Simeon Varlamov is starting in net for the Washington Capitals in game 2 of their first round series against the New York Rangers. Varlamov, only 20-years-old, has only started five games as an NHL goal-tender.
The move was made just four days after Jose Theodore, Washington’s starting goalie throughout the season, struggled in a 4-3 loss. Theodore’s lackluster effort was cited — by both fans and the local media — as the reason for Washington’s game-one loss.
Varlamov has played well and seems to take better angles and move better in the net than Thedoroe, but his sample size as an NHL net-minder is miniscule. There was a sense of shock in the press box when Varlamov, and not Theodore, led the Capitals on to the ice in warmups.
Nobody doubts Varlamov’s ability. But how the youngster will respond under the bright light that is the NHL postseason is anybody’s guess. Regardless, the decision to go with the kid by Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreu is incredibly gutsy.
The only rookie goalies to start playoff games for the Caps: Jim Carey, Byron Dafoe, Bob Mason and Simeon Varlamov.