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Neuvirth appears set to start vs. Buffalo

Based on the just-concluded morning skate here at KCI, it looks like rookie Michal Neuvirth will start tonight against Ryan Miller and the Sabres at Verizon Center.

It also appears that the lines and pairings will look familiar and that Shaone Morrisonn (lower body) will return to the lineup.

I'll have more in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 23, 2009; 11:04 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau on Neuvirth: 'We want to see what he can do'

Comments

Wow. On paper that's a pretty uneven matchup. Then again, Neuvy hasn't seen much action yet this season, and he's skilled. Doesn't dampen my excitement to hit the VC seats one bit.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 23, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Fingers crossed, hard, for Neuvy!

Posted by: irockthered | December 23, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I would of thought Theo tonight and Saturday.

Go get em Neuvy!

Posted by: SA-Town | December 23, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Phew he certainly gets some tough assignments!! Thought he was great in the oiler game so lets hope that confidence continues!

Posted by: mrszilla | December 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

If this wasn't a statement game before, it's a statement game now. I've been thrilled with some of the team D the Caps have been able to exhibit lately. They've got a heck of an imperative to be effective there tonight to make it happen for Neuvy.

Neuvy's got the goods, right IRTR?

BTW, I've heard the term "statement game" way too much lately. Sorry for adding to it but it's useful shorthand here.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wonder what Theo (and his agent) are thinking?

Posted by: beeman | December 23, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

As I type the Ukrainian Pee Wee team that visited the Caps yesterday are playing an exhibition game against my program's Pee Wee team on the Eastern Shore, the Easton Ice Hawks at our Community Center in the middle of farm land.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 23, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Carried over from the previous post...in regards to Nylander. What happens at the end of this year? Anybody know?

Posted by: OviFan08 | December 23, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

eh...
i hope either varly or theodore will be back against new jersey

Posted by: j762 | December 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Referring to the last thread. The Red Wings still had Zetterberg last time Nylander cleared waivers. Not sure if he is returning as soon as they hope, but the Red Wings cannot lose too much more ground or they won't make the playoffs. If they do, they will probably be very dangerous. Due to injury a lot of key players will be in good shape and not have 75+games under their belt. They would be relatively fresh going into the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If we had Ryan Miller we might not lose antoher game this year...

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 23, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

OviFan08: Nylander's NMC expires July 1, 2010.

Caps can:
1) Use him
2) Trade him
3) Buy him out, or
4) Put him on waivers

And they don't need to ask. He is paid $3M next year w/cap hit of $4.875M.

Most likely they'll find a team with cap space (Islanders) who are "getting close" and who are willing to pay the $3M. It could even happen come this March 1st. Nylander will probably approve any trade to a willing NHL team at this point. If Caps can't find trade partner next year, they can assign him to any team within parameters of CBA (ECHL I know is excluded). The Caps would pay his salary or share his salary if assigned, but the cap hit is gone.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oviefan, nyls is under contact with the caps for next year but does not have a no movement clause anymore. Options are:

he plays for the caps (unlikely)
he retires (more likely) and no cap hit
he gets bought out (unlikely)
he gets traded
he gets loaned out again
he gets sent to the minors

I'n either case except for the first, he's off the caps salary cap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

His NMC is gone, he can be waived etc with no say in the matter.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 23, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@Ovifan08

if nylander is not picked up by another team, at the very worst we will owe him the money remaining on the contract bit he will not count against the cap or take up a roster spot. Since he will not have a NMC we can assign him anywhere or trade him anywhere.

Posted by: JSchon | December 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

At the end Grand Rapids' season Nylander comes back and his salary goes back on our books. Not sure if theat effects us during the playoffs, I believe a capologist stated the salary cap is not in play during the playoffs, or there are some changes due to playoffs. Anyhow, his NMC expires and although he is 4.8 against the cap next season he is only due 3mil so he might be easier to move. I would honestly be shocked that a team needing a play-making center wouldn't inquire about him since he won't be due much money, relative to his skill level, and would cost, say, 4 mil and some change between March of this year and the end of next season. Unless he is a cancer, which I doubt, I see him playing as a 2nd line center on a team headed to the playoffs, hopefully in the West.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 23, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised that Neuvy is starting tonight but the more I thought about it, I like the idea.

Buffalo is not a very potent offense so he shouldn't be facing a lot of difficult shots. Miller is a good goalie which means Neuvy will still have to play a great game to keep up.

May be too strong to use "statement game" for the Caps, but it may be one for Neuvy.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 23, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

If we had Ryan Miller we might not lose antoher game this year...

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 23, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sabres have certainly built a winning team around Miller. Also, Tyler Ryan is turning out to be a pretty extraordinary D-man, and the kid's, what, 19? The idea that it takes a big defensement a long time to develop does not apply here (or, if it does, he'll be one of the greatest ever).

Posted by: Sonyask | December 23, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@Sonyask

Its actually Tyler Myers, but your point is well noted :)

As far as the morning skate goes, how accurate is this really? Previously, it looked like Varly was scheduled to start based on "morning skate" and then Theo got the nod. Could this be a case of trying to dupe the Sabres?

Theo should get the nod tonight; if not, I see trouble on the horizon with Theo/agent - it's one thing to lose the starting job to Varly who gave him a run last year and this year as well; but to lose it to an AHL guy with 3 games under his belt this year and is 1-2, is another thing - just saying...

Posted by: RAJSTAR | December 23, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Theo still has lingering personal issues. Anyone in his shoes would have a very tough time dealing with this particular holiday season. All the best to Theo and family.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 23, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

If we had Ryan Miller we might not lose antoher game this year...

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 23, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

he's not exactly Ken Dryden just yet, nor is he even the best the Sabres ever had...

Posted by: joek443 | December 23, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@ Theo should get the nod tonight; if not, I see trouble on the horizon with Theo/agent - it's one thing to lose the starting job to Varly who gave him a run last year and this year as well; but to lose it to an AHL guy with 3 games under his belt this year and is 1-2, is another thing - just saying...

Posted by: RAJSTAR | December 23, 2009 12:13 PM

Who says he has lost his job to Neuvy?? I think that they want to get Neuvy one more game before Varly is ready to get back in the line-up, and they would rather have Theo in net Sat. vs. a team that has "dominated" us.
I am sure there is a line of communacation between the players and the coach and management.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 23, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Who says he has lost his job to Neuvy?? I think that they want to get Neuvy one more game before Varly is ready to get back in the line-up, and they would rather have Theo in net Sat. vs. a team that has "dominated" us."

@Capsfannmiss

What else would call this? They have had 3 days off and then another 2 days off after tonight. No game this week is a B2B. I am a big fan of Neuvy (more of Varly) and hopes he sticks around with the big club, but this move speaks volumes. There is no reason to run with Neuvy tonight and "get him 1 more game before Varly is back." What would be the purpose? The Sabres aren't an easy team to play against either, whether the Devils have dominated the Caps or not.

I just think that this has to be a red flag to Jose - and I'm not even Jose!

Posted by: RAJSTAR | December 23, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I also think that Neuvy is getting another game in before going back to Hershey. And we need Theo or Varly especially against the Devils.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 23, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Jose is nursing an injury we don't know about or something...

Posted by: WVPhil | December 23, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

No red flags. Theo already knows that he has to perform/audition this season. His contract is up after this season and he is showcasing both for us and other teams for next year.

People read way too much in to every perceived slight. As noted, it could well be that he still needs a "mental" break around the holidays after his trials over the summer. I wish him and his family well.

Posted by: _Mark | December 23, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@WVPhil - its possible, and would explain this move...

@_Mark - I too wish him and his family well, especially over the holiday season. We can't imagine to know what he is going through. But athlete's play and sometimes their refuge is the rink/field, etc etc. People can't keep citing a "mental break" and then say "we need him for the Devils." It is one or the other - you either give him the break he needs/deserves, etc etc or you let him play, especially when neither game is a B2B this week...

When you consider what BB said at training camp about how Jose is a professional and it is his job to lose, regardless of how Varly played, and yada yada yada - its just surprising that to see this "percieved slight."

That being said, I am a huge Varly supporter and can't wait for him to return.

Posted by: RAJSTAR | December 23, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@RASTAR

IMO you are reading too much into this. Varly is still injured but close to ready. The upcoming Devils are our big game. Neuvy just had a good game. Could be BB is giving Neuvy a chance, saving Theo for Devils, who knows. If Theo got the nod for tonight I have no doubt that he would be ready--he is a commsumate professional.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Who says he has lost his job to Neuvy?? I think that they want to get Neuvy one more game before Varly is ready to get back in the line-up, and they would rather have Theo in net Sat. vs. a team that has "dominated" us."

@Capsfannmiss

What else would call this? They have had 3 days off and then another 2 days off after tonight. No game this week is a B2B. I am a big fan of Neuvy (more of Varly) and hopes he sticks around with the big club, but this move speaks volumes. There is no reason to run with Neuvy tonight and "get him 1 more game before Varly is back." What would be the purpose? The Sabres aren't an easy team to play against either, whether the Devils have dominated the Caps or not.

I just think that this has to be a red flag to Jose - and I'm not even Jose!

Posted by: RAJSTAR | December 23, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If Neuvy is going to be our #1A to Varly's #1 status in years to come, we need to see what he can do. I read nothing into this.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 23, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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