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Neuvirth to start tonight for Caps

Jan 25, 2013, 12:24 PM EDT

Michal Neuvirth Getty Images

Even after allowing four goals on 22 shots last night in a 4-1 loss to Montreal, Michal Neuvirth will be back in the Capitals’ goal tonight in New Jersey (per Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times).

Not that the decision by head coach Adam Oates is a huge surprise.

“I thought [Neuvirth] played very well,” Oates said after last night’s loss, his team’s third in a row to start the season. “Gave us a chance.”

There’s also the fact the Capitals’ other goalie, Braden Holtby, surrendered 10 goals in Washington’s first two losses.

Caps GM George McPhee took a considerable risk when he went into the season with two young goalies. Combined, Neuvirth, 24, and Holtby, 23, have made just 115 regular-season starts in the NHL.

It’s still early, but so far McPhee’s gamble isn’t paying off.

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    so much for a sure thing coming into this season for holtby…something must be going on with him we dont see…other than the caps not playing well in front of him. i’m not a goalie coach but neither of them looked good, dont see what neuvirth did any better than holtby though.

    • DED - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Did either of them play overseas during the lockout? If not, maybe they’re just rusty.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        neuvirth ran his mouth all off season from the czech republic where he played…holtby played ahl where he dominated the stat sheet. might have been a bad thing for holtby though, he doesnt seem well prepared for nhl game speed or shots – practice with the big boys should help that, he suffered big time from no training camp IMO.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Holtby let in 10 goals yes, but man he had no help on almost all of them. Deflections, odd man rushes, open nets, wide open guys cutting down the center. Neuvirth experienced some of that last night, it was ugly. Doesnt matter whos in goal, the way the defense are playing and the constant penalties the Caps are taking, the opposition is going to score 3 plus goals a night until thats fixed first. Then the goalies can gain confidence and be difference makers. Right now, it really doesnt matter.

  2. jeremyroenickdanceparty - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Given that neither has been good, why would you go with the guy that just played last night? I’m guessing Holtby is hurt.

  3. adlent - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Holtby and Neuvirth aren’t the problems. They haven’t been lights out, but what goalie’s are when their team takes terrible penalties and plays bad defense in front of them and can’t get good zone time in the offensive zone? Quick has been getting blasted and so has Lundqvist when their teams do similar things.

    Get Ovi off the damn penalty kill. Play some defense in front of your goalies and stop taking stupid penalties!

  4. kyzslew77 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I think Neuvirth looked better overall last night than Holtby did in the first two games, but Neuvirth’s rebound control was crappy. The first two Montreal goals, although they came on power plays, were basically a function of him making a save but giving up a juicy rebound (and in the case of the second one, not even knowing where the rebound was until a split second before the next shot got past him).

    • adlent - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Neuvirth looked good in the first period. He does give up some rebounds. He is more of a positional/blocking goalie. Holtby is, by far, more athletic, but that can get him out of position a bit. Still, Holtby with a 5GAA average to Neuvirth’s 4 GAA? I’ll take Holtby. Both goalies have been killed when short-handed, but Neuvirth allows 4 goals on 22 shots and Holtby allowed 4 against Winnepeg with 39 shots. He made at least a dozen STELLAR saves to keep the game even that close. His goals against? Deflection of Carlson’s skate, deflection off a stick with a guy camping in front of the crease, terrible PK allowing Ladd to hang out in the slot untouched and a C-league level shoulder dip against Carlson where Alzner played the pass poorly.

      You WANT your goaltender to stop those kinds of plays all the time, but it won’t happen. Until the Caps get in the right position and play correct defense it won’t matter who is in the net.

  5. bigbadbruins77 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    The caps have been so awful that I’m considering trading Ovechkin for Seguin on my fantasy team. What do you guys think? OVI has been going down hill the past 3 years, I thought it was just his coaches…but idk anymore. I thought Oates would have him on fire, maybe I should give him more time, as it’s only been a few games.

  6. capsrockva - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I just hope Neuvi plays a hell of a lot better tonight, thou the “D” didn’t help him to much last night. GO CAPS!!!!!!!!

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