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Washington Capitals Versus History (and the New York Rangers)

Wayne VienerContributor IApril 17, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 16:  Brent Johnson #1 of the Washington Capitals makes a save against the New York Islanders during their game at the Nassau Coliseum at the Nassau Coliseum December 16, 2008 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Brent Johnson (pictured above) is trying out the new goalie style for the Caps—just fall down before the Rangers shoot.

If the Caps keep Jose Threeormore (Theodore) in goal, it would not be a surprise. 

If the Caps start Simeon Voldemort (Varlamov), I would not be shocked. 

All kidding aside, the goalie decision could be a defining moment in the head coaching career of Bruce Boudreau.

Bruce is shrewd coach.  He has coached all types in his storied minor-league career.  This  gives him an edge in working with the younger players. 

Varlamov is said to be the next great Capitals goalie. Michal Neuvirth, a rookie now back with the Hershey Bears, played in net this season for the Caps. 

I guess the question at hand is who will start on Saturday.  Here are a few scnearios that bear watching:

1. If Theodore gets the start and falters, he gets the hook.  Brent Johnson is not back from hip surgery, so Varlamov is in net.

2. Varlamov gets the start and the Caps stick with him as the No. 1 goalie whether he plays well or not.

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3. Varlamov gets the start on Saturday, but Boudreau says that Theodore gets the start in game three.

Those are interesting possibilities.  What we need to remember is (and these are at odds with each other, but still true):

1. You have to win now, no one knows what the future holds.

2. No one wants to ruin a rookie goalie by getting him blown out of a home playoff game.

3. For now, DC does not like Theodore.  A change in net, even if we lose the series, would be welcomed.

4. Caps fans miss Cristobal Huet, even if he is on the bench with the Blackhawks.

As a Caps fan heading to the game on Saturday, we still have an almost Gibbsian (reference Joe Gibbs, Redskins coach) faith in Bruce.  Lets hope he makes the right decision.

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