Jose Theodore's Game 2 benching
The Caps were down a game in this series, and down 2-0 in Game 2 after Jose Theodore yielded two first-period goals on two first-period shots Saturday night. Neither involved traffic, or bad bounces, or an other excuse to bail Theo out. The smell of panic was in the air, and it smelled like rotten poutine. Thus, Jose Theodore was immediately beckoned to the bench, where he went, unhappily, and Semyon Varlamov skated onto the ice.
Theodore slapped catching gloves with Varlamov to wish him good luck, but the veteran was obviously peeved. And while you won't find many fans who would complain about the move -- everything was cold, clammy and morgue-like at the time -- you couldn't help but flash back to Bruce Boudreau's press gathering on Tuesday morning.
The first question Boudreau faced was about Tomas Plekanec's assertion that at least the Canadiens weren't facing a Ryan Miller or Martin Brodeur. Boudreau used this as occasion to announce his postseason starter, and to strongly back Theodore.
"They're not [facing Miller or Brodeur]," Boudreau agreed. "They're facing Jose. And I'll take Jose's record the last 23 games over those two guys. It's no secret. The reason quite frankly that I wasn't saying anything [about a starter] was just to keep everybody on their toes, but I told Jose last week, and he knew he was gonna be the starter, and he earned it.
"And it's quite a different situation than it was from this year to last year. I mean, he's been our guy. I mean, his last loss was was early January. Obviously he could lose again, but what people don't realize last year is his 10 previous games before going into the playoffs weren't anywhere near what his 10 previous games are here, so there is no short leash. He's the guy we're gonna go with, and see how he goes."
Well, he went a bit more than four periods. Last postseason, Theodore was yanked after 58:58 of ice time. This year, he lasted 81:08 before being benched.
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