm, that might kill someone and messed up the ice. Suggestions???

Posted by: guer_j | November 12, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@guer_j - Semin was interviewed; it's up on capitals.nhl.com.

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so when Varly is in net throw things on the ice after every Caps goal in a shootout......not hats though, something original...like Detroit has the octopus.....suggestions??!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2009 2:41 PM |

Politicians

Posted by: BearsWoooo | November 12, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo wins it in my book, politicians it is!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

BearsWoooo +1

There's 100 in the Senate and 435 in the House. Plus the mayor. That should last awhile.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't like reading about Medvedev getting face time w/ our Russian players. He has no business with them. It's also disrespectful to his host for the evening (Leonsis).

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 12, 2009 2:45 PM

Yeah, I mean, there's absolutely zero chance these guys have gotten together during the off season back in Russia, or at the World Championships.

Seriously, if any of those players wanted to play in Russia, they'd already be there. Sure, in a recent article, Medvedev pointed out that the KHL could give Kovalchuck a better deal than an NHL club ( http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a6Ph5ZqAzqdM ), but I'm fairly sure the Caps Russian contingent already knew that anyway without being told over dinner. Relax people, Ovie and Co. just wanted to share some time with their countryman. There's plenty of other conspiracy theories to pursue in DC besides the "Great Russian Dinner Caper".

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

PERHAPS WE CAN THROW CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN ON THE ICE...JUST KIDDING...BRAS WOULD BE GOOD...JOKE...BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW ABOUT RED ONIONS...RED FOR THE CAPS COLORS AND ONIONS BECAUSE THEY GO GREAT WITH ALL FOODS...RUSSIAN...CANADIAN...SLOVAK...AUSTRIAN...FRENCH..AMERICAN...SWEDISH...ETC...GOOD INTERVIEW...THE KID DOES HAVE A PERSONALITY...AND OVIE BEING OUT HAS GIVEN THE CAPS A REAL IDENTITY...THEY CAN STILL WIN...

Posted by: AMGABBER | November 12, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

...something other than hats for an "Ovechkin Hat Trick..." which is something like a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick," only two goals in the game and one in the shootout...

Hrm... what could we throw? The problem is, if we throw anything at all...

63.4 Objects Thrown on the Ice – In the event that objects are thrown on the ice that interfere with the progress of the game, the Referee shall blow the whistle and stop the play and the puck shall be faced-off at a face-off spot in the zone nearest to the spot where play is stopped. When objects are thrown on the ice during a stoppage in play, including after the scoring of a goal, the Referee shall have announced over the public address system that any further occurrences will result in a bench minor penalty being assessed to the home Team. Articles thrown onto the ice following a special occasion (i.e. hat trick) will not result in a bench minor penalty being
assessed.

It's tricky... of course, if it's during the shootout, a bench minor won't do anything... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@AMGABBER - Great, and they have the added benefit of making the referees cry... ;-)

But then, they might make our goalie cry, too, and miss a save. Sorry, no red onions.

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If Sean Avery can get his own rule, why not Caps fans? haha

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 12, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Also @AMGABBER - use of all upper-case letters in Internet parlance means that you are shouting. Since I assume you didn't mean to scream your entire message, I suggest watching that... :-)

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Check out this link
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/31/hockey-values-09_Washington-Capitals_312495.html

Forbes list the most valuable NHL Teams. Caps are #20. I thought they would be above 15 or so. Blow Tampa??? Come on!!!

Posted by: caps4life2 | November 12, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Varly is almost as quotable as Ovie. Great read - thanks Slava!

Posted by: CapsChick | November 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For those that don't remember or didn't see it, the actions that led to the "Sean Avery Rule":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec_2oKWe2Gw

and the story:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2008/news/story?id=334672

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The only bad part about using politicians is they are all so full of hot air they would most likely never strike the ice and just hover causing an even greater distraction....

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Iron...red onions are mild and virtually scentless when still in their covering(or even outhof their covering)...and unless the verizon center shrinks to the size of a fish bowl, I doubt they would have any impact other than,spurring burger sales...

Posted by: AMGABBER | November 12, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@AMGABBER - I guess you didn't notice the wink emoticon I put in my post protesting red onions on the ice.

But since red onions aren't actually red, anyway - they're more purplish - my argument for no red onions stands. ;-)

No red onions!

Posted by: irockthered | November 12, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Throw to the ice, hmm...halfsmokes?

Quite a character we have here. Go Varly!

Posted by: EricS2 | November 12, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

from previous thread:

...calling for a players head at this point in the season just doesn't seem to be that productive to me.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 1:55 PM

Mentioned this last night, but everyone who's called out ends up contributing big (Semin, Clark, Fehr). Call me superstitious, but why fix what's not broken?

In the spirit: Darn it Juice! Why'd you take that stupid penalty and almost cost us the W?

Posted by: Raber | November 12, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Raber:
if that works, then i can think of 23 guys that need to be - cut, sent to hershey, traded, bought out, reduce ice time

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Varly!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 12, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

ok,irock...we'll vote...everyone who wants to celebrate real hat tricks by chucking a red onion on the ice say aye...opposed...no...this is Washington after all...

Posted by: AMGABBER | November 12, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What a huge difference between Slava Malamud's blog behavior in the U.S. and Russia! Here he writes about Hockey- something that he is very good at,- and does not seem to be willing to go beyond the borderline of the sports topic. In his blog in Russian newspaper Sport-Express he promotes his political views, full of extremism and religious & racial intolerance, very often in rude, provocative, and offending manner - something that he would definitely be prosecuted for in the U.S. He respects American audience and washingtonpost.com blog ethics, but, unfortunately, acts in completely different way in Russian-speaking Internet media.

Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What a huge difference between Slava Malamud's blog behavior in the U.S. and Russia! Here he writes about Hockey- something that he is very good at,- and does not seem to be willing to go beyond the borderline of the sports topic. In his blog in Russian newspaper Sport-Express he promotes his political views, full of extremism and religious & racial intolerance, very often in rude, provocative, and offending manner - something that he would definitely be prosecuted for in the U.S. He respects American audience and washingtonpost.com blog ethics, but, unfortunately, acts in completely different way in Russian-speaking Internet media.


Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 12, 2009 3:57 PM

Examples?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan

No, they wouldn't be there (in the KHL), because they have contracts with the Capitals. Semin and Varlamov could still bolt for the KHL though, once their contracts are up.

By the way, your boy Eklund was wrong again. Nylander is still here.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 12, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Was it just me or were others dumbfounded that BB let Theo stay in the gamea after the second goal. I couldn't believe he wasn't pulled there and then as he sure didn't look like his head was in the game last night.

Posted by: capper3 | November 12, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

What I'm thinking is you fans who attend the games (I'm too far away) could turn this act of ignorance into an act of brilliance.

Onions? I would say not.

What about....VISORS? Yes, it would represent kind of a partial hat trick, just like a visor is a partial hat. Then instead of looking ignorant, the crowd would show they "get it" and maybe other cities would copy.

And, I would never throw my real hat because it has value to me, whereas a cheesy visor is cheap, light-weight and easy to toss.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Theo's head was in the game but I'd bet his back wasn't. He's looked stiff out there for the last few games... won't surprise me if he gets a few games on IR and Cash gets the call from Hershey.

Posted by: Hendo1 | November 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@hatfield223
>>Don't like reading about Medvedev getting face time w/ our Russian players. He has no business with them. It's also disrespectful to his host for the evening (Leonsis).

Yah, first time I've missed Brashear all year! I think Semen at least 50-50 to bolt so enjoy him while he's here.

NHL and KHL will have to come to some kind of good arrangement, though, like the FIFA sanctioned leagues all do. It works smoothly for them and ultimately, more high paying jobs for hockey players means more people choosing to play hockey so it's a win-win (to use a cliche). I hope they get it done sooner rather than later. I kind of feel it's the NHL that's the stick in the mud here, since an atmosphere of multiple major leagues (in football) will be more familiar to Medvedev...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 12, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

>by the Russian youngster, whose play early this season had Caps fans thinking of the dreaded second-year jinx.

Seriously? Did you really write THAT?

Tarik,

This may be hard to swallow but you are not covering Redskins. Varlamov is 6-1 and the only person thinking second year jinx is a Post reporter.

Posted by: dyn4ever | November 12, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@dyn4ever, check the byline again. Slava Malamud wrote this entry, not TEB.

That said, great interview and terrific quotes from Varly.

Posted by: wocoliz | November 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@dyn4ever: Tarik didn't write this blog post, as it says on the top and bottom of the entry...

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | November 12, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

dyn,
varly has started 6 games this year and has given up 4 goals in three of them and 3 in 2 others. he's lucky he didnt lose the game against philly when he was yanked. his best games have been when he's come in in relief of theo. not exactly the goalie he was in the playoffs last year.

he'll be ok, but he hasnt exactly lit it up this year.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 12, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

two of those games in which he gave up 4 goals were blow outs... the caps stopped playing after two periods

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

also at the end of the day, wins and losses are what matters... all the other stats are just for beauty contests

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of hot air politicians we should toss the CINC he's full of enough hot air for all of us. Toss a few stupid cops after him, lol.

Posted by: zcxnissan | November 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so when Varly is in net throw things on the ice after every Caps goal in a shootout......not hats though, something original...like Detroit has the octopus.....suggestions??!!

Posted by: PhilR | November 12, 2009 2:41 PM


@PhilR:

I like it.

Here's my idea: I forget what they're called: those nylon fabric Frisbees® with the weighted rim that fold up to slip into a pocket but still fly pretty decent.

Anyway, have a bunch of those made up in red fabric with a big Weagle on both sides. Benefits: They're safe, easily concealable, and (best of all) could make it onto the ice from the "cheap" seats.

'Course, if it has to be some sort of headgear,how about wide-brimmed hats similar to those worn by Cardinals (no, not the conical miter; think "Guido Sarducci" from SNL)? Benefits:

1) They're red
2) Being felt, they shouldn't be too costly to fabricate
3) Soft and safe
4) Given the shape, the flight characteristics should again be excellent--i.e., make it onto the ice from the 400's

So?

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 12, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

What a huge difference between Slava Malamud's blog behavior in the U.S. and Russia! ....

Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 12, 2009 3:57 PM

Can you provide links, please.
I can read russian.

Posted by: goldenpack | November 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 12, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@dyn4ever: *

Not sure what to say. Try reading who the article is written by, before casting judgment and making the entry about the Redskins. Really? The Redskins? Almost as bad as Comcast putting Cooley in the box with Locker and Co. talking about his injury and not focusing on what's going on with the Caps. He had to bring over the Redskins' losing stink to Verizon? While we're at it, how 'bout we invite Crosby into the booth during the next game. Honestly, Comcast...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who could pull it off, but I would love to see a couple dozen live crabs scrambling around on the ice after a near hat trick. Hell, let's just throw them at cyndy anyway. That would be some must see TV on NBC sunday games.

Anyway, Varly played great but did it look like he is ducking on high shots?? I would bail out too, but Lundquist heads those shots off the rink. Just something I saw on a couple of the earhole shots including hunter's.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

cadlecreek1:
i noticed that too. glove side high - he looks like he is flinching/turning his head away from the shot. irbe needs to work on him with 'using his head' when stopping shots - no more relying on just his athleticism

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

APPEARS NYLS IS GONE!

According to RDS:

Forward Michael Nylander agreed with Dynamo Minsk of the Continental League in Russia, according to what RDS has learned.

Nylander had been placed on waivers by the Washington Capitals. He has not played a single NHL game this season.

In 920 career games, he collected 209 goals and 470 aid for 679 points.

The 37-year-old striker has also played for the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 12, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

RDS reported that yesterday.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 12, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Yep that's what I meant! So I guess it's Wednesday for me and Thursday for everybody else! Holidays in the middle of the week really get ya.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 12, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

very few goalies will stop a 100 mph slapshot fired from less than 30 feet away aimed for a corner... sometimes you just gotta give the other guy some credit

I could fault Roloson for giving up the first goal of the game by Semin but the shot was too good... so was Hunter's shot that tied the game

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

joek443-> I'm not saying he should or could have stop the shot. I was referencing the Hunter shot because Varly looked like he turned away. I don't blame him-I duck for cover too. I noticed the 'flinch' earlier in the game on high shots- even saves he made. I wasn't trying to bust on him, just thought I noticed flinching and was asking if I was the only one..

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Vladimir22. Malamud's comments about Russians on his blog are as bad as they can be. That's why Russian readers turned against him. That's why his Russian blog is a place for Russia haters. He once said that Russia is a sh!thole and all Russians are dumb.

I can't read his stories anymore, knowing his hypocritical ani-Russian nature. TEB shouldn't call him Russian, because Malamud is not.

Posted by: letsroll93 | November 12, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this setting up to be another tease with the Nylander situation?

It seems like this saga just won't end.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is probably here to stay.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 12, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is the college buddy who crashes on your couch for a night but stays for a year

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | November 12, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

NEW YORK -- Outgoing baseball union head Donald Fehr has agreed to assist the NHL Players' Association in its search for an executive director.

The hockey union said Thursday that Fehr will work with two committees. In addition to the search committee, a second panel will review the union's constitution.


this is good news for the NHLPA but is it good news for the NHL?

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked yesterday if the Caps could sign anymore players, such as Forsberg (once Nyles thing resolved), due to CBA limit per team on 50 NHL contracts.

The Caps have 48 players under NHL contract. I thought the number was lower, but forgot they signed Hauswirth, Kane and a few others. Here is the list. You have to scroll all the way down. And if you put your cursor over the little "+" next to some EL (entry level) figures, you can see the potential bonus.

http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=30

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest to ignore Vladimir22 and letsroll93 (most likely the same person). Malamud's blog in the russian newspaper was taken over by a bunch of anti-semites and US-haters who won't forgive Malamud for being Jewish, living in the US (and not hating this country!), and daring to occasionally critisize Russia.

Posted by: gobucks3 | November 12, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

gobucks3 truth hurts? Here's proof of ourageous anti-Russian and anti-Christian quotes from Malamud:

http://blog.sport-express.ru/users/erdae/quotes/

Posted by: letsroll93 | November 12, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

2 letsroll93: I'm very impressed by your ability to pull quotes out of context. Now, why don't you go back to the gutter you, and your ilk, have turned sport-express into and let this to be a hockey conversation? This is not your usual stomping ground - fascists are not welcome here.

Posted by: gobucks3 | November 12, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan (From a previous thread)

Wish to raise a champagne glass to you in return for our boy's great game of last night. (Before the game, Boudreau praised Semin for playing through his wrist injury.) Yes gang, a little appreciation goes a long way in motivating people.

Yes, the red head from the "City of Red Ore" is back.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Nyls is gone. Is GMGM back in town yet from the GM meetings? He's supposed to get back tonight so I'll expect an answer late tonight or tomorrow. If this thing drags through the weekend then we're in trouble but I think we're finally done. Nyls has at least waived his NMC so his control is gone and as soon as he's assigned somewhere his cap hit is gone.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 12, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

@ LeftCoast give them a pass on Cooley, he has been one of the few redskins that has supported the caps for the last few years, even before they were good, plus he is a beast and the type of personality we would love on our team.

Posted by: doncosmic | November 12, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO VARLY LETS GO!!! Maybe each night the caps should start theo and then put in varly half way through the first.He seems to do his best when he comes in on releif.Either way i think the caps are gonna have something special if and when we have varly and neuvy as our tandem goalies.And i wish they would stop draggin this nyles thing through the mud and make something happen allready.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 12, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan75--As another Semin fan I was thrilled that he had such a great game. I also enjoyed BB"s post game interview: when the reporters pointed out Semin's mistakes, BB went on to to say that Semin can be scary good and how he was, like others in Washington, exciting to watch. I think that Semin is often an enigma to BB but it's clear the coach loves his hot play.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Latest speculation due to Nyles being spotted getting off Metro at Chinatown stop is that he has signed with the Peking Ducks of the Chinese Hockey League.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 12, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

LMFAO Tom! Hey you didn't give me my "adult beverage" recipe yesterday!

Hope the family is well down there in the sunshine state!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 12, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

So that's the CHL they're talking about him playing for!

I could care less where he plays so long as it's not here and taking up our cap space.

Granted, I like the guy, respect him and still think he has something left in the tank just not here.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | November 12, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Peking Ducks. That's not the Chinese farm club of the Anaheim Ducks, is it?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

couple things - i didnt mind cooley in the booth. actually my favorite redskin and he's also friends with a few caps - OV, Green, probably a few more.

I noticed Varly flinch a few times on some glove high shots. I know the shots are coming pretty hard, but he is an NHL goalie. Cant OV and Semin just fire like 10,000 slap shots to his glove side high one practice and get him to quit this? Seems fixable??

Posted by: capsfansince74 | November 12, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank God! The Devils just scored against the Pens and evened out the score. Keep going Devils.

Posted by: caraveli | November 12, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74

Cooley is definitely a character. He once posted a blog entry of when he went to a Caps game last year (and left the lights on his car at the Vienna Metro station)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Amen to that. (Glad to see you back. I hadn't seen you post for several days.)

Turns out my (elder) daughter had the same type of week at work last week that Semin did.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually the Devils are on top at the moment -- except that the Pens have the Power Play to begin Period 2.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking last night - can you imagine Cooley if he'd played hockey instead of football - 6-3 250, great hands, and loves contact. Beast as a defenseman, and would also be terrifying as a Holmstrum net crasher type.

Posted by: hook99 | November 12, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I always like to imagine whenever Varly does anything and gets himself all excited he yells out "No fat chicks!!!" in English. To hear him actually say that would probably melt my face off from awesomeness.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 12, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

nice interview - really enjoyed it. Thanks Varlamov! Congrats to the win. I wish I was at Verizon Center.

Posted by: arakakij | November 12, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone's interested, here's some news.

A certain player has 9 goals and 7 assists for the year. He was in a recent scoring drought. He was also supposed to carry the team when their other main superstar went down with an injury. And this guy also seems to take a ton of penalties.

No, I am NOT talking about Alexander Semin even though the goals and assists are identical at the moment (since he got an assist tonight).

I am talking about Sid Crosby. Crosby has 33 penalty minutes this year, counting tonights penalty. He did have one fight for a 5 minute major. But the vast majority of his penalties are minor penalties.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 - maybe its everything else going on, but i don't see what you're getting at.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 12, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

superpaqman:
what i got from the story is: crosby is not getting it done in pitt - because it can't be done alone in a team sport. semin had a good game last night, but it takes the whole team to win. when ovi gets back, i hope the team keeps the attitude that every line can be productive - no need to rely on a single player to win the game

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

Are the Pens fans trying to run Crosby out of town? No

Are the Pens fans critical of Crosby's recent play, including lack of goals, and his propensity for taking penalties? Somehow I doubt if they're as negative as our fans are of Semin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Not to speak for him, but I'm guessing CapFan75's point is that a good percentage of the penguin blog is likely not calling for Syd's head/trade, unlike the constant negative talk here about Semin.

Posted by: hook99 | November 12, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Good post. The Caps have gotten production from just about everyone during the last 3 games. Different people were good in different games.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 - fair enough. I'm no pens sympathizer, but you have to admit he has more pieces missing from his team. Also Crosby is their Ovi, not in terms of type of game they play but status with the team/fans, you know what i mean.

Posted by: superpaqman | November 12, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's my sympathy for Dave Steckel for the loss of his grandmother.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

@hook99

That was my point exactly. I'm sure the Pens blogs are nowhere as critical as Crosby as they are of Semin on the Caps blogs. (Actually, I'm female.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

superpaqman:
the ovi/crosby comparision is true.
it makes you wonder if we didn't have ovi - would semin be our star that is almost untouchable by the fans? or would the semin haters still be bashing him? i think semin falls into the same sense of security of relying on ovi that just about all the other caps do. this little stint without ovi not only needs to be a confidence builder, but a time to realize that they will be that much better with him.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

well the pens just won the cup so they're not gonna get on any of their players this early in the season, if not the whole year... especially not their captain even if he's stinking up the joint

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Devils bloggers are currently talking about the Devils winning a "statement" game against the Pens. (They have two more "statement" games coming up -- against us on Saturday and then against Philthy on Monday.)

It amazing how so many people underrated the Devils before the beginning of this year. Somehow, they keep winning. The Devils seem to be the model on how to build consistently winning teams. (Even though the current group hasn't figured out how to go far in the playoffs.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ:

If we didn't have Ovechkin we wouldn't have Semin regardless. He never would have come back from Russia after the lockout.

Posted by: swags | November 12, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The Wild committed a Caps-like bad penalty late in the 3rd against one of TB's checking lines.

TB then scored the equalizer with 15 seconds left in regulation off a nifty pass from Stamkos.

TB ended up winning in a shootout.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 12, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

I will admit the Pens have been hit harder by the injury bug than us.

Our fans are still a lot harder on Semin than Pens fans are on Crosby.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

All 3 Southeast teams that played tonight won.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 12, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Does that mean the Wild are going to be coming into Verizon Center really mad and all fired up?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Not necessarily. I was just watching other games with a focus on SE teams. It did cross my mind though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 12, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 "(Actually, I'm female)"

Sorry about that.

Posted by: hook99 | November 12, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ - I agree with what you're saying about Semin, though I've been wondering for a while, does he really want to be "the guy"? Not that it's a bad thing to not want to be "the guy", some people just aren't built that way.

CapsFan75 - Agreed, Semin takes a lot of heat from the home fans which is pretty sad being as skilled as he is. Would you say it's a case of holding a higher talent just to a higher standard or to an unreasonable/unattainable standard?

Posted by: superpaqman | November 12, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac2yao

Yes, Atlanta, TB, and Florida were winners. Not a good day for Ottawa or Bostom. So, division wise, we got the North Least division and the South Least division. While the Atlantic has some really awesome teams: NJ, the Pens, Rangers, and Philthy.

Gee whiz, are the hockey divisions starting to look like summer swim team divisions where the Atlantic Division is the equivalent of Division 1 and the other divisions are lower divisions?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I know most sports fans are fickle and have short memories these days but if pens fans got on Crosby this year for any reason, fresh from winning the cup just 5 months ago, they would immediately be called the worst fans in all of sports... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

not that they're called anything different here...

Posted by: superpaqman | November 12, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

letsroll93, Vladimir22
Please, get back to your antisemitic and anti-american f-n Russia.

If you dont like somebody, you dont have to run around the world, as last b... on a rag.

Posted by: br12345678 | November 12, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

swags:
i guess i didn't think that one out very well. you're right - probably no feds or varly either. sh*t, hanlon would still be here and nyls would be our star!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

It's one thing to hold a talented person to a higher standard but it almost seems like Semin has next to no margin of error. He would pretty much have to winning the Hart and Pearson trophies, among other things, to please people.

Well, it's hard to step up and be "the man" when one is banged up (as Semin obviously was). We learned about the bad wrist on Monday (which he had injured on Friday). And reports of more things being wrong (more injured body parts). But at least he stepped up yesterday, so it's not like he can't handle it.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

superpaqman:
i don't think semin would want to be 'the guy' either, but with no ovi (and we've already established he would never have left russia) he would pretty much be the star by default.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Except that one of the reasons the Caps acquired Nyls was to get a center who could center a line with Ovi on it (at least until Backstrom would be ready to step in).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Same old, same old:

http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/hockeybladet/internationellt/khl/article6108545.ab
translates to:
Data on Nylander's release belied

"Not signed a contract"

The data on the transition belied.

But Dynamo Minsk is still looking for Michael Nylander.

- I must admit that we are interested, says the club's general manager Alexander Bely.

On the night of Thursday said the French-Canadian site, rds.ca, the Dynamo Minsk made it clear to Michael Nylander.

It is now denied by Minsk's general manager Alexander Bely.

- We have not signed any contract with Nylander, "he pressball.by.

In contrast, the club have not given up hope on the 37-year-old.

- I must admit that we are interested in him, like many other players which I can not name. But the information that we in this now would have been not consistent.

Dynamo Minsk after a mediocre start to the season, announced that changes will happen within the club. In the past, coach Glen Hanlon and Swede Josef Boumedienne been fired.

Posted by: uncatim | November 12, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Semin is my favorite player. I think he is the most skilled, but it's not always evident. People may know or sense that and become frustrated that he's not using his full slate enough. While Ovie is fun to watch for his sheer exuberance and muscle, Semin has elegance and finesse. However, there is some immaturity there that shows up with penalties that seem retaliatory or impulsive (yes, I know hockey is fast). He just does not seem happy sometimes. But, I love to watch him on the ice.

Posted by: Steakum | November 12, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

INHO the better Pen comparison would be their no. 2 guy, Malkin. I remember during the first two rounds of the playoffs when Malkin wasn't as dominant the Pens blogs were crying out for his blood. Crosby is much more like Ovi in my view--they both tend to get a pass from fans. But I do agree with you capsfan75--Crosby has been in a very long slump (broken tonight I believe), and has been given a huge margin of error by his fans. Ovi hasn't ever been (hopefully never will be) in a long slump but I'm pretty sure if he did we fans wouldn't be that critical.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 12, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75:
right again. no ovi then no nyls - i have no excuse, i haven't even been drinking tonight.
ok - this time i tried to do some homework - in 03-04 and 05-06 - kolzig was the star, the top skater would have been jeff halpern. in 03-04 he lead the team with 17g and 46 pts. its a good thing GMGM is not a total loser - in 05-06 ovi had 52g to surpass halperns total pts from the previous season.
i'm sure there is someone out there that can point out my flawed logic above :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 12, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

maybe some of the people on here just refuse to believe that the pens won the cup just 5 months ago... LOL

all fans will cut you some slack if you deliever a championship

Posted by: joek443 | November 12, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan07

Crosby did get one assist today even though he didn't get a goal. (He just tied Semin in assists.)

It was still a bad day at black rock for the Pens. They had a 1-0 lead at one point. Then the Devils tied it up and eventually pulled ahead to stay.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

We're all too aware that the Pens won the Cup.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

@Steakum

I would say Semin has matured from his earlier days but, of course, still has his lapses. And when he lapses, he'll make the same kinds of mistakes as in the past.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 12, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

@Joe I'm pretty sure Pens fans cut him some slack before they won the cup and I don't have a probl with that. I was surprised by the vehemance against Malkin in earlier rounds however. He had (don't know about now) a much smaller margin of error.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 12, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

then you should know that if Semin scores 15 goals and 31 points in 24 playoff games in one year and helps the Caps win the Cup, I'm certain that even his harshest critics will shut up even if he takes 2 lazy penalties/game for the whole year.

Posted by: joek443 | November 13, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

@joek443
@CapsFan75

I still find it hard to believe that people need to defend Semin after the game he had last night. He scored 2 goals plus a SO goal and took no penalties, yet people are still bashing him. For all the recaps I see of the game, I read about how great Varly, Clark, and Flash were, but that Semin turned over the puck for a goal and Jurcina is stupid. Really? No mention that the top line was -2 and how they "took the shift off" that led to Moulson goal? No mention of how BMo took his umpteenth hooking penalty in the 3rd? I believe that if he did put Crosby numbers in the playoffs, people would still look for a reason to bash him. For whatever reason, people just don't like him.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 13, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

People don't like him because he is not media friendly. All the other players people get attached to through cute quotes, expressions shown on the ice, and meeting them at events. He is shy, doesn't speak without interpreters, and is not very expressive facially.

To most fans, Semin is an unknown quantity, and without being able to humanize him, it is easier to be hateful/direct frustration towards since they are attached to other players.

Me? I love the guy. I bought lower level tickets for season opener a few years back where he got his hat trick. Up close You can really see the skill he bleeds; the little grin he smiles when he sees a place to shoot, the deft way he redirects pucks on a one timer, his lightning stick when pickpocketing a player. Amazing.

Posted by: trunkenmath | November 13, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

F Semin

and on a sidenote, check this doozy of a dukeout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqZt1jCMCng&feature=player_embedded#

Rick Rypien is quite a freaking beast for his size. He did to Brad May what May used to do to a lot of opponents when he was Rypien's age.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 13, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

People don't like him because he is not media friendly. All the other players people get attached to through cute quotes, expressions shown on the ice, and meeting them at events. He is shy, doesn't speak without interpreters, and is not very expressive facially.

To most fans, Semin is an unknown quantity, and without being able to humanize him, it is easier to be hateful/direct frustration towards since they are attached to other players.

--------------------------------------

how about we just not ASSUME WHY fans don't like Semin and listen to what some of them actually provide as reasons. This garbage about him not being media-friendly or other weird eclectic behavior is not at all an accurate representation of why some fans don't like him. It starts and ends with what he does on the ice (not just on the scoresheet).

There have been times where Semin looks like he's maturing and showing a real sense of team spirit and accountability. And then that quickly gives way to Semin being Semin. I'd like to see him step up for a longer period of time before anointing him as some kind of god.

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 13, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Examples?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | November 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

(about Russia): “You live in this sh!t, and you will be the sh!t forever”; “The fact that I call your mentality and your environment a sh!t you need to take as research conclusion”
(about Russians): “You are inferior people who still have to evolution to people”
(about his job in Russian newspaper): “I get the salary for pretending that I love this moron country”
(about other peoples rather than Jews): “When Jesus was crucified other peoples rather were still living in the trees”
(about Christian religious beliefs of Russians): “The whole Russia prays in churches to a killed Jew”
(about religion as a whole):“Those who created religion were males very familiar with blackmail and bribery”.
Just to name a few.

Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 13, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

That may be the reason the you don't like him, but that is not the reason most posters/bloggers give. Countless times I have heard "he doesn't speak English", "he wants to go back to Russia" and "he doesn't care about us because he wouldn't report to Portland during the lockout". That has nothing to do with his on ice performance.

My main point is that I want to see this team win a Cup. And as much as some don't want to admit it, Semin is just as valuable to this team as Brooks Laich and Nick Backstrom. It seems counterproductive to tear down a vital member of team because he won't tell you what he ate for breakfast. I could care less if he ever gives an interview.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 13, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:
If it began and ended on the ice, then after last game nobody would be finding flaws to pick at. Sure he made a few mistakes, but so did other players. But what most others did not do is put on a skill show scoring twice.

Posted by: trunkenmath | November 13, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

No one cares about Slava Malamud's personal views.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 13, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

"Actually, during the game I was thinking at times, 'Oh, Medvedev is here! He is watching me play.'" (laughs)"

The joke here was that there is a Russian president who just happens to share the KHL boss's last name...

Posted by: TheRoadWarrior | November 13, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Just to name a few.

Posted by: Vladimir22 | November 13, 2009 1:07 AM

What the f/ are you doing here?

Stop that s/ now!

The situation is whole our problem. They won't understand us because he behave here in the other way.
Так что прекращай уже ныть: нам хамить он перестал, а их это не касается.

Posted by: erdae | November 13, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

No one cares about Slava Malamud's personal views.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 13, 2009 2:25 AM

No one cares here.
In fact, we would not care too, if he did not use the SPORT-EX newspaper as a tribune to provoke international "holywars".
But he did.
We had to stop it - in a Serbia-Ukraine-Goergia model.

Posted by: erdae | November 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

No one cares about Slava Malamud's personal views.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | November 13, 2009 2:25 AM

No one cares here.
In fact, we would not care too, if he did not use the SPORT-EX newspaper as a tribune to provoke international "holywars".
But he did.
We had to stop it - in a Serbia-Ukraine-Goergia model.

Posted by: erdae | November 13, 2009 2:31 PM

Sorry. Misunderstod slightly:
We don't care his views too, but we care abouy his behavior.

The end. Peace. friendship. bubble gum.

Gone to browse bears in the streets.

Posted by: erdae | November 13, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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