Johnson to start Thursday

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The Caps cancelled practice for today, but Bruce Boudreau did agree to a phone interview. Obviously, most of the discussion centered around the goalies. Brent Johnson will start tomorrow night against Carolina, his second straight game in net.

Here is some of what Boudreau had to say on the matter:

“Everything is on a game-to-game basis. I plan on using both goalies – I don’t think either goalie is going to have a stretch where they play 10 in a rom. Obviously, we’re going to go with the hot hand.”

“We haven’t given up on [Theodore] and we don’t think anything less of him. Brent played really well last night and I’ve got to believe he’s earned another start tomorrow night.”

“I’ve got to believe [Johnson] is better than he was when he was 25 and he’s better than when he was 29. Experience in goal means a heck of a lot. I don’t know if he would have been able to poke check Daniel Alfredsson on a breakaway five years ago.”

“If Brent goes in and is crappy tomorrow, then obviously I am going to use [Theodore] Saturday against the Rangers. All I am looking at is tomorrow night.”

“Theodore is still the No. 1 goalie we have. For tomorrow, Brent is getting another start. Jose played five games in a row. Brent came in and did well, so he’s earned another start.”

Obviously, Boudreau was going out of his way to say not a whole lot has changed. Clearly, Johnson is playing better right now and deserves to keep playing. This happened last season as well, and Boudreau gave him more work until Cristobal Huet was added. It is probably hard for people to be patient, but the Jose Theodore Era is only eight games old. It might be a little early to toss him overboard.

Some other stuff:

* Boudreau said last night was the first time he matched a line on the road, and he was pleased with how the on-the-fly changes went. He has said before that he doesn’t get caught up in matching lines very often, but considering most of Ottawa’s firepower is consolidated in their top five forwards (Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson, Vermette and Fisher) it is easy to see why he would make an exception.

* While the Fleischmann-Nylander-Semin line worked well together last night, Boudreau said there will be new units tomorrow for the Hurricanes. He said he wants to start shuffling less and try to create more chemsitry, but the Caps have been held to one goal in three of the past six games.

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