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Varlamov Reassigned; Green Practicing, Semin Not (Updated)

Simeon Varlamov has been returned to Hershey after improving to 2-0-0 in his first NHL stint last night. So that must mean Jose Theodore is ready to go.

Meantime, Mike Green (shoulder) is practicing while Alexander Semin (back) is not.

I'll have more after practice.

Update:Green said he'll be able to play tomorrow. Semin, however, would appear to be doubtful.

I'll have a lot more in a new post about a half hour from now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 19, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
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Next: Boudreau: Not 'A lot of Like' Between Caps and Flyers


pinched nerve

Posted by: CodePoetry | December 19, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Two thoughts/comments from previous post:

@irockthered: I actually read Murray's comment to mean that the "they did" was referring to his own players.

I noticed this on TV right before the hit on Semin, but Semin tried, ala soccer style, to draw a penalty right before that by spinning around and falling. He got hit right as he was getting back up. I think the hit was borderline a penalty, at least a cheap shot, but Semin put himself in that position with the ridiculous acting job and he could have gotten a diving penalty for it. I am sure this will draw comments, but you need to see the replay of the whole incident, escpecially for those who went to the game.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Simeon Varlamov has been returned to Hershey after winning his second straight start last night."

Cue mass panic.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Q.: If you have to return to the farm club, will you be very upset?

Varlamov: The job is the job. If I have to I'll return. But I will make every effort to play again for the Caps.

Posted by: CodePoetry | December 19, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@ CTCapsPhan:

I can see your point on drawing the penalty, as I watched the video of the hit several times on TSN. But honestly, no need to cross-check the man into the boards in the small of his back. I am convinced Backes knew what he was doing - malicious intent to be sure. For that he deserved a penalty - and not to mention it was a cross-check REGARDLESS of what caused the cross check to occur. It was plain as the nose on your face. And giving us an unsportsmanlike since Bruce yelled at the refs is ridiculous. From the accounts I read, nothing out of line was said. It's not like Bruce went Torts on the ref for crying out loud.

That said, I'm glad to see Green is practicing. And hopeful that Theodore is back and ready to play consistently well.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | December 19, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov is the truth.


Posted by: ThisGuy | December 19, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that Karl Alzner had the best +/- yesterday among Caps players? He had +2

Posted by: CodePoetry | December 19, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I want for Christmas from Bill Clement is for him to shut his mouth.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 7:10 AM
Hey, stop speaking ill of alumni who don't have network gigs anymore.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 7:56 AM

It seemed to be that Clement was always embarrassed of his Capitals history. The only franchise he liked to be associated with was the Flyers.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Too bad we can't assign Theodore and keep Varlamov...

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 19, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan - I don't know that the spin-fall was deliberate on Semin's part... From what I've seen, people take dives penalties in the middle of the ice, not along a wall where if they fall wrong, they're risking breaking their neck. Unless he's a moron, I don't think he'd take that risk... I sure wouldn't!

Boudreau didn't appear to think he was trying to take a dive, either, or he wouldn't have yelled (politely) at the referee about the cheap shot from Backes and gotten himself two minutes for "abuse of officials," either... just my .02! If, as I go back through the penalty records of this season and last, I find that Semin has taken multiple diving penalties, I may revise that opinion, but until I do, I'll believe the coach. :)

Posted by: irockthered | December 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Bravo for the Washington Dynamo.

Do not panic - there is a plan. Varlamov, at age 20, thinks he's bullet-proof. He still has things to work on but will be back. Perhaps in April . . .

Posted by: dingogumby | December 19, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy,

Right about Clement. He always talks about his Flyers days as if he was just a good hockey player above the fray of that dirty, dirty team. Remember when Cherry was on NBC and Clement was saying that he didn't want more violence in the league? Cherry called him on it and reminded him he was one of the Broad Street Bullies. Too bad NBC isn't the CBC and thus they don't like the truth and we won't see Cherry again.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 19, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Don't step on Semin's pinched nerve, he has only one left...

Posted by: CodePoetry | December 19, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Greener back out there. his, "i'm not dead and it ain't broke" could become epic.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 19, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hhheeeeee'ss Baaack!!!!!! Jose Threeormore

Posted by: puckman | December 19, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Can someone please post a link to the Semin hit from last night? I didn't get a clear view of it from my seat last night, and I only caught a glimpse of the replay on the big screen. I'd appreciate it.

And the ref really did call an absolutely horrible game and I was happy that I had a chance to let him know it last night!

Posted by: luvfades | December 19, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hm. Must mean Theodore is ready to go. Honestly, I'm okay with that. Varlamov has gotten a taste of the NHl, and we've gotten a taste of what we can do. I think the kid's got a long and storied career ahead of him, and I for one am looking forward to watching it. Let him season the rest of the year in Hershey - penalties like the one he took last night are proof that he will benefit from that much. Beyond that, though, I think he'll be ready next year.

That said, can we please find a way to keep Johnson and dump Theodore? I realize it's easier to let Johnson resign elsewhere, but Johnson is far and away the better goalie. Based on this year's play, I think Varlamov/Johnson as a tandem could backstop us to a Cup. Theodore, not a chance.

Semin - don't care he dived or not, I watched the reply on the jumbotron. That was a crosscheck and I thought at first a boarding as well. I don't care if he dived or not, crosschecking lands you in the sin bin. Period.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@ Section 117

This was 100% expected. I knew that Varlamov was going back to Hershey even if he got a shutout last night. Unfortunately, we're stuck with Theo who could actually learn a few things from Varlamov regarding not flopping down before shots and rebound control. Varlamov was flawless last night. The 2 goals he let in he had absolutely no chance on (a great tip right a foot in front and an own goal by Ovechkin off the far post when he was already down).

@ Oldtimehockey

Yeah, that's what we need. Cherry on NBC. Please. He speaks the truth all right. The man is a retarded clown. He shouldn't even be on TV, period. Public access, maybe. He's a xenophobic pig who's in love with good ol' Canadian boys and unbelievably gay suits.


As for Semin diving I don't think that was a dive, but will confirm after I watch NHL on the Fly.

Posted by: ranndino | December 19, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The Ron Burgandy/Bill Clement references reminded me of this commercial

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz

Varlamov's penalty was not a big deal. Varly probably just forgot about the rule that exists in the NHL only (and the AHL). I'm sure it won't happen again.

In any case, even it it happens again I'd take those once in a while with the rest of his play over Theo any day. I felt very confident having him in there. When Theo is in net I shake like I have Parkinson's disease anytime there's a shot on our net.

Posted by: ranndino | December 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

there are some funny pictures of mike richards and jeff carter crashing a frat party after they had that 4 goal comeback against carolina.

i didn't realize jeff carter had frosted tips, which makes him even more of a tool than mike richards

Posted by: _stevo | December 19, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@ Section 117

This was 100% expected.

Posted by: ranndino | December 19, 2008 11:23 AM
Oh I know. Just exhibiting some dry Brit wit.

Posted by: Section117 | December 19, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Hope will play better Saturday then the last two games. Philly has been on top of there game the last few weeks. Would be a good win to get a little bit of seperation from the Flyers in the standings. Here is to hoping BJ has a great game!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 19, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Kelly Miller vs Kjell...

Who's ready for tomorrow?

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like it's Semin's back that is hurting. I originally thought it was his right knee. It seemed to get caught in the crappy Verizon ice on his way down. Geez that was scary. Would this be considered a "middle-rear-body injury"?

Varlamov makes me cheeralov. Jose Threeormore... my goodness that made me chuckle.

Posted by: dsphvywght | December 19, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I have now seen two completely different Varmys in 2 games. His game vs Mon, while the result was fantastic, was very unpolished and he was making quite a few mistakes that could and should have cost him a bit more than 1 goal. His challenging of the shooters vs MON was leaving the backside completely wide open. Some would call that "out of position."

Last night, he was at home where he belonged and looked better than he did vs MON. The guy is a pure talent, and if he's this good at 20, I'm very excited about what he'll be doing in 5-8 years. The simple improvement over a span of just 2 games was very pleasing to the eye.

As for his "rebound control" (god I hate this topic), he had two last night I was really worried about. Shots/passes from the corner, below the goal line, and he sent the rebound into the center/circles. The guy is a freakin pitbull when he drops the puck though, knocking over whatever he has to to get to the puck. his play with the blue standing right in his grill was fantastic.

I think if we had known he was THIS ready this summer, we'd have not even tried to resign Huet, let alone get JT60, and we'd all have been in a panic over our goalie tandem going into the year.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Semin has been known to dive, flop, go down easy, spin out of control (he is that type of player as much as I love him for his skill). Now it seems this has resided as he matures, but refs still go into games knowing this (they have pregame talks just like the players and have books on every player). It was a missed call and that happens. I am not saying he dove, but they might have thought he embelished it or just plain had a bad angle at it. Get over it and analyze the hockey and not the refs.

As for Varlamov. It is no surprise that he was sent down. Theodore is the mainstay and will continue to be as long as he is healthy. Varlamov has only played 15 professional games and is just 20. The kid will play for the Caps soon enough, but he has things he needs to work on. In both the games he played with the Caps he was out of position after saves and scrambling (and from what I hear he does the same with Hershey). Just because he won his first two NHL games doesn't mean he is the next Roy. Let him get some work in the AHL and these problems will subside (and he will be a much better goalie in the future).

Posted by: capsrule828 | December 19, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

A little insight on the Semin hit:

While it was a crosscheck (should have been called), I don’t know if I would call it “malicious”. In fact, I have seen FAR more brutal cross-checks, as I’m sure all of you have too. Fact is, if Backes wanted to really hurt Semin, he could have done so. He’s a big guy, and I think Semin made it look a lot worse than it really was (low tolerance for pain). The position Semin was in when he got crosschecked, Backes could have really nailed him if he wanted to. I think more or less, it was the location of where he got hit. So all in all, I do not think Backes had the “intention” of hurting Semin.

Posted by: cj658 | December 19, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Highlights of last night's game, including a slow motion areplay of the crosscheck to Semin, on

Joe B

Posted by: rw-c | December 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

In regard to Semin "diving"
Having watched and appreciated his talent since he first came to the Caps before the lockout, I have seen him called for dives at least five times. I don't believe he is diving at all. He has always been easy to knock off his skates if, and I mean if, you can get a piece of him. His other assests make that a very small negative.

Posted by: billd2 | December 19, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Semin is a Russian machine, and he will play tomorrow, and he will play well.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't make out the heckling of the goalie last night, but I was impressed with the coordination in it.

Posted by: superpaqman | December 19, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

FYI: Cherry calling Clement out on him being part of the Broad Street Bullies is definitely the pot calling the kettle black. He had WAY too many PIMs in his playing days which is probably why he would have been considered a liability in the Bigs even in the era he would have played.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 19, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Riley Cote is due for another beat-down from Brashier!

Posted by: puckman | December 19, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Theodore looked pretty awful for the majority of prctice today, but it was good to see him out there. He also spent quite awhile doing individual work after most of the other players had left and looked alot better then.

Posted by: doncosmic | December 19, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry greeny will be out again that we know for sure. Let's take a poll -- Greeny in Greeny out, Feds out, Semin out,

that's what the doctor says.

Posted by: windjammersouth | December 19, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Look, I am not saying Backes didn't deserve a penalty. I think he did deserve one. I am a huge fan of Semin's talent, but everytime I see him fall, I think he took a dive first. He needs to at least look like he is trying to stay on his feet like OV does.

He is a diver and on the play, there was no stick near him to cause him to fall.

Again, Backes deserved to get a penalty, but I would not have been surprised if they called one on him in the game, they may have called a diving penalty on Semin too.

I am a little disappointed that Brash didn't beat the snot out of someone though after the play. Maliscious or not, our player got hurt.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 19, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Is there a chat today?

Posted by: MarylanDChris | December 19, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Im really starting to think windjammer has serious mental problems, and should be banned from this board.

He's not even close to rational or just trying to get a rise out of people...just complete blabber garbage....

Posted by: SA-Town | December 19, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino: I dunno, I'm still a little nervous with Varlamov in net. Next year I probably won't be, but having gone to a few games in Hershey, he scrambles a lot like Jose does.

One thing that struck me and impressed the hell out of me about Varlamov's game and the way he plays is how FLEXIBLE the boy is and how well he uses that. He really is incredibly athletic, and as he gets used to NHL speed, he'll be our franchise goalie very, very soon.

I just hope that Johnson starts in net Saturday. I've got some concerns about Lambogreenie starting Saturday - Philthy plays as dirty as the Blues do and will target injuries with no hesitation. Brash had better be ready to go with Cote - at least you know Cote'll drop 'em - and the sooner he does it, the better off the Caps will be. The message needs to get sent early before anyone gets hurt. Besides, I'd like to see brash punk Cote just because it's fun.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town You're right on. I saw windjammer and chief sitting on the street corner at the VC after game last night drinking MD 20/20.

Posted by: puckman | December 19, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@puckman- Was Wendel with them, he seems like a Mad dog kind of guy.

Posted by: doncosmic | December 19, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse


Hey all -- How would I go about getting video clips of some of the stuff that has happened this year so far? I've got a bunch of specific ideas of clips I want, and I am looking for video as opposed to stills if I can get them. I've got a fan video in my head and am going to try to put it together. I'd prefer not to go to youtube because of quality issues, unless they have one that is big enough that I can display at at least 1024 x 768.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse was a cross-check REGARDLESS of what caused the cross check to occur...
Exactly, it was a cross check and should have been penalized, end of story.

As far as Semin diving, no comment. :)

I thought Semin had two issues, a back problem and a hyper-extended knee. I hope he comes back soon, I love to watch those jaw-dropping moves.

Varlamov looks like he will develop into a premier goalie. Although he needs AHL games to develop the thought of Threeormore playing scares me more. :)

And, I want my boy Federov back...Better off with Federov.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | December 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Ok, regardless, I was disappointed that Brash didn't go after somebody (read: fight) after the Semin hit.

Posted by: wienerdog4410 | December 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@BOWF: Agreed, but you really need to learn to spell Fedorov's name correctly. :)

wienerdog: He did. Tkachuk chickened and didn't bite and with the game within two goals, we didn't want to draw an instigator, and given how badly the game was being called, I don't blame him.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

listen guys...rewatch the replay. semin was already in the process of falling down. he was flailing around before the blade got caught in his skates. and as people have said, regardless the crosscheck should have been called.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@ cj

it doesn't matter how hard you throw a crosscheck, as long as the stick doesnt break its going to smart either way, especially in the lower back. it was malicious simply for the fact that semin was getting back, with his back turned to backes, when he decided to throw a dirty crosscheck into his lower back.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 19, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont know that Semin took a dive. I watched the replay a bunch of times and it looks like he tripped over Backes's stick and he got right back up. The X-check did not look malicious but definatly worth 2 in the box. The refs forgot they had whistles in the 3rd.
In my opinion, the only reason the Johnson is not the official starter is because Theodore is costing the Caps 5 mill a year and they need to get their moneys worth out of him. Hopefully Johnson can give Theodore a jump start by playing as well as he has recently. Johnson made a couple of saves during the Islanders game that where just amazing.

Posted by: MadManXX7 | December 19, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I am not seeing the "flailing around" that RichmondPhil points out. Backes and Semin were fighting for the puck moving toward the boards, Semin tripped over the blade, went to one knee, got right back up still fighting for the puck and then was cross checked in the back. It looks like normal hockey to me. No dives, no malice, Semin just happened to get hurt. Hope he bounces back quickly.

Posted by: MadManXX7 | December 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@madmanxx7: Except that crosschecking is crosschecking no matter how you slice it. I don't tthink it was malicious, but the point is t hat it was worth 2 in the box and was quite blatant. Not only was it not called, but Boudreau got 2 minutes for calling the ref on it.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 19, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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