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Posted at 09:02 AM ET, 10/19/2010

Capitals, Bruins each balancing two goaltenders

The Capitals are far from the only team prepared to split the responsibilities in net between two goaltenders.

While it's uncertain whether Michal Neuvirth will get his sixth consecutive start or if Semyon Varlamov, who told John Buccigross he would start Thursday, will make his season debut for the Capitals tonight at Verizon Center, Washington could easily face either of the Bruins' pair tonight in the first portion of a home-and-home against Boston as well. It's possible all four of the teams' combined goaltenders could play in these two games in three days.

Tuukka Rask (0-1, .889 save percentage, 4.00 GAA) may be the goaltender of the future, veteran Tim Thomas (2-0, .984 save percentage, 0.50 GAA) has the hot hand through the Bruins' last two games. He's even shown glimpses of the play that won him the Vezina Trophy in 2009.

From The Boston Globe:

Two starts may not provide an accurate or extensive snapshot of how Thomas's season might unfold. Saturday night's 31-save gem came against an undermanned New Jersey roster. Names such as Matt Corrente, Jacob Josefson, Alexander Urbom, and Tim Sestito may be familiar only to the most passionate of puckheads. It's one thing to stone a lineup stuffed with B-level talent. It's quite another to foil the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin; the Bruins have a home-and-home set against the Capitals tomorrow (Verizon Center) and Thursday (TD Garden).
But it may be that Tuukka Rask, on the bench for the last two games, could be back in the crease as early as tomorrow. Thomas is the hot goalie. But Rask, playing behind a leaky squad in the season-opening 5-2 setback against Phoenix, needs to find his rhythm.
"It's about being fair and making our decision tougher as we go along,'' said coach Claude Julien. "We have to consider two things: a goalie who's played really well, and another goalie who can't sit forever either. We've got lots of games. Three games in five nights [this] week. I'm sure we'll see both of them.''

Alex Ovechkin and Semyon Varlamov visited ESPN to film a "This is SportsCenter" commercial. Here's Ovechkin's chat with John Buccigross:

FROM THE POST
Despite a 4-1 record, the Capitals remain searching for a dominant team performance.

Dan Steinberg's public-service piece about the beer selection at Verizon Center.

IN THE MINORS
Mathieu Perreault on starting the year in Hershey: "If you're going to be in the 'A' somewhere, you certainly want to be here," he said. "I'd rather be in Washington, but now I'm here, and I have to deal with it. It's just another season starting."

RMNB's latest prospect watch.

AROUND THE WEB
CSN's Alan May on how to build a successful team/organization in the salary-cap era.

Sure, it's October, but here is The Hockey News' Vezina Trophy watch, where Michal Neuvirth is ranked sixth.

ESPN noticed the Caps' recent success on the penalty kill.

By  |  09:02 AM ET, 10/19/2010

Categories:  Morning Roundup, Morning Roundup

 
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