Friday, February 6, 2009

Gut Check Time for the Caps

From here on out the Capitals are stuck with Jose Theodore for 6-8 weeks. This by all means, can be a good or a hideously bad thing. I'm going to go with "The Caps need to score at least 4 goals a game to win" thing, which obviously, they can do.

Naturally I bring this up because back up Brent Johnson will be having hip surgery forcing him out of action for 6-8 weeks. So the Caps called up 20 year old ECHL all-star Michal Neuvirth. Yeah, not AHL, the ECHL all-star Michal Neuvirth. He's played in exactly 0 NHL games, and only 8 career AHL games. The 2nd place team in the entire Eastern Conference has a total of 8 games AHL/NHL experience. 8. Eight. Huit. восемь. May God have mercy on the Capitals souls.
Middle School Yearbook Photo - 2006

They've dressed 6 goalies this year. Theodore, Johnson, Neuvirth, Simeon Varlamov (IR in AHL), Darren Machesney, and of course, Brett Leonhardt. Obviously Varlamov would be the guy if he was healthy, by virtue of his epic play earlier in the year. But he's sidelined with a knee injury.

Based on my experience with the Bears, my guess is they will be swapping Neuvirth and Cheese (Machesney), so they both keep getting playing time down with the Bears. That is, until Varlamov gets back. I suspect, based on what I've seen Simeon do both in Hershey and in Washington, he could push Theodore for that job while BJ is out. But then the question arises, if things go bad, will the Caps be forced to make a move? Japer's Rink has this out about the goalie trade market. Are we sure Johan Hedberg isn't the stop gap solution?

Of course this is only if something happens to Theodore. Outside of last night's implosion of sorts, since Christmas he has gone 10-3 with a 2.06 GAA and .925 save %. That certainly isn't bad, but this situation is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.