Michal Neuvirth believes that he can be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL, and after spending a majority of the season as the odd man out for the Washington Capitals, he’s finally getting the chance to prove it. He was the first netminder off the ice during practice this morning, which typically signifies who the starter will be.
It appears that Washington will roll out Neuvirth for the fourth consecutive game.
Michal Neuvirth is the first goalie off the ice, looks like he’ll get a fourth straight start.
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) February 6, 2014
The Capitals have not been able to settle on a goaltender throughout this entire campaign. Braden Holtby came into the year as the No. 1, but both he and Neuvirth were put on the bench by youngster Philipp Grubauer. Once he cooled off, he was demoted to the AHL, leaving Holtby and Neuvirth to battle for starts again.
Right now, the latter goalie has been the better play. Not that this couldn’t change in a week, given how quickly head coach Adam Oates seems to sour on netminders.
Through his last three starts, Neuvirth has posted a 1-1-1 record while allowing nine goals across those three games. Oddly, he managed to pull down a win in his weakest start in the string. He gave up five tallies to the Detroit Red Wings on February 2, yet still won.
This has been one of the most volatile goaltending situations in the NHL this season, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Capitals have finally settled on a No. 1, or if they’re once again rolling with the flavor of the week.
For even more Washington Capitals content, check out FanSided’s Capitals-centric site, Stars and Sticks.