Saturday night, Bruce Boudreau wasn’t complimentary of Tomas Vokoun’s game, explaining he pulled his starting goaltender because he wasn’t “very sharp” in allowing three goals on 17 shots.
Monday, the Capitals’ coach wasn’t exactly giving Michal Neuvirth a big thumbs up for his performance of allowing four goals on 26 shots.
“I don’t think Michal will tell you he was as sharp as he would’ve liked to have been against Vancouver,” Boudreau said.
For his part, Neuvirth agreed.
“I feel a little rusty. I didn’t play for a while,” he said. “It wasn’t great game, but I was excited to be back on the ice. It wasn’t great game. I’ve got to take some of the good positives from it and push forward.”
Pushing forward, does that mean another start for Neuvirth – or a return to Vokoun? The 35-year-old has no problem telling reporters when he’s starting (and when he’s not), but Boudreau knows that now and has decided to wait until after the goaltenders talked to reporters before informing them of who’s getting the nod.
Both goaltenders came off the ice at around the same time Monday.
“He said he’s going to make a decision and let us know later. So it’s probably he doesn’t want you guys to know,” Vokoun said early Monday afternoon. “I’m sure he’s going to let us know probably within a reasonable amount of time so you can prepare.”
Arguments could be made on both sides. Boudreau has said he would like Neuvirth to get extra practice time.
“I still want him to get those practices in,” he said, noting that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Vokoun Tuesday vs. the Ducks. “It means [Neuvirth] practiced today and he had 40 minutes of game.”
Neuvirth said his next move is to “push forward and wait for another opportunity.”
Vokoun doesn’t seem to be itching to make up for Saturday, mostly because he doesn’t think he played poorly before getting the hook.
“It’s not a big deal for me. I didn’t feel bad. Sometimes you don’t feel good and you get pulled and you get this horrible feeling. But I didn’t,” he said. “I did make a mistake on the first goal. But I felt pretty solid throughout the period.
“It’s a long road and there’s going to be bumps. This is just one of them. At least from my standpoint, I’m not too worried about it.”
Jonas Hiller said he did not know if he was starting for Anaheim.