Hopefully Semyon Varlamov hasn't yet cleared space of his mantle for the Vezina.
The kid who many had hoped was going to free us from Theo and lead D.C. to its first Cup is 0-for-2 in mediocre performances this year. Last night's stinkaroo cost the Caps a game, 6-5 in Philly.
The big question of camp was whether he had enough to be the Caps No. 1 goalie. Not yet, is the resounding answer.
He's been giving up goals in flurries lately. The Times notes that "[d]ating to Game 7 of the Penguins series in last year's playoffs, the 21-year-old Russian has yielded three goals in a period five of the past six times he has put on a Washington uniform."
Boudreau doesn't think it's all physical; he thinks some of it's in his head:
"The one thing that has reared its ugly head right now is they score in bunches on him. ... I think he can get down on himself, and I don't know the answer because I haven't talked to him yet, but I think he gets down on himself, and we've got to get him out of that."
Yesterday's loss had other warning signs beyond shoddy goaltending. The Caps, as they did last year, continue to take too many stupid penalties. Last night, they were whistled for nine minors. Nine!
That led to three power-play goals, another problem that hurt them last season.
And the defense? Well, the Poti/Erskine combination didn't have the best night. Those two were on the ice for five goals. Double oof.
So the Caps won't start 3-0. And Varly isn't yet a No. 1. But it's a long season, and there's plenty of time to turn things around.