Psychology

Conventional wisdom suggested that Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was foolish to start Simeon Varlamov in Game 2 of the Capitals' first-round series with the New York Rangers.

After the rookie, playing his 8th NHL game, pitched a 33-save shutout, perhaps that bit of nonsense can disappear.  Because as often as the psychological experts manning the various sports posts on this continent feel like citing the various mental challenges to playing in a hostile building, it comes down to this: as a coach, you must dress the players most likely to help you win.  If that means starting the AHL goaltender with a solid track record everywhere over the barely adequate starting goaltender you were saddled with, that's what you do.

Besides, in this case I very much doubt that Jose Theodore, for all his experience, has any special edge in mental strength over Simeon Varlamov.  After tonight, I also doubt I'd have much disagreement from anyone over that statement.

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