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Varlamov to start

Based on the morning skate, it looks like Semyon Varlamov will get the nod in net tonight against Minnesota. It also appears that Alex Ovechkin (strain near his left shoulder), Jeff Schultz (groin) and Milan Jurcina (undisclosed) will be out.

Ovechkin isn't quite ready to go, but he's definitely still improving. This morning, he was taking one-timers for the first time since getting hurt Nov. 1.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning roundup: Just 'a couple of days' away?
Next: Ovechkin a "possibility" for tomorrow


No use in having Ovie suit up tonight against a team like the Wild. Save him for tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be ready. The Devils have been on fire.

Posted by: JD09 | November 13, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: chucktownCAPSfan | November 13, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

here's hoping for a fast start and a strong finish. and yes let's hope we win against the devils and if by chance we do lose hope it's not a shutout giving mr. blockerside that record he's been working so hard for.


Posted by: capsfan387 | November 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you JD09, no need to push Ovi back in just yet. Let's make sure he is healthy.

Plus I want to see Matty Po play a bit more. I like this kid. He is a bigger (all be it marginally) more skilled version of Aucoin. He never stops skating. He is not as easily knocked off the puck. And those hands are INSANE!!!.

Posted by: pkendrick | November 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Nylander news????

Posted by: MeatSweats | November 13, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Hoping for a strong team effort and a good win. A Nick Backstrom on Nick Backstrom goal would be a nice bonus :-). I'm calling it now.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 13, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Lets save Ovie for the Rangers next week....only cause I have redline seats about 25 rows up!!!! Can't wait! As for Varly, I am hoping that the 11 round shootout performance propels him into the starting role from here on out. Yes Theo has been great at times, but he is a bonafide inconsistent goalie. Varly lets in some weak ones here and there, but his athleticism provides some big time saves in games as well. Das Bedanya Theo!

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | November 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@slowser - From last thread.

The victim in the case where Boudreau got two minutes for abuse of officials was Alexander Semin. It was in a game with the St. Louis Blues, and the attacker was David Backes. He cross-checked Semin across the lower back, and Sutherland said Semin was diving. Boudreau let him have it, and deservedly so. It was several days before I could watch the replay on that one, I was so mad. Boudreau was not ejected from the game; he just got the two minutes, and Semin was not called for diving. Sutherland's memory is faulty.

But that does not surprise me.

On another note - McCreary will not be refereeing the playoffs this season, as he has announced his retirement effective with the last game of the regular season. Thank GOD for small favors.

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@SkinsFanInNYC - I actually disagree on Varlamov. His athleticism lets him get away with not having very good technique. He needs to develop that technique, and then his athleticism will be an asset. As it is, he is caught out of position on a regular basis, lets bad rebounds out, and has trouble with his glove having a big hole in it. Teams have realized if they shoot high glove side, they have a good chance of the goal going in. The crossbar has made a number of saves for Varlamov.

On a positive note, I do see that he is working on that technique, and working on improving his glove side. He WILL get to the point where he's a consistent #1 goaltender, but he is not there yet. No, Theodore is not consistent either, but I still believe he is the better of the two.

I also happen to think that Michal Neuvirth has better technique than Varlamov, but he's in Hershey (and I believe injured, or coming off an injury), and we're not likely to see much of him this year, barring catastrophe.

Varlamov can move like a cat, and that has saved him in the past, but unless he develops his technique, it will not always save him. Athleticism is great; technique is more important to a long career in net.

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Just won tickets for the game tonight! So excited!!!

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

11-3-4 Tied for first in the conference- 7 points ahead in SE division...pretty good start...yes, we all nitpick(i'm just as guilty), but considering it is only November...I think we are doing very well.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 13, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It will be so cool if we win tonight. Each win without Ovi is an affirmation of this team's ability. The only reason we wouldn't win is if the players revert to their infuriating attitude of "I don't think the game tonight is worthy of my effort. I'll just skate around and pass the time."

I wonder if Varly can duplicate the great game he had last time. Yes he has had melt-downs (the worst one being the 7th game in the second playoff round) and occasionally lets in weak goals, like all goalies do, but I think the net result is better than Theo's. I see Theo as three-or-more with occasional stretches of good goal-tending and, once or twice a year, a brilliant performance. I see Varly,however, as a brilliant player but still raw. And he is learning fast.

Posted by: caraveli | November 13, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@snakegriffin - CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy the game!!!

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes - I will, from 112 :)

Posted by: snakegriffin | November 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli - And I wonder how much of the "three-or-more" Theodore gives us is because of the bashing he gets at fans' hands every single time he lets a goal through. EVERY TIME. It really makes me wonder.

Right now, Varlamov's numbers are slightly better than Theodore's. .905 to .900 on the SV%, 2.90 to 3.08 on GAA. But I still think Theodore is the better #1 goalie -FOR NOW-.

I am not bashing Varlamov (though he does need to watch his mouth about American women); I'm just saying he needs to improve his technique before I'll accept him as the #1 goalie for this team.

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli - Totally agreed on it being very cool if we win tonight. Even cooler if we win tomorrow against NJ!

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@Irockthered -- based on that shootout, we should just let teams skate in freely on Varly and let him stop the breakaways ;)

I here you. Its just so exciting to see Varly in the net compared to Theo. I guess you can liken this to a QB being played as a rookie. Is technique something that Varly can learn on the fly is the question. Seems like he is getting a bit better.

Where's Mike Liut when we need him?

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | November 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

New thread.

Posted by: irockthered | November 13, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

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