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Capitals May Use Goalie Rotation


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#1 wingsdiehard13

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:50 PM

Washington Post

The question has lingered over the Washington Capitals for weeks, and with two games remaining before the playoffs, Coach Bruce Boudreau still hasnt named which goaltender will start Game 1 of the quarterfinals.

“I havent discussed anything with anybody,” Boudreau said.

“Im still evaluating.

Nothing has been etched in stone.”

The prevailing sentiment around the league is that Boudreau hasnt committed to either José Theodore or Semyon Varlamov because he believes that its possible, if not likely, the Capitals could need both in their quest for the franchises first Stanley Cup.

While thats not the conventional approach, its not unprecedented in recent NHL history, either.

Three of the past four champions, in fact, started the playoffs with one goaltender and switched to another en route to the Cup.

Goaltending-by-committee is also consistent with Boudreaus longstanding philosophy of riding the hot netminder and the pattern he has established over the past two months.

Neither Theodore nor Varlamov have received more than two consecutive starts since Varlamov returned from groin muscle and knee injuries in mid-February.

“I took out Roberto Luongo in [the American Hockey League playoffs] when he wasnt getting the job done,” said Boudreau, who coached Luongo in the New York Islanders organization.

“This is right after he just won a series single-handedly.”

While statistics suggest the job should belong to Theodore, who is 19-0-3 in his last 22 decisions compared with Varlamovs 3-3-3 record since coming off injured reserve, the fact that Boudreau hasnt come out and named him the starter has raised eyebrows, particularly because the coach replaced Theodore one game into last years playoff run with an untested Varlamov.

“The last couple of months Ive been pretty consistent,” Theodore said.

“So theres not much more I can do.”

Kevin Weekes, a former NHL goalie who now works as an analyst for NHL Network, said that even if Boudreau has made up his mind, by not announcing it publicly, hes creating an “unnecessary controversy.”

“I like Bruce Boudreau, hes done a great job turning that franchise around,” Weekes said.

“But its creating an unnecessary controversy that doesnt need to be there — because, whichever way they go, they are operating from a position of strength.”


That could be interesting. Can anyone remember the last time a team rotated goaltenders through the playoffs? It seems pretty unconventional.

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#2 hooon

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:21 PM

I doubt we would see a rotation through-out. Sounds like what a lot of teams do, including the Wings a few years ago, you play the hot goalie and stick with him, if he stops being hot, try the other goalie. Usually if the starting goalie (in this case Theodore, I presume) isn't playing lights out in the first round, they'll switch. Nothing out of the ordinary here, not sure why coach is making a spectacle of it.
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#3 titanium2

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:25 PM

I can see the Wings doing this too if Howard stumbles a little bit.

#4 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

Terry Murray did the same thing in the SC Final in 1997; he never could find his "hot goalie". That story had a great ending.

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#5 Zohan Franzen

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:36 PM

Last year he started Theodore and then went to Varly. So I guess giving Varly the chance to prove himself would definetly be the right decision by Boudreau.

#6 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:25 PM

Washington Post



That could be interesting. Can anyone remember the last time a team rotated goaltenders through the playoffs? It seems pretty unconventional.

Ottawa did it in the mid/late 90s with Damian Rhodes and Ron Tugnutt with moderate success (I don't know if that's what the poster above me was referencing with the coach there).

#7 GMRwings1983

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:35 PM

I remember thinking the Wings would try it back in 2008, when Ozzie had a better regular season than Hasek, but Hasek went in as the starter.

I think it's a weird move, because it doesn't have much support by historical success. Teams that have tried it failed.
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#8 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:42 AM

So, in the end, was this all smoke for the media to enhale?

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#9 Carman

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:29 AM

Another one of Bruce's mistakes. No need to make this public and put even more pressure on your goaltenders.





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