Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cap's Backup Goalie - A "Cinderella" Story

In case you've been under a rock or are completely hungover from holiday festivities, you've probably already heard about the situation the Washington Capitals found themselves in while scrambling to get their backup goalie (Simeon Varlamov from Hershey) on the bench for the Ottawa Senators game last night. After Jose Theodore became another statistic in the Cap's unlucky injury streak, the team scrambled to get Varlamov to D.C. from Texas in time for the game. Logistics issues made it obvious that he would not be in Verizon Center in time for puck drop so the Caps went to "Plan B" - which has become a Cinderella story of sorts. Only this Cinderella is a very big dude - about 6'7" to be exact.

Brett Leonhardt, a former college goalie and a Web producer for the Caps in his day job, got the call of a lifetime yesterday. Leonhardt, also known as "Stretch", took the warmup with the team and sat as the official team backup goalie until Varlamov was safely in the house. Hockey Mom actually would have loved to see the guy get to play a bit after the Caps were up 5 - 1, but either way it must have been the thrill of a lifetime for him. A huge HM high five to Brett and I hope to get the chance to see you in action sometime!

Check out his reaction here:

Spealing of Varlamov, Caps fans will get their first glimpse of the young Russian phenom in net as he will get the start against the Montreal Canadians at the hockey-crazed Bell Centre tonight. After standing on his head and various other phenomenal saves in the past 2 Caps' victories, Brent Johnson is a little dinged up with a sore hip (but can play if need be). He has been magnificent in his past few outings and I dare say that there should be no question who the #1 goaltender should be.

The Canadiens are dealing with their own rash of injuries. Among the down and out are goaltender Carey Price, captain Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Christopher Higgins, Mathieu Dandenault and Georges Laraque (darn, no Brash/Laraque dance). Speaking of injuries, how great was it to have Feds and Green back last night - especially after a great Greener goal?

So tune in tonight at 7 p.m. as the two teams in red, white and blue meet in Montreal!

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