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Theodore steadfast; Boudreau weighs goalie options

Thursday, 04.16.2009 / 1:27 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A change in Washington's net could be in the offing for Game 2 Saturday at Verizon Center (1 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS), but the potential victim, Jose Theodore, doesn't see a reason for it.

Not yet, at least.

"What do you mean, a switch?" Theodore rebutted when asked Thursday if he's worried that coach Bruce Boudreau would turn to rookie Simeon Varlamov to start Game 2 after he allowed four goals on 21 shots against the New York Rangers to cost the Caps' Game 1 Wednesday night.

"It's the first game; I don't know what you are really referring to," he continued. "It's 1-0 in the series. I've been down 3-1 in a series and we came back and won. I think you're jumping the gun a little when your team is down 1-0."

Theodore wasn't getting any reassurances from Boudreau on Thursday. The coach refused to divulge any information about his playing roster for Saturday's game, including the goaltending situation.

Asked if he would at some point on Thursday tell the goalies who he plans on playing, Boudreau said no to that as well.

"I probably do know," Boudreau said, "but I'm not going to share it one way or the other."

If Boudreau did decide to make a change, he would be turning to a 20-year-old rookie in Varlamov who was 4-0-1 in six appearances this season with a .918 save percentage and 2.37 goals against average. Varlamov has played in two World Junior Championships for Russia and appeared in 22 playoff games with Yaroslavl in the Russian Super League.

"It's not like he would be a star-struck young guy if we went with that decision," Boudreau said.

Theodore was more reflective Thursday, talking about what he could have done better after sleeping on his performance.

He still feels he should have challenged Scott Gomez, but he didn't and Gomez scored the Rangers' first goal 7:49 into the second by putting a shot below Theodore's blocker.

"I'm the kind of guy that I like to come out of my crease and challenge the shooters and (Wednesday) I thought I was a little passive," he said. "I wasn't challenging like I can."

Theodore believes the second and third goals, scored by Nik Antropov and Markus Naslund, were just great shots. Antropov roofed the puck from the left circle into the far corner and Naslund wristed the puck by Theodore's stick side.

"I think on those plays I would have done the same thing," he said.

On Brandon Dubinsky's game-winner with 8:17 to play in the game, Theodore said, "I was kind of high, but still I think I could have cut the angle a little bit more. It's just technical stuff like this. I like to challenge shooters."

He may or may not get another chance in this series.

"The story changes so quickly," Theodore said. "You're down one game and you say the goalie is shaky and he got outplayed, which was the case, and another game it's a different story and all you guys change your story again. That's the playoffs. You live one game at a time and you play one game at a time. Every game is a different story."

Contact Dan Rosen at
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