- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
Roster shuffle becoming ‘comical’
Question of the Day
Sean Collins thought his weeklong dream was over.
Collins had his equipment bag and sticks slung over his shoulder and was exiting Verizon Center on Friday night with Oskar Osala, who also had been reassigned to Hershey of the American Hockey League. But while Collins was contemplating his first stay in the NHL with the Washington Capitals and which city in Texas he would join his Bears teammates in, team services manager Ian Anderson came running after him with good news.
“I was almost out to the parking lot when Ian chased me down,” Collins said. “He said, ‘Collie, Collie, hurry up - we’ve got to hurry,’ so we both started running. I was just like, ‘Why? What is going on?’ We threw my stuff on the bus, and [general manager George McPhee] told me that I had been called back up.”
Such has been the story for the Caps and their injury woes. Players are coming and going, staying and leaving - or in Collins’ case, thinking they are gone but sticking around.
“My head is still spinning with guys coming off the ice, going on the ice,” coach Bruce Boudreau said after practice Monday. “It is almost comical.”
The roster has been in a state of constant flux for nearly a month. Collins was the fifth defenseman summoned from Hershey this season, but he only expected to be around a day or two. He was actually “sent back” to the AHL during the day Friday but was told to stick around in case someone else got hurt.
After the Caps defeated the Senators 5-1 that night, the team was concerned about Mike Green’s sore shoulder and didn’t want to get caught with only five healthy defensemen the next day in Montreal. So Collins was back on the roster, and his dream was still alive.
His services were not needed in Montreal, but now Tyler Sloan is questionable for Tuesday night with a lower body injury stemming from a hit against the Canadiens, so Collins could be back in the lineup when the Caps play the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
“It has been awesome,” Collins said. “As a hockey player, this is where you want to be. There is no league above this - it is the best. I am thankful every day that I wake up and I’m still here, and I’ve tried to take advantage of it.”
While the situation on the blue line has been scrambled, the recent goalie shuffle reached new levels of wackiness. When Jose Theodore couldn’t play Friday because of a hip flexor, the Caps were forced to add Web producer Brett Leonhardt to the roster as the backup netminder for warmups and part of the first period against the Senators.
Simeon Varlamov traveled from Houston to the District on Friday night and made his NHL debut Saturday in Montreal. Varlamov stopped 32 of 33 shots and looked very much like the top goaltending prospect he has been touted as.
“He’s everything we thought he would be,” McPhee said. “There was no trepidation on our part. This is a chance to see what these kids are made of. It is kind of exciting to throw somebody out there in this situation, and he played really well.”
Varlamov wasn’t the only goalie trying to make his way to Verizon Center on Friday. Michal Neuvirth, a second-round draft pick in 2006, was in Florida with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL when his wild weekend began.
Neuvirth was unable to get to the District, so he joined the team in Montreal. He wasn’t added to the roster Saturday because Johnson was OK to back up Varlamov, but the Czech Republic native did spend Sunday as an official NHL player before being reassigned to South Carolina after practice Monday.
“I was preparing for the pregame skate, and the coach told me I was called up, so I packed my stuff,” Neuvirth said. “I was supposed to fly to Washington, but the plane had some problems so they canceled the flight. I flew to Montreal that night.”
About the Author
- The Capitals' Cup full of dreams
- Capitals' Green left off Canada's roster
- Capitals' new addition brings energy
- Capitals trade their captain to Columbus
- Disastrous first period dooms Capitals
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over 'ill-judged' comments about Sarah Palin
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Despite cynicism about the law, it can provide you justice, protection, and ensure your rights.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch