The Caps have added potential reinforcements for tonight’s tile here at Air Canada Centre, but they are both surprises. Goaltender Daren Machesney and forward Steve Pinizzotto have been recalled while netminder Simeon Varlamov has been sent to Hershey.
The goalie switch makes sense for two reasons, and both are tied into the fact that Caps don’t play very much in the next 10 days. 1) It allows Varlamov play — something he hasn’t done nearly enough of this season because of injury and being needed in Washington and 2) It will save the Caps some money. They aren’t going to need Varlamov provded Jose Theodore stays healthy, and Machesney’s contract is more cap friendly.
This is the first time Pinizzotto has been recalled this season. He has four goals in 38 games for Hershey and four goals in 11 games for South Carolina in the ECHL. He is from a Toronto suburb, so this could be a very big night for him.
By only recalling one forward, that should mean that at least one of the Semin/Bradley/Brashear trio will play tonight, and it is still possible that two of them could be in the lineup.
UPDATE: Semin and Bradley are on the ice for the morning skate.
UPDATE: Bradley said he is good to go tonight. Not sure about Semin, and Pinizzotto said the coaches told him he is going to take the warmup tonight and then make a decision. Bruce Boudreau, when he wasn’t answering another round of questions about Alex Ovechkin’s now infamous goal celebration, said he is hopeful both Bradley and Semin can play tonight.
Jose Theodore will be in net. It does look like Brian Pothier will be the odd man out on defense.
This morning was Pinizzotto’s first time skating on the ice here at Air Canada Centre. As a hometown kid, it was a pretty special experience for him — even if he was exhausted from all the extra work assistant coach Dean Evason put him through. Pinizzotto, a die-hard Leafs fan growing up, did say he has seen a few games in this building because a few of his friends had season tickets and brought him along.