Goalie Controversy Brewing In D.C.


It's been only one game and one mediocre performance by Capitals' goalie Jose Theodore and speculation of a goaltending change in running wild. There are those that think 20 year old rookie Simeon Varlamov may get the nod for Game 2. When Threeormore was asked about a possible change in goal, he was a bit heated.

"What do you mean, a switch? It's the first game. I don't know what you're really referring to. It's 1-0 in the series. I've been down 3-1 in a series, and we came back and won. I think you're jumping the gun a little bit when your team's down 1-0."

But Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau, still fresh from being out coached by John Tortorella, kept his cards close to his chest and dodged questions about a change from reporters.

"I think all aspects of that, whether it's what's better for the team, how [does] it affect the player, how [does] it affect the dynamics of the room, all of those things always come into play, a lot of my thoughts go into what you asked, but I mean, there's an expectancy that they understand as well."

But Boudreau also had some positive things to say about his young Russian backup as well as he clearly is trying to keep his options open without tipping his hand to the Rangers.

"He has played in the Russian elite league, and he's played in the world championship in front of big crowds, so it's not like he's going to be a star-struck young guy if we went with that decision."

Coming from a Rangers fans perspective, it's obviously next to impossible to not be biased. But the Caps need to go with Theodore for game 2. It would be a complete knee jerk reaction to pull him after one lackluster performance in which the Caps had plenty of opportunities to win. If Theodore doesn't perform Saturday, then a change to Varlamov would be a good decision. But changing your starting veteran goalie after one game sends a clear message to Theodore and the team that the head coach has little to no faith in him. That not a message that should be sent after one game in the opening round in the playoffs.

Some Ranger fans are hoping that Theodore stays in b/c they think he's swiss cheese. But remember that game at MSG a few months back? Threeormore was awful early and was yanked in favor of Brent Johnson. Johnson quickly went down with an injury and Theodore stepped in and shut the door and led the Caps back from 4-0 to a 5-4 win in OT.

There are some that hope the rookie Varlamov gets put in goal Saturday. But remember, there has been a long history of rookie netminders who have stepped into the starting role in the playoffs and have done remarkably well. Has anyone ever heard of Cam Ward and the 'Canes?

Be careful what you wish for Ranger fans.

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