The Washington Times - December 27, 2009, 12:55PM

The Caps just wrapped up practice here at K-Plex in Arlington. Tom Poti skated before practice but left the ice just as it was about to begin. Bruce Boudreau said he expects Poti to practice fully tomorrow morning and play Wednesday in San Jose, but said it is unlikely he will play tomorrow night against Carolina.

Boudreau said Semyon Varlamov is progressing, but needs a full practice with only two goalies on the ice before he can say he’s close to returning. Obviously the Caps have three goalies right now, and Michal Neuvirth is making it hard for them to send him back to Hershey with the way he is playing.


“What I’ve noticed is if you remember his third game for us last year against Carolina he looked like an American League goalie,” Boudreau said. “What I am getting at is through time last year he got worse. It is totally the opposite this year.”

The Caps went through the three-goalie drama in Boudreau’s first year, and while it ended up not being a distraction because Brent Johnson is a good guy, it probably isn’t something the team wants to drag out again.

“Now we’ve got three goalies that are vying for ice time and everyone pushing each other,” Boudreau said. “Sometimes it is a good situation and sometimes it is a not so good situation. We’ll find out what it is before it is all said and done.”

Before yesterday’s game, Boudreau had said Jose Theodore would play tomorrow against Carolina. When asked if Theodore was still playing, Boudreau hedged.

“I decided to play [Neuvirth] yesterday and we’ll see,” he said.

Boudreau also responded to the Theodore being upset yesterday about not starting against the Devils.

“Do you not have a bad day at work and get pissed off at your employers?” he said. “Well, you know what – it is not unhealthy that he is upset. If he wasn’t upset, then it would show that he doesn’t care and he cares. He’s a professional and he cares tremendously. We’d all want to start, but that wasn’t his decision. It was my decision.”

Nicklas Backstrom is the latest member of the Caps to earn a spot on his country’s Olympic team when Sweden’s roster was revealed earlier today. Backstrom mentioned Henrik Zetterberg and Peter Forsberg as the two guys he might like to play with.

“It has always been a dream since I was a kid,” Backstrom said. “It was fun to hear the news and I am excited right now.”