gives me confidence about the Caps situation in net with their two young net minders. I'm watching the game against the New York Islanders
right now and Neuvirth is in the zone, making highlight reel saves...sprawling diving saves and stopping the puck stone cold saves. He's been impressive to watch and is certainly building his case to be the number one goalie for the Caps.
He's been described as calm and his play exhibits that. Wearing the well earned hard hat tonight, Neuvy displayed his poise in his post game interview. His teammates seem to have confidence in him and that's huge.
In the comparisons between the too often injured for my liking, Semyon Varlamov, and Neuvy, Neuvy is known as the "technician" while Varly is know for his athleticism and acrobatic ability in net. Of course, that acrobatic part may be why Varly gets injured too much, even though it's fun to watch, and reminds me of moves Soviet gymnasts used to make. I was a big Olga Korbut fan.
However, the "technician", is in control. Neuvy anticipates shots well, is rarely out of position, and moves with precision to get the job done. I'm really liking this guy so far.
There were years and years when Caps fans didn't have to worry about the net. Olie the goalie was the workhorse that got the job done game after game. His game faded in the end, but his passion, his temper and his hard work continued to define him. There are times when I miss Olie's "what was said had to be said" demeanor in the locker room. The Caps could use his ability to kick butts in the locker room, at times.
But, I'm encouraged by the emergence of the young Czech. Even though his baby face and calm demeanor could never emulate Olie, he could become a workhorse in net. He's won everything he can at the AHL level, including two Calder Cups and the MVP. Now, it's his time to prove his worth in the NHL and he's doing a great job of it, so far.
Let's go Caps.
p.s. I'm glad the Caps finally netted a power play goal off of Nicklas Backstrom's skate and Ovie got one goal to eke past the injured New York Islanders with a 2-1 win. The Caps aren't much better on the injury front with Matt Bradley, Tom Poti and Marcus Johansson out and Mike Green leaving the game, but that game should have been easier.
Labels: Alex Ovechkin, Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capital