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Posted at 9:13 AM ET, 02/27/2011

Michal Neuvirth bounces back to help keep Islanders at bay

By Katie Carrera

Michal Neuvirth didn't find out until the morning skate on Saturday that he'd be starting against the Islanders. But when Semyon Varlamov came up injured, Neuvirth had no choice but to be ready.

"I always want to know the day before that I'm going to play if I can, but you've got to be prepared for every day," Neuvirth said. "When I found out I just got excited because that wasn't an easy game for me last night. I was obviously happy I got another chance to prove myself.

"It's tough to let in six goals in one game but I think we came back hard and got a big two points," he continued."I think we got better after Hendy's fight and we took it to them and it was a good effort in the third."

Early on, when the Capitals struggled to do much of anything better than they did in the ugly 6-0 loss to the Rangers Friday, Neuvirth made several key stops but the Capitals saw at least one bounce go their way and another go completely wrong.

Thirty-three seconds into the second period, John Carlson tried to swat down the puck from a seemingly harmless shot by Travis Hamonic and wound up knocking it into the net when Neuvirth never saw the puck. But a little later on in the second, when Neuvirth was tangled up with Alex Ovechkin in the crease, he got some luck as the Islanders' Michael Grabner couldn't manage to fire the puck into the open net.

And while the Capitals knew they didn't start the contest off well, some of the big saves by Neuvirth helped pull of the momentum shift and beat the Islanders, 3-2.

"Neuvy was especially good early on in the game. I think the shots were 11-0," Brooks Laich said. "It could have got out of hand early and Mike was there to shut the door. He made a save in the second period -- I don't know who -- he made the save off of his left, he dove across to make the save. Our line was coming on right after and I gave him a tap on the pads and said, that's going to be a big difference maker."

By Katie Carrera  | February 27, 2011; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Capitals shift momentum and score three unanswered goals to defeat Islanders 3-2
Next: Marco Sturm 'always hated to play against' Capitals

Comments

First?

Posted by: capsfan0837 | February 27, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

everyone is still asleep from drinking the kool-aid! 1 win doesn't right the ship.

Semin needs to stay! Chimera, Steckel, Gordon and Sloan need to go. Each has thier strong points, but all are not the caliber of player to be on this cup team. If the general make up was different, and the stars on the team had different qualities, they could stay...

Posted by: ewwsombra | February 27, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Went to the Hershey game last night. Orlov played his first game. He looked pretty solid, moves well and looks to be pretty good offensively. I believe he had 1A and was even. He didn't seem to play very physical, so he should fit right in with BB. All in all, for his first game, it was pretty good. BTW, Hershey won 4-2. They are pretty banged up as well. If they can get healthy, they can make a CC run.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | February 27, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Way to identify 2 4th line players and our 8th Dman and our 13th forward as our major deficiencies?

Posted by: bricucci | February 27, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

everyone is still asleep from drinking the kool-aid! 1 win doesn't right the ship.

Semin needs to stay! Chimera, Steckel, Gordon and Sloan need to go. Each has thier strong points, but all are not the caliber of player to be on this cup team. If the general make up was different, and the stars on the team had different qualities, they could stay...

Posted by: ewwsombra | February 27, 2011 9:58 AM |

--------

god, i hate the kool-aid reference.

semin WILL stay.

chimera and gordon i'll agree could go.

steckles face-off and penalty killing is to important to lose. sloan is still a question waiting to be answered.

i wish folks would calm down and support the team instead of trashing it. the adversity was missing last year and look what happened.

the caps will make the play-offs and from there on, NOBODY knows what will happen.

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao----Part of his rantings from last night.

"The funniest thing is that I have been a fan as long or longer than probably every single koolaider I've come across on this board.

I think the cynical ones are more likely the real diehard, old school fans.

I'm guessing a ton of the koolaiders didn't even watch much Caps hockey prior to the Ovechkin era."

Get over yourself. Just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean that they haven't watched hockey as long or longer then you. I have been a hockey fan for 61 years. I was a Caps fan before they even played their first game.

I agree with you, that as people get older they get more cynical, but that doesn't mean that they have to turn in to a raving ffing a**hole like you. You are supposed to grow up as you get older.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 27, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@hessone

Bottom line, Neuvirth stole us a win last night. Montoya was awful. BB said as much in his press conference.

Our problems are still our problems. I just hope McPhee shows at the deadline we are playing for this year, not the future.

At this point, many of us will be dead before we get a cup.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 27, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

i wish folks would calm down and support the team instead of trashing it. the adversity was missing last year and look what happened.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Isn't that like questioning the patriotism of someone?

Do you just blindly trust your president and agree with everything this country does??

We're talking about a friggin' hockey team here and ALL of us especially those of us who have been following this team for over a quarter century have every right to question every move GMGM or BB makes.

And when they lose to a playoff team like NYR 6-0 at home this late in the season, they deserve to be TRASHED. You just go ahead and get excited about a win over a lousy team like NYI. The Rags loss gives me more insight about where this team truly is than the Isles' win.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

chimera and gordon i'll agree could go.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Yeah I'm sure those two guys will bring someone we could use in return.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse


chimera and gordon i'll agree could go.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Yeah I'm sure those two guys will bring someone we could use in return.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:26 AM |

-----------

instead of whining, what would you do ?

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

instead of whining, what would you do ?
----------------------------------------------------------------

I would trade Semin and get 2 or 3 solid players or one playoff-type goal scorer who could really help this team in the playoffs.

To me Semin has never been nor will he ever be as good as Mike Gartner. Poile had the guts to trade arguably the best player this franchise ever had and got what they needed in return.

I seriously doubt GMGM has that kinda courage.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

i don't think semin could ever be traded for players worth the elevated salary he earns. i would imagine other teams would shy away from that kind of money for his type of player.

trading 4th line players, and sloan, are the things that can more easily be changed. altering the 1st and 2nd line would constitute a rebuild of sorts, and if the caps went that way...BB goes 1st.

supporting a team is a given. wanting the team to tinker a little bit is a must...it makes the depressing 6-0 games watchable.

i like kool-aid!

Posted by: ewwsombra | February 27, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Any rumors on potential moves? Haven't really heard anything...

Posted by: dglelite | February 27, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

the caps beat the thrashers last year 8-1 on 1/9/2010. this is part of a post from tmac2yao:

-----

Both of these things come down to speed and grit, in my opinion, and I think that is where the Penguins where able to turn the series around.

Defensively, if we had been able to better handle their forecheck by more often beating their forecheckers to pucks with speed then outmuscling them when there were board battles, we could've spent a lot less time in our zone.

At the other end, our role players weren't fast enough and physical enough to forecheck the way they were doing to us.

Had our role players matched the speed and girt of their role players, I don't even think the series makes it to 7 games. We very well may have been able to sweep the series if we didn't allow Pittsburgh to use their role players to get them back into it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | January 10, 2010 12:36 AM |

----------------

imagine that, the caps destroy the thrashers in atlanta 8-1 and this moron whines about losing the playoff series with the pens the year before. take note that he mentions our defensive weakness. i'm sure he whines about the system change to a more defensive game plan that is being implimented.

this isn't a true caps fan, this is a moron that needs attention, like a child.

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

... and here we are again:

... trade semin for 2 or 3 solid players (3. and 4. lines?) and one playoff-type goal scorer ...


What about the 2C ? What about a puck moving blue-liner ?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

so is perault gonna get traded? maybe thats why he was out of the lineup but not sent back down like was reported at first.

Posted by: hfr1981 | February 27, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@hessone:

++++10,000

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 27, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

hessone

Well said

Posted by: sidehillman | February 27, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

In the previous thread Katie said there was a noticeable uptick in Semin's play once he was put back on the top line. I'm assuming that by uptick she meant level of intensity. I wonder why that happened? Why wasn't that level of intensity there when he was on the second line?

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 27, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@hfr1981

That is indeed the rumor on Perreault. The Caps have sent down Perreault. But John Walton, the Bears announcer, said the Bears weren't planning to play him this weekend. Hence, the rumor. It will save the Caps a little money until we hear further news.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 27, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing how everyones tune change. You brought BB in to play an uptempo game (does anyone remember what this team looked like under Hanlon? You get upset 1x in the playoffs and we blow it up and go D first. I am BB supporter, but if this is the style you want to play than get a coach who excels at it. Swap BB and Terry murray. Inwould love to watch the KIngs under BB. And yes 1 playoff upset. The Flyers had more pts in 07. The Pens won the cup in 08. This team reeks of 7 ft center who wants to shoot 3 pointers. Get some speed back on lines 2 and 3 and do what u do best. Defense did not cost this team the Montreal series last year.

Posted by: bricucci | February 27, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

sidehillman, good post, most of us aren't even 61 yrs old much less following hockey for 61 years.
I had to work last night so, I tuned in just before Laich's goal. IMO the Caps didn't start playing hard until they realized I was watching. I just hope I can tune in for the rest of the games. They appear to really need my support. This paragraph makes as much sense as most of the posts here.
The Rags system kills the Caps "system". I hope the Caps don't see the Rags in the playoffs.
Call me crazy but, I think this team will do well in the playoffs (unless of course we face the Rags). I would like to see a 2C & left-handed puck moving D-man (& Poti get season ending surgery) but, I don't think GMGM will make any moves.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 27, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan:

maybe the answer is "team chemistry" - you have to feel good about yourself and the players, who you play with ... even if you play with high energy every shift - playing with a friend gets you an uptick ...

... are here some psychologists around which can explain the effects a little better? ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@bricucci

Well said!

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

imagine that, the caps destroy the thrashers in atlanta 8-1 and this moron whines about losing the playoff series with the pens the year before.
---------------------------------------------

So how did the Caps do in the playoff last year????????????


The Rags system kills the Caps "system". I hope the Caps don't see the Rags in the playoffs.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Isn't that what some people said before they faced Montreal last year????

See that's exactly the problem. In order to win the Cup, you're gonna face different styles or types of teams and you have to deal with every style to win the Cup.

If you can't deal with a particular style then it just tells you that the team is very much FLAWED and won't do much in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I can't get it

here are some people who declared at the beginning of the season and the good play of the Caps that the regular season don't count and that the real season will start after game 82

and now no one remembers those arguments?

Every team can get better - at least on paper - by adding better players (with better statistics, more hits etc.)
... however to find the right mix for a successful team isn't that easy ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

however to find the right mix for a successful team isn't that easy ...
-------------------

YET unlike GMGM some GMs have managed to do just that.

You can wait till the cows come home, he's NOT gonna get it done.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

You all can knock tmac all you want, God knows he leaves himself wide open for attack, butt hat analysis he did on 1/9/10 was SPOT ON THE MONEY.

(Rhino: No, I'm not getting that reference. FLCapsFan: Been to Yosemite, it's beautiful.)

I agree his tone is "somewhat" abrasive. Maybe he will take some things to heart on that, but that's his decision. Anyway, we had Pens 2-0 and then game 3 in OT. They showed the world how we could be outworked, and Jacques Martin took that blueprint and made it a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Now Craig Ramsey has added some impenetrable walls and it seems that beating the caps these days is easy as 1, 2, 3. Just snap your fingers and and they fold up like a Rand McNally map.

This team has major weaknesses that are easily exploitable by any team that keeps its composure.

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't start by wishing you all a good morning. Nice and sunny but chilly in LA. FLCapsfan: I'll be off hiking soon. Please look it up, Bee Canyon trail in the Santa Susanna Mtns.
Also look up Vasquez Rocks SP, ten minutes from home.

Anyway, would be nice if the word for the day could be "civility." It starts with one person trying.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Decent comeback win last night. Showed a "little" heart there. Nothing on Sturm? I'm surprised nobody's commenting on this guy. It's up in the air as far as I'm concerned. If his knee is really OK he should be a pretty welcome addition. No word on what GMGM may have up his sleeve? Any rumblings at all? Can't really count on this columnist to get any info. Must be part time work.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Decent comeback win last night. Showed a "little" heart there. Nothing on Sturm? I'm surprised nobody's commenting on this guy. It's up in the air as far as I'm concerned. If his knee is really OK he should be a pretty welcome addition. No word on what GMGM may have up his sleeve? Any rumblings at all? Can't really count on this columnist to get any info. Must be part time work. I think it sounds a bit fishy that Varly mysteriously gets nicked up and MP goes to Hershey but isn't going to play this weekend. Maybe it's just the conspiracy theorist in me..........

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

hm, yes, that was the result for some managers and I am quite sure that those managers for the most part were critized by some fans ...

- however you have to deal with human beings (Avery in Dallas was another Avery than the Avery playing for the Rags)
I am not sure that even successful GMs can handle all the intangibles ... overall, you have to have some luck on your side ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double. I wasn't done.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

new blog ..

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

hm, yes, that was the result for some managers and I am quite sure that those managers for the most part were critized by some fans ...
------------------------------------------------------------------------

And your point is???

The difference is that those who have managed to get done have the right to say to the whiners to shove it.

GMGM whose team has done next to nothing in the playoffs since the first year tells all his critics to shove it anyway.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse


chimera and gordon i'll agree could go.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Yeah I'm sure those two guys will bring someone we could use in return.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:26 AM |

-----------

instead of whining, what would you do ?

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

instead of whining, what would you do ?
----------------------------------------------------------------

I would trade Semin and get 2 or 3 solid players or one playoff-type goal scorer who could really help this team in the playoffs.

To me Semin has never been nor will he ever be as good as Mike Gartner. Poile had the guts to trade arguably the best player this franchise ever had and got what they needed in return.

I seriously doubt GMGM has that kinda courage.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 10:35 AM |

---------

for his salary and what you say he lacks, what makes you think any other team wants semin ? what team is going to fill your trade demands for him ?

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse


Every team can get better - at least on paper - by adding better players (with better statistics, more hits etc.)
... however to find the right mix for a successful team isn't that easy ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:25 AM |

------------

excellent comment and i agree.

there's still 24 hrs before the trade deadline is toast and some of these so called fans are ready to call it a year.

do your health a favor today. relax and enjoy the fact that the caps won last night and are in the playoff race.

better yet, be thankful we have a hockey team here in washington.

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse


thread posted 2/10/2010 after the caps beat the rangers 6-5 in ny. these items were listed at the top of the thread.

---------

500 career regular-season points for Alex Ovechkin.

5 points tonight for Nicklas Backstrom.

20 goals this season by Mike Knuble.

3.86 goals per game averaged by the Caps, most in the league.

The Caps' 1st place in the NHL standings.

12 consecutive victories, most in franchise history.

---------------

when the team comes on hard times, the crying starts.

i understand all the fans frustrations, myself included.

if you want decent dialog, stop with immature character assassinations to make your point, especially after you've made your point 10+ times.

rally, if you know how to, this is the beginning of the best part of the season.

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse


See that's exactly the problem. In order to win the Cup, you're gonna face different styles or types of teams and you have to deal with every style to win the Cup.

If you can't deal with a particular style then it just tells you that the team is very much FLAWED and won't do much in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:15 AM |

------------

so that means the pens are hoping they won't face the caps in the playoffs ? what a bucket of crap.

Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

hessone, yes the Pens don't want to face the Caps in the playoffs. At least some of the people I know who cheer for the Pens (I can't call a Pens fan a friend) don't want to see the Caps based on the games this year.
I agree a team should be able to adapt to the changing styles of other teams but, you need a coach who can adapt & provide the necessary adjustments for the team. We don't have that coach.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 27, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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