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Poll: Are you surprised by Michal Neuvirth's play?

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

All season, and the past few days in particular, Coach Bruce Boudreau and the Capitals have had a lot of good things to say about goaltender Michal Neuvirth. The team never really imagined that they'd be relying primarily on one of their 22-year-old goaltenders so early in the season, but Neuvirth has been up to the task.

Boudreau acknowledged Thursday that he noticed Neuvirth looking a "little tired" early against the Maple Leafs but when the Capitals needed him to make a few big saves late in the third and in the shootout, once again, Neuvirth rose to the challenge.

"He's incredible," Mike Green said following the Caps' 5-4 shootout win over Toronto. "I don't want to pump him too much but he's been outstanding for us. As a defenseman I feel so comfortable with him behind us. There's already a mutual bond that we feel even though he's only been here a short period of time."

He was named the NHL's October Rookie of the Month, you can view the team's tribute that ran on the Jumbotron at Verizon Center earlier this week below, and after 11 starts owns a .920 save percentage and 2.31 goals-against average. They aren't especially gaudy numbers, but consistently through the first month and change of the season Neuvirth has come up big at crucial times for the Capitals.

So, we ask, are you surprised by Neuvirth's play? Sure there was no doubt of his talent when he helped lead Hershey to back-to-back Calder Cups but sustaining a high level of play through a tough stretch of games as the Capitals go-to netminder is a different story.


FROM THE POST
On the Capitals setting about solving the Bruins and goaltender Tim Thomas in the teams' third meeting of the season.

Brooks Laich has been nominated for Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award.

Dan Steinberg talks to the Capitals who are growing mustaches for Movember and talks to David Steckel for more on his penalty shot.

AROUND THE WEB
Alexander Semin is off to a strong start. (Corey Masisak)

Mike Green made his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan Thursday, his clip is the fourth segment on this page. (audio)

Bruins analysts on NESN discuss the Capitals goaltenders. (video)

In Hershey, Francois Bouchard talks to Tim Leone about his brother, Pierre-Marc's recovery from concussion symptoms. (The Patriot News)

By Katie Carrera  | November 5, 2010; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Morning Roundup, Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps reassign Brian Fahey to Hershey
Next: Notes from the Capitals' morning skate

Comments

Let's hope the Caps light-up Thomas tonight!!! Go CAPS.

Posted by: instinct227 | November 5, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If Sasha gets a breakaway, he should throw a low bouncer at thomes from the blueline...that has worked before.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I attended a game last season when Neuvy started, and he seemed tentative and shaky. I really think he's improved in leaps and bounds since then, and starting regularly during Hershey's Cup run last year probably helped prepare him for starting so many games consecutively this year.

I still hope they give Holtby a start at some point just to let Nevuy catch his breath a bit.

I still like Varly, but you'd like to at least see him healthy enough to backup so that Holtby doesn't miss his chance to get more extensive AHL league experience.

Posted by: blackjack65 | November 5, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

IT'S PAYBACK TIME!!!

We owe Thomas and the B's a whoopin' and I can't wait to see it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | November 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

looks like neuvy starting again and DJK scratched

Posted by: _stevo | November 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps want to beat Thomas tonight they are going to have to bug the H-E double hockey sticks out of him (sorry thats what my students say). They need to flirt HEAVILY with goalie interference! And Semin,...I love the guy, but if he takes another offensive zone stick penalty!!! No stretch passes tonight...they need to dump and chase, forcheck, backcheck, and protect Nuevy! I said before last game that I thought Nuevy was probably getting tired, and he definitely seemed it against Toronto...he has kept this team in the hunt on numerous ocassions this season, and now the Caps owe him one.

I also hope Ovie Checks the Heck out of Chara tonight...b/c the bigger they are the harder they fall and that guy has a long fall!

Posted by: capscoach | November 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised at Neuvirth's play as much as I am disturbed at how fragile Varlamov has become. I thought that as a tandem, both would provide more-than-adequate goaltending for the Caps. While it's great that Neuvy has elevated his game to cover for his injured partner, I wonder how long he can keep this up and if he will be able to endure a long playoff run if he makes too many regular season starts.

Posted by: braunt | November 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Just read Corey’s article about Semin, interesting how even teammates know nothing about 28.
It would be sad if Semin doesn’t get resign, I think he is the main piece in this CardiacCaps team . Gawd but isn’t he fun to watch play.

Posted by: guer_j | November 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

With the year Semin has been having so far...if he takes a couple O zone penalties (some deserved and some questionable) I could care less. Especially with Backs in a slump and Ovie just a bit off, it's safe to say Semin has been our offensive driving force so far.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

After seeing Neuvy play in Hershey, and especially during the AHL playoffs, I am not surprised at all. He was technical sound and in control during all the games. Every time he has come to Washington he has improved his game and his confidence shows that now. I think he could become the #1 goalie for the Caps. I love Varly as well, but his durability is becoming suspect because he hasn't been able to play very long without an injury, even in the AHL.

Posted by: firehorse | November 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The kid won two Calder Cups in a row at the AHL level and was the Butterfield Trophy winner in the first run (AHL Conn Smythe equivalent). He's used to big play.

Let's hope the Caps defense doesn't take him for granted and plays up to the level they should play at.

Posted by: cwiseman | November 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

To this point in the season, Thomas has been the league MVP and, substantially as a result of that, the Bruins have been the best team. It will be a real test tonight.

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

I predict multiple goals for wtf...provided he gets the minutes.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

In a word.....NO.

I've been saying for three years now that he'll be our #1 and NOT Varly. The kid is a beast, and calm a a cucumber in net.

Posted by: jwh37 | November 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I knew he was good, but didn't know he was THAT good!

But I really do hope Varly gets better and stays that way. I have a suspicion he's in playable shape right now, but they want him to be in shape so he doesn't have anything happen for the rest of the season.

Posted by: j762 | November 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Neuvy is a work horse. The last two Cup winners for Hershey he has played in 40 of the 43 playoff games including all 22 in 09.

Posted by: dull | November 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The other thing about Neuvy he is a big game goalie. In those 40 AHL playoff games the last two years he went 30-10. It's all about making the big save for the win. I like players in any sport who come up big in the pressure situations.

Posted by: dull | November 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The other thing about Neuvy he is a big game goalie. In those 40 AHL playoff games the last two years he went 30-10. It's all about making the big save for the win. I like players in any sport who come up big in the pressure situations.

Posted by: dull | November 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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