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Goalie nods: Halak won’t face Blues, which raises eyebrows

Apr 8, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

News and notes from the blue paint…

Halak won’t face ex-mates

Jaroslav Halak won’t be in goal for Washington tonight when the Caps try to keep their playoff hopes alive against Halak’s ex-team, the St. Louis Blues.

The reason why Halak’s been passed over in favor of Braden Holtby, though, remains a mystery.

A piece on CSN Washington suggested Halak was keen to face his old club — “I played there four years, I know these guys,” he said. “Obviously, I’m looking forward to going back there,” — but in explaining his decision to start Holtby, Caps head coach Adam Oates suggested the Slovakian netminder actually asked out of the start:

Considering Halak’s been Washington’s goalie of record in 11 of the last 14 games, going with Holtby in tonight’s must-win situation is curious. That said, Holtby did snap the Caps’ five-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout decision over the Islanders on Saturday.

Elsewhere…

Red Wings at Sabres: Jimmy Howard vs. Matthew Hackett

Sens at Isles: Craig Anderson vs. Anders Nilsson

‘Canes at Rangers: Cam Ward vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Coyotes at Blue Jackets: Thomas Greiss vs. Sergei Bobrovsky

Flyers at Panthers: Steve Mason vs. Roberto Luongo

Leafs at Lightning: James Reimer vs. Ben Bishop

Bruins at Wild: Tuukka Rask vs. Ilya Bryzgalov

Preds at Stars: Pekka Rinne vs. Kari Lehtonen

Avs at Oilers: J.S. Giguere vs. Ben Scrivens

  1. watermelon1 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Doesn’t matter who is goalie as long as the Caps refuse to get any real defensemen.

    Green isn’t playing though, so that definitely helps.

    • prosportswashington - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      I spend my days hoping that we lose horribly enough to get rid of Oates. He’s a good assistant, but he tries to do far too much in terms of specific scheming that rarely applies

      • bmoreredfury311 - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        Totally agree, Oates over thinks it in the wrong areas. And his line match ups, only make sense to him. I think he be a great assistant coach. Under a veteran coach with a defense first, offence second style. Simple but effective hockey.

  2. djshnooks - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    So glad Buffalo didn’t keep Halak. I like Neuvy, I think he could be a good goalie and a great backup/mentor to some of the young kids Buffalo has coming up in the goalie ranks…which there’s quite a few good ones, as we’ve already seen with Liuewen, Hackett and Makarov…Enroth and Neuvy (both 25) are a perfect duo to lead the last year of the tank next year, while the young-in’s prepare to take over in 2015-16 when Murray starts to really put together his team to move forward.

    • sebmono - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      You’re talking like Enroth and Neuvy are decrepit old men with no futures in goal. Why can’t they be at the forefront of the re-build effort and fight for the future #1 job? They’re both young and have shown flashes of quality, I’d say they both have the potential still to be consistent starters (not guaranteed obviously, just potential)

      • cliffatola - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Neuvirth was given every opportunity to be the #1 in DC and couldn’t stay healthy and he is injured again for Buffalo. I don’t see him as a #1 but a #2 he just isn’t consistent enough to be a #1 in the NHL although with the new CBA and schedules the team played a lot of back to back games this year so without the Olympics if that trend continues he may be alright for a 1A/1B type situation.

  3. hanspard - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    I so don’t miss Halak.

    – A Blues fan

  4. cliffatola - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:40 AM

    What a P.O.S., if the Caps have any sense they bench him and let him walk away. He quit on them when the team needed him, the 50 goal scoring terrible leader of a captain is rubbing off on everyone in this locker room.

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