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Michal Neuvirth recalled

Rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth has been recalled from Hershey. Not yet sure why the move was made, considering they've already got Jose Theodore and Braden Holtby on the roster. It's possible Coach Bruce Boureau wants to give Theodore the night off and plans to start Neuvirth as the team goes for its 13th straight win tonight against the Thrashers.

Gene is at the morning skate and will have an update soon.

Update from Gene: Michal Neuvirth was the first player on the ice at the morning skate at KCI, and he took approximately a dozen shots to his glove side before drills began.

Neuvirth, who made one rehab start in Hershey recovering from what the Capitals were calling a lower-body injury, appeared to be moving around just fine during drills.

Jose Theodore, meantime, did not take any shots during the skate, which was missing a handful of notables, including Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 5, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
 
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Next: Mike Green eager to get back in lineup

Comments

Well if Neuvy is in Hershey I hope he gets here safely. The Crappy weather has already hit the area and we have freezing rain mixed with snow just south of baltimore.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

YES!!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1 - Oh great. Just great. It's only 10:24 in the morning. This is gonna be a FUN game to get to!

NOT.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Holtby must be sad :( you'll get your shot soon!

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

For those attending the ATL game, Metro says they will close above ground stations when the snow gets to 8 inches.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | February 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Confusing. Nuevy has/had a lower body injury, they sent him down b/c of the olympics (confusing in its own right) and we are playing a team that just lost it's one offensive threat. I think it would have made perfect sense to give Holtby a shot. Oh well...in GMGM we trust.

Posted by: TimDz | February 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Here's my theory:
They want Neuvy backing Theo against the Pens on Sunday. If Theo would get hurt you don't want to throw Holtby in there against the Pens offense. So if you want Neuvy to back up on Sunday, get him to town NOW before the weather makes it impossible.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Park at Ballston and train it in..thats your best bet.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Here's my theory:
They want Neuvy backing Theo against the Pens on Sunday. If Theo would get hurt you don't want to throw Holtby in there against the Pens offense. So if you want Neuvy to back up on Sunday, get him to town NOW before the weather makes it impossible.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 10:49 AM |
______________________________________

TESS FOR ASST GM!!!!!
Your theory seems to make really good sense.

Now, can you get me tix for Sunday's game? :D

Posted by: TimDz | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Historically, Theodore has not done well in back-to-back situations.

I'd rather play Neuvirth tonight and have Theo fresh for Sunday.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@TimDz
I accept the job! It's got to be a higher pay grade than where I'm at now. :)

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Is there any way the Devils keep Kovalchuk next year? They are locked into some pretty heavy contracts. If this is just a rental, they paid a heavy price.

Posted by: zmega | February 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@zmega This looks like a "last hurrah" move so that their goalie, who probably won't be playing more than a couple more seasons, and is slowing down now, can get himself a Cup.

Posted by: irockthered | February 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@zmega: I think another question will be if Kovi wants to STAY in NJ with their defense first system. Remember Jagr here and what a disaster THAT was?

Posted by: TimDz | February 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

This is my take...but could be totally wrong. You don't put a guy in goal in his very first game with a winninf streak on the line. I know the streak isnt all that big of a deal, but you wouldnt want to put that on a young guy if he happened to get a loss when he started his very first game.

I don't think the brass would have any problem giving Holtby a game in any other situation.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 5, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@zmega: I think Lou has some hope of signing Kovy to a long-term deal at a Jersey discount. His reasoning is that Kovy really wants to be with a team where he can compete for the Cup year in and year out. He paid a pretty steep price to get him and Lou is obviously nobody's fool.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss

Agreed! That is a lot of pressure for such a young guy...eps. for a first game.

Posted by: capscoach | February 5, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

If it is Neuvirth tonight, I hope they're not rushing him back before he's ready just to give Theo a rest. This might seem kind of strange, but I didn't think Theo played poorly last night, even though the Rags scored 5 goals. With the possible exception of one of the goals, I don't think he really had a chance to stop them. I also think that BB didn't want to put the added pressure on Holtby of continuing an historic winning streak while making his first NHL start.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

last night it was rumored by Steve Hindle who broke the nylander story that the caps were one of the final four for kovy. i wonder if this was true. curious what our offer was.

Posted by: samb99 | February 5, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I know I am late to the arrival here, but..;

RE; Kovy

I almost called the deal exact. I said Bergfors, Palmeiri, Oduya, and a 1st. It was Cormier, Bergfors, Oduya, and a 1st. But I also said that Lou wouldn't make that trade...and he did.

So..congrats to Lou. If even for a rental, the price was not that bad.

I almost guarantee that the Devils aren't going to re-sign him, unless they get into the finals/win Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I think even a Jersey discount for Kovy is around $9MM - less than what he asked from ATL.

Also, Theo played great last night IMO, notwithstanding the 5 goals. The PK cratered, accounting for 4 of them I think.

Posted by: zmega | February 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Neuvy will go tonight--Theo has faced a LOT of shots recently and could use a rest. He'll go Sunday.

Meanwhile, with Varly in Hershey for rehab, might he get a start on the road trip, Montreal or Ottawa would make sense because they're back-to-back.

And how about Tom Poti?! The guy is making up for Game 5 against the Pens last year.

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: redrocker2 | February 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Am I alone in thinking Green should sit out tonight. Sounds like he is still limping. They don't exactly need his offense at the moment and he's not the cure for the poor PK. I'd give him an extra game off in hopes that he's even better for Sunday's beat down of the Pens. I say get Alzner on the ice tonight, scratch Sloan and Green.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 5, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Devils need to re-sign P-Mart and Clarkson. They have around 14 mil to work with. After those two get their extensions, there probably isn't enough for Kovy. Unless Pandolfo or someone like that is dumped.

Maybe DevilsCapsGal has a better frame of the Devils salary cap situation.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@RPHil - I realize I am stepping into dangerous territory second-guessing Lou L. - who is a HOF level GM. But he gave up 4 assets that one would expect to all be regulars at some point. So if they don't win it all, I suspect he will hear about it from the Devils fan-base. Of course, if they do win it all, the legend of Lou only grows.

Posted by: zmega | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Am I alone in thinking Green should sit out tonight.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 5, 2010 11:26 AM |


Isn't he still suspended? I thought this was his last game. Or maybe I'm missing the sarcasm here. Still blaming the ear infection. It will be my excuse for stupidity for the next 8 days. After that, I got nothing.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

But he gave up 4 assets that one would expect to all be regulars at some point. So if they don't win it all, I suspect he will hear about it from the Devils fan-base. Of course, if they do win it all, the legend of Lou only grows.

Posted by: zmega | February 5, 2010 11:30 AM |

I don't think so, and I got to say, all of my Devil friends don't see it that way either. They see it that, if even for a rental, they came up on top of this trade.

The Devils just became the best team in the league overnight.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil:

I am not a numbers person - can barely balance my checkbook. So I do not have any handle on the Devils cap situation - although I agree that if they don't jettison guys like Pandolfo and some of the others (except a few like Rolston have no-trade clauses) it will be difficult to re-sign Kovy and the others they need to sign.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Neuvirth gets the start tonight. Bank on it. Theo goes Sunday against the Pens with Neuvirth backing him up. Neuvirth gets sent to Hershey after the Pens game to finish his pre-Olympic qualifications for Hershey if he hasn't done so already. I think he needs to miss 5 and so far he's missed 3. Varly plays against Ottawa next week if all goes well in his rehab. Or maybe Neuvirth gets Montreal game and Theo gets Ottawa and St. Louis before the break. Where's Hershey's game Saturday? Could get cancelled.

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Green has sat out his three. I guess walking and skating are two different activities. I can see thinking he should sit out if he is still limping. I'm guessing Bruce wants to play him tonight to make sure he can go 25 mins against the Pens. You don't want to sit him and then play him Sunday and then find out he can't go and then you have 5 D men against them. You never want to play with 5 D men.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@zmega: I think Lou has some hope of signing Kovy to a long-term deal at a Jersey discount. His reasoning is that Kovy really wants to be with a team where he can compete for the Cup year in and year out. He paid a pretty steep price to get him and Lou is obviously nobody's fool.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe that the Devils would have given up what they did for Kovalchuk if they weren't certain that they could sign him to a long term deal.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Green is done with his suspension.

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Plus, Oduya's contract was sort-of a bad one. Good to get rid of that one.

Bergfors is having a good rookie year, but who knows with him, ya know? He could have benefited from playing on a good team.
Cormier, aka Mr. Elbow, will play 2 seasons in the NHL. He will be banned for life after he kills someone.
Oduya is..a servicable d-man. But his contract is a bit off.
1st rounder, will be late in a draft that is supposed to be overall weak, but top-heavy.

You also have to keep in mind this wasn't the whole trade. Salmela also went with Kovy back to NJ, and they switched 2nd round picks.

So it was; Kovy, 2nd round, Salmela for Cormier, 1st, 2nd, Bergfors, Oduya. When you look at it in this context, it doesn't seem as one-sided.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@Fro: Greenie already served his 3 games, Tampa, Boston, NY

@gebster: Bears are at home Sat against Wilkes-Barre. Hershey is in the 5-10 inch snow prediction area, Wilkes-Barre is far enough north to be in the clear. Similar situation happened in Dec and they played the game. Sold tickets were 8000+. Actual attendance

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

No sarcasm intended. Green has been set free but if he's still visibly limping perhaps he should get another day of rest.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

just going out on a limb here, but i say Holtby starts tonight and is backed up by Neuvy, with Jose starting Sunday with Neuvy backing up

Posted by: _stevo | February 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It cut off my sentence!!

...Actual attendance around 2000. And this Sat is already listed as a sell-out. That's 10,500+

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't think so, and I got to say, all of my Devil friends don't see it that way either. They see it that, if even for a rental, they came up on top of this trade.

The Devils just became the best team in the league overnight.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse


I agree completely. The Devils just traded away a bunch of pretty replaceable parts for a superstar. Oduya came back to earth a bit this season. He's an alright player but he's going to get paid $3.5 and $4 mil over the next two seasons. The first round pick is going to be very late in the first round, and Cormier is damaged goods with that huge suspension. The only valuable piece they got was Bergfors. They should have done better than that.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Green is playing, don't worry. I mean, does anyone really think Sloan is better defensively?

2 comments about the game tonight.
1. Based on the forecast, you may want to head down to the tuttle now.
2. I have a slight fear that tonight or Sunday gets PPD-Snow. Unless the Pens are already here, they are going to have a hard time getting into town for a noon start Sunday.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

last night it was rumored by Steve Hindle who broke the nylander story that the caps were one of the final four for kovy. i wonder if this was true. curious what our offer was.

Posted by: samb99 | February 5, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

IF the Caps made an offer, I would bet it was nothing more than a combinaton of future draft picks and Hershey players (i.e. Bourque, Osala, Perrault, etc. ).

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Om the injury and skating v. walking. I once saw CalleJo when he had a broekn foot. He had a serious limp and walked like an 80 year old man. I asked him how he could skate like that and he simply smiled and said "you don't want to know."

Of course, it works the other way too. I had a very bad groin pull a number of years ago. I could fairly easily, but skating was close to impossible.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I recommended sitting Sloan in favor of Alzner tonight.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | February 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@Munchkin

GOD!, I agree! Please put Alzner in.

@zmega

Ya know, its probably just my gut telling me "You do not want to see Kovy sign in NJ, so keep believing there is no chance that he'll re-sign." Kovy long-term in NJ is not a good thing for other East teams trying to win a Cup.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Green is playing, don't worry. I mean, does anyone really think Sloan is better defensively?

2 comments about the game tonight.
1. Based on the forecast, you may want to head down to the tuttle now.
2. I have a slight fear that tonight or Sunday gets PPD-Snow. Unless the Pens are already here, they are going to have a hard time getting into town for a noon start Sunday.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Pens play IN MONTREAL Saturday at 2pm. IF they get into town here it will probably be late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My theory: Theo tweaked his previous injury last night and wont dress tonight. They will go with Neurvi/Holtby

Posted by: hockeyguy44 | February 5, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I was wrong about Kovy. Was really thinking he'd go west and still may as a UFA.

Devils didn't give up 'too' much. Surprised really.

Darned Devils...sneaky Lou is always working an angle. Good work to those that predicted this one!

Posted by: netminder71 | February 5, 2010 9:16 AM |

Thanks. I was the one saying and repeating the Devils prediction. My guess just came to me when someone said there was a rumor that a front-running club had recently become the new favorite in the negotiations.

What do I win for guessing right? I win the second-best team in the East getting better, and the prediction that I made last season, that the Capitals would make an appearance in the finals by this year, is now less likely to work out. Yay!

Sucks. I was so hoping your prediction of Kings was going to be the right one, netminder71.

However, while I fear the Devils even more now than I did before, I also do not think it's impossible that Kovalchuk makes the Devils a worse team. Whenever I see the Devils play, which is generally only against the Capitals, I have to second the person who said Oduya plays great against the Caps. He does kind of seem to be everywhere all at once.

I'd love it if the Caps could get him back somehow (he was originally a Capitals draft pick--true story). Actually, now that I think about it, maybe his solid play against the Caps has something to do with him being a Caps draft pick. I am not exactly sure what disconnected him from the Caps--but whatever it was, maybe he holds it against the team.

Then again, maybe Oduya is just really good against everyone. He did have the second-best +/- amongst New Jersey defensemen for each of the last two years. This year he's slipped in that stat relative to the other defensemen in New Jersey, so far, but none of their defensemen is in double digit positive territory yet. So, y'know, +/- isn't the whole story, and I'm not sure, but my eyes tell me he's really really good.

I don't know much about the other players involved, but I do know that Bergfors scored 2 against the Caps in the Devils' 3-2 win earlier this season.

Could it be that Devils plus Kovalchuk minus Oduya and minus chemistry = Devils being no better or worse, or at least no more likely to beat the Caps in a series? I think there's a reasonable chance of that. Small, but reasonable.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Neuvirth, who made one rehab start in Hershey recovering from what the Capitals were calling a lower-body injury, appeared to be moving around just fine during drills."

I hate to be picky, but Gene's statement is not correct. Neuvy went to Hershey because to the "Olympic rule" NOT for a rehab start. And the lower-body injury happened AFTER that start, when he was supposed to play against Norfolk but was held out of the game.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Squishy did indeed call the NJ trade.

Oduya isn't as good as I think you may think. Maybe he just plays well against us, like you said. He was great last year, but is somewhat struggling.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I meant "worse, or at least no better...." "No better or worse" would just mean "the same." I know that. Thanks.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

It has been mentioned that the Devils added Mogilny late in 2000 and then went on to win the Cup as a parallel to the Kovalchuk trade. If you look at the stats, Mogilny was not a huge contributor to that team. As someone who followed it very closely, I do recall that it seemed to make them overall much more dangerous offensively. The next year Mogilny was great but they lost in the Cup finals to the Avs and then Mogilny was gone.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 5, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why people think the Pens are going to have trouble flying in. The storm is suppose to be gone by Saturday evening.

While many flights will be delayed or cancelled, I'm sure they will have the ability to let the charter service land late Saturday night.

As long as the storm doesn't stall with continued heavy snowing on saturday evening it won't be difficult to land and airports can clear the already landed snow off the runway very efficiently.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk with Parise is pretty scary. In my opinion Parise is one of the best five forwards, all things considered, in the world right now. And Kovalchuk is one of the best ten for sure. On the same line, I see great things ahead for both. Sucks for us though.

Posted by: youaresquishy | February 5, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Who are the 4 you put before Parise and some you put after? Just curious.

I love Parise, but top 5 forward in the world is a stretch.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 5, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: Oduya has struggle win groin problems this year and has not been the same player. The guy who played last year is worth the 3.5 mill he signed for; the guy from this year is not. Atlanta obviously expects he will return to form when fully healed. Bergfors got off to a great start but has his a long cold spell. He may return to the form of the first part of the year. It is clear that Lou dealt guys who have loads of talent but who have question marks in his mind. If he can't sign Kovy and Oduya just returns to last year's form, unless they win the Cup this year it will turn out to be a bad trade. If the three guys (Oduya,Bergfors and Cormier) reach the level that was expected at the beginning of this year, Atlanta got very good value. Time will tell.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love the Pittsburgh media's spin on the Kovalchuk deal to NJ. They don't think NJ is the Atlantic Division favorite because of the deal.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_665736.html

Posted by: gebster | February 5, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Devils are clearly better now than they were before the trade. The only question is how well will Kovy fit in with their system. There may be trouble, there may not be, we will see.

However, the lack of playoff experience is not too meaningful IMO. Ovie only had 7 games of playoff experience before last year's playoffs and I think he did alright.

In addition, he isn't the star of the team. Most of the pressure will fall on Brodeur's shoulders and he has no problem with that.

All of that said, just because the Devils are better does not necessarily mean they are the best. But it definitely made things a lot more interesting.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 5, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans heading south from MoCo: park it at Grosvenor/Strathmore (the giant parking deck) and take the Metro.

Should you get stuck, it's a 10 minute slog north to Hank Dietle's Tavern. If the weather is as bad as they say it's going to be, a) it's closer than the Marriott, and b) I'm sure they will still be pouring the suds well into the morning.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Love Dietle's!!!

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 5, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to the game, I suggest you make sure you have a way to get home. Don't rely solely on metro or your car. The only thing getting through this storm will be SUVs with 4wd.

Posted by: Thundershock | February 5, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha Rachel must be really happy.

Posted by: Thundershock | February 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey

Penguins are not already here for Sunday's game. I assume they're in Montreal at the moment since they play Montreal on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm. So they would be ready to leave at abut 6:00 p.m by the time you account for getting changed and transporting them to the airport.

So, the issue is .... will any of the Washington airports be open for a charter flight from Montreal in time for a noon time game on Sunday. (And the Pens would have to be at VC well before game time.)


Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Take the Metro from Grosvenor at your own risk. When the subway comes out of the tunnel at 355 and Pooks Hill Rd. it has an overhead bridge to travel on before it gets to Grosvenor. If they shut down above ground service the trains will stop at NIH. Parking in a garage in Bethesda and taking the train from there is a better idea.

Posted by: MKadyman | February 5, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Here's my theory:
They want Neuvy backing Theo against the Pens on Sunday. If Theo would get hurt you don't want to throw Holtby in there against the Pens offense. So if you want Neuvy to back up on Sunday, get him to town NOW before the weather makes it impossible.

Posted by: tess2201"


I agree with you in this tess2201. Better to be prepared than sorry. we want to smoke the Pens again so better have your best arsenal ready and waiting.

Posted by: ajb1094 | February 5, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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