- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
Theodore recognizes his purpose
Before the puck was dropped for the Washington Capitals‘ home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night, the Caps had a ceremony to raise the 2007-08 Southeast Division championship banner.
Coach Bruce Boudreau would rather they have hung the net from the goal his team defended in Atlanta on Friday in its season-opening 7-4 loss.
That is the memory the coach wants fresh in minds of his players - not last season’s honors.
“I am trying to get away from talking about last year because that was last year and this is this year, and it is a whole different scenario,” Boudreau said before Saturday night’s game. “The more we start thinking about last year then you have results like you have last night.”
You can’t have too many results like the seven goals the Capitals allowed against the Thrashers, or else it defeats the purpose of having a goalie. And within the first 30 seconds of Saturday’s game, fans may have wondered what the point was of having Jose Theodore in the net.
But the free-agent signee managed to play as if he understands what a goalie’s purpose is. Theodore blanked the Blackhawks in the second and third periods in the Capitals’ 4-2 victory.
“I think it was a little bit maybe of me being too anxious, of wanting to do too much, and forgetting about having fun out there,” Theodore said. “I just stopped thinking and just [remembered you need to] have a good time and do what you do.”
Just 26 seconds into the game, the puck went by Theodore for a 1-0 Chicago lead on a goal by forward Kris Versteeg. Twelve minutes later, Theodore gave up a goal to forward Jack Skille and the crowd rumbled with low-level boos. Capitals forward Matt Bradley’s goal about two minutes later at least stopped that sinking feeling rushing through the arena.
Reporters once asked Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel why he picked catcher Hobie Landrith as the first choice in the 1962 expansion draft to put together the roster for the New York Mets. Stengel replied, “Well, if you don’t have a catcher, you’re going to have a lot of passed balls.”
Well, if you don’t have a goalie, you’re going to chase a lot of pucks into the net, as they did Friday night.
With all the hoopla about the Capitals, this was the one area where the team looked vulnerable. They failed to re-sign their hot goalie from last year’s stretch run, Cristobal Huet, who signed with Chicago.
Then it seemed as if the front office had to scramble to find the only credible goalie on the free agent market - Theodore, a former Vezina and Hart Trophy winner in Montreal whose production had nose-dived but who had appeared to return to form last year with Colorado.
He came to Washington with the burden of replacing a legend of the past and one in the making. Longtime No. 1 goalie Olie Kolzig fell out of favor with Boudreau last year and signed with Tampa Bay in the offseason. Huet won fans over with his sterling goaltending during the Caps’ late-season surge to the division title.
The idea was that Theodore and veteran Brent Johnson would split the playing time this season to establish a level of at least average goaltending - the standard that the team determined it needed because of its explosive offense.
Seven goals, though, between the two of them Friday night - four against Theodore halfway through the second period and three in just over two minutes against Johnson - was well below average.
About the Author
- LOVERRO: Nene gives Wizards a foundation they never had in Arenas era
- LOVERRO: Why celebrate 'Bad Boys' when 'Eden' awaits?
- LOVERRO: Bryce Harper-Mike Trout comparisons may be a career-long thing
- LOVERRO: On the Wizards' trip to Brazil, a miracle happened
- LOVERRO: Capitals' major challenge is finding someone who can win with Alex Ovechkin
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014