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Caps turn to backup Neuvirth in rematch with ‘Canes

Mar 13, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

michalneuvirthgetty Getty Images

For the first time in over a month, Michal Neuvirth is set to start in goal for the Washington Capitals.

Caps head coach Adam Oates confirmed today that Neuvirth is getting the nod Thursday in Carolina. Washington has lost three straight, including last night’s “terrible” 4-0 home defeat to the Hurricanes.

Neuvirth’s last start, on Feb. 7 versus Pittsburgh, didn’t last long, as he was replaced by Braden Holtby in the second period after allowing two goals on 11 shots in an eventual 5-2 loss.

“It’s been a long time since I started,” Neuvirth said today, per CSNWashington. “I’ve been good in practice but practice is not a game.”

The 24-year-old did see some action Sunday in relief of Holtby, stopping 10 of 11 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers.

Overall, Neuvirth is 1-4-1 with a low .890 save percentage.

Related: Oates reunites Ovechkin, Backstrom

  1. ravenscaps48 - Mar 13, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    This team has no idea what it is doing. When a 27 year old defenseman that has played in 5 games is your best player?…. Something is horribly wrong

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 13, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      The thing is, the Goalies get a bad rap because of how terrible everybody is. Holtby has had absolutely NO help, and that’s why his stats look like they do.

      • therealjr - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        He certainly needed no help letting in that hideous first goal by Corvo last night. For the season as a whole, he could have played better.

  2. 19to77 - Mar 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Different goalie, same outcome. A scrub team is a scrub team. No matter the goalie behind them, the Caps are still terrible.

  3. lonespeed - Mar 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    I keep hearing about how Washington’s woes are one of the season’s greatest surprises. How is that? Where did all these expectations come from?

    Alex Ovechkin is absolutely not a captain. He has first-line talent for sure, but he’s not a leader. Great on the power-play. Capable of scoring in spurts. Probably the best wrist shot in the game. But a defensive liability and not the type of player who can carry a team without other help.

    Aside from Ovechkin, only Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Ribeiro would break into the top two-lines on most, if not all, other contending rosters.

    John Carlson and Mike Green are their only capable defensemen, and Green is overrated in my opinion. They need to blow up that team and start over. I’d probably keep Joel Ward, Carlson, Backstrom and Braden Holtby, and get rid of the rest. Too many role players. That team won’t be good for several years and / or until they make some significant changes.

    • rg3isvictory - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      I wouldn’t argue with any of your comments. I give Oates a long leash since he inherited this lack luster line up and is a rookie head coach. But if he continues to use the goalies as scapegoats, without holding others accountable, things will wear thing within the locker room quickly.

    • therealjr - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      You make some good points but Backstrom and Ribeiro would be top six forwards on ANY team, not most.

      And if you don’t think Alzner is a capable defenseman, you should expand your knowledge of the game beyond fantasy hockey, my friend. He is their most reliable and adept defenseman when it comes to…defense.

  4. JoeAvg - Mar 13, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    “It’s been a long time since I started, I’ve been good in practice but practice is not a game.”

    Now there’s confidence for ya!

  5. iamcline - Mar 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Coincidence that Alexander Semin is playing top shelf hockey in Raleigh while his former team continues to put out embarrassing EFFORTS?

    Hmm…perhaps the problem wasn’t Semin, but that would be too much logic.

    • therealjr - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Semin needed to grow up a little and in the process distance himself from Ovechkin and become his own man. To an extent he has, but 20-odd games of good Semin is hardly turning over a new leaf. And let’s see what happens when the screws are tightened in the playoffs. 7 goals in the last 37 playoff games he dressed for and no, he wasn’t providing the other things you need from him, either.

  6. rg3isvictory - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Semin wasn’t THE problem, he was A problem. To infer otherwise would show a lack of understanding regarding his place and more importantly his effort the last several years. My thought on Semin in the fist contest against the Caps was that he show some much more effort against them in that game than he had for the Caps for a long time. If he’d played like that even every other game, the Caps and the fans would have fought to keep him. Sadly, that’s not how Semin played for the caps and we’re thankful he is gone. Wish him the best, but the Caps aren’t losing sleep over him.

    • phlyerzpwnu - Mar 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      Yeah sure…I mean, who has room on their roster for a guy that has 435 points and is career +84? Pretty much the same guy he was while in Washington as he is in Carolina…I mean, 27 points in 25 games and is a +19…so glad Philly didn’t sign him, we might be as bad as the Caps if we had.

  7. capitalspowerkill - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    The capitals need to be sellers at the deadline and just start preparing themselves for next season.

  8. wethog66 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    For not playing in a month good old Neuvy looked good last night.

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