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Varly's Having a Birthday

A pre-birthday hug. (By Ray Stubblebine - Reuters)

Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov turned 21 today. Comcast SportsyNet's Jill Sorenson wisely asked several teammates about how they'd mark the occasion. Her package will run on the network tonight; some stolen highlights.

"He better not celebrate the way normal 21-year olds celebrate," Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't know how to answer that....If I have to tell people to mind their P's and Q's before a Game 7, then they're not the kind of people we want anyway."

"Was it?" Mike Green said, when presented with the birthday question. "Yeah, he doesn't speak very well to us, but I'm sure he'll get a [punishment redacted]. Don't tell him that, though."

So what's the longest conversation they've had? Varlamov once complimented Green on a blocked shot, though not in so many words.

"Not really," Green admitted. "But I knew what he was talking about."

More birthday chatter:

"So he can legally drink now in the United States I guess?" asked Matt Bradley, who also hadn't known about the birthday. "That makes me feel old. But he's done a great job, and I think the best birthday present for him will be getting a win tomorrow. Celebrate with one beer."

Wait, beer?

"One vodka," Bradley amended.

So the plan is to postpone anything until tomorrow?

"Maybe tomorrow, tomorrow we do something," Alex Ovechkin said.

"That's the plan," agreed Brian Pothier. "We can't look too far ahead."

Then he launched into a message about the team's mindset and spirit. I also asked Pothier the "longest conversation" question.

"I don't know, he's actually decent," Pothier said of the rookie goalie. "He's not phenomenal, but he's all right. He gets along pretty well in English, and the thing with him is he makes an attempt. Every time you walk by him, 'Good morning buddy, how are you?"

Buddy, apparently, is one of his favorite English words, "Hey Buddy!" being a particular favorite. Anyhow, someone bring a cake tomorrow night, just in case.

"I'll ask Ovie how to say it, and I'll sing him Happy Birthday," Green said.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 27, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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I have a couple Russian friends and they all seem to love the word Buddy, what is that about?

Posted by: Ovechwin | April 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The Russians actually make some pretty good beer. Head over to RFD after a game and try a Baltika.

Posted by: ModestProposal | April 27, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse


Great post, very amusing. Your coverage during the playoffs has been great.

Posted by: stormblue | April 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

“Quotes from Ovechkin after this morning's practice. For the record, he was wearing an AC Milan Kaka jersey at the time. Why no Ben Olsen jersey, Alex?”

It’s a joke, Ovechkin is a kid. Kaka means pretty funny thing in Russian.

Posted by: Randolph2 | April 27, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dan, the coverage has been awesome. Big thanks!

Tarik is like my 9am progress report meeting, and you are my water-cooler pit stop.

Carry on.

Btw, don't be afraid to ask the Russian players some crazy politically incorrect questions. They are used to it from all the lunatic Russian reporters, trust me.

They usually turn on the auto-pilot for the NA media, because the questions here are usually repetitive and boring, but if they can recognize a human being, they'll open up. Just don't ask them the lame soft crap.

Posted by: VladG | April 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday in Russian – S dnem rozhdenia!

Posted by: Randolph2 | April 27, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Steinz, I'll pay you (in beer) if you can get a video of Green singing Happy Birthday to Varly in Russian.

Posted by: RtR52 | April 27, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

That pic of Varly is sooooo cute. =)

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Varly, happy birthday to you!" - (Rachel singing)

Posted by: rachel216 | April 27, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Seriously--Dan, you've been awesome this playoffs. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: emc7x | April 27, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

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