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Pick 'Em: Number Two Netminder

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No matter how you feel about Jose Theodore's prospects at success over the next couple of weeks and, lord willing, months, the reality of the situation is that if the Caps find themselves with someone other than JT between the pipes at just about any point during the post-season, something has gone wrong.

But whether it's injury or poor performance that forces the Caps to turn to a second netminder, and whether it happens in-game or pre-game, the team can likely ill-afford even a single loss due to not having "the right guy" available, so whomever sports the baseball cap to start the playoffs had best be ready at a moment's notice to step in and shut the door.

Is the value of keeping an emergency starter fresh by getting him post-season starts down a level in the AHL while having a veteran on the NHL bench to finish any games that the starter can't outweighed by the value to a young goalie (and, by extension, the organziation) of being part of an NHL playoff run, even if he's not playing? What can a team reasonably expect from a veteran who hasn't faced a shot in an NHL game since before Groundhog's Day?

With these questions in mind (which we've discussed a bit already), here's a quick look at the numbers for the two candidates (assuming perfect health, of course) for the post-season back-up goaltending gig:


Brent Johnson GP MIN W L OT EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008-09 21 1131 12 6 2 2 53 2.81 579 526 .908 0
NHL Playoff Career 12 652 5 6 - 0 18 1.84 288 268 .931 3



Simeon Varlamov GP MIN W L OT EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008-09 6 329 4 0 1 0 13 2.37 159 146 .918 0
NHL Playoff Career - - - - - - - - - - - -