MONTREAL -- In the wee hours Sunday, a man was walking down Crescent Street, one of the happening downtown locales in Montreal. The fellow was basically minding his own business, although because he was wearing a T-shirt with
Théo is verbal shorthand for
Even talking to people within the Capitals organization, Boudreau could not articulate why he was going with his other goalie,
Score one for a coach's intuition.
Varlamov made 26 saves as the Capitals buried the Canadiens 5-1 in the first lopsided game of the 2010 NHL playoffs. Washington's porous defense now was solid, its poise admirable, especially compared with the unraveling Canadiens, who took a misconduct and an unsportsmanlike penalty in the second. (Said Montreal defenseman
Not everything is perfect in CapsWorld -- the vaunted power play is 0-for-14 in the series, prompting Boudreau to say, "We suck" -- but Washington, the NHL's best road team, grabbed the series by the throat.
Since returning later in the season -- he played only 10 games after sustaining a groin injury early in December -- Varlamov gave his most complete performance. He was especially sharp in the first period before the four-goal Washington deluge in the second, making a pad save on
Suddenly the Canadiens are the team with the goaltending issue.
(Column interruption. In
Now Montreal coach
Martin would rather tell you his PIN number than his starting goalie for Game 4, but time is short for a team that might have squandered its best chance for an upset when it blew a three-goal lead and a one-goal advantage in the dying minutes of Game 2 regulation.
"It felt good to be in there, feeling the puck," Price said. "It's been a while."
Price, who started only four games after the Olympics and won just one, now has regained the exalted status he once held in an organization that tabbed him with a rare high pick, fifth overall in the 2005 draft. If Price has a little luck and shows lot of skill, the city of two million hockey coaches might learn to love him as much as they once loved Théodore.