DETROIT | Dale Hunter knows who’s starting in goal for the Washington Capitals on Monday night at the Detroit Red Wings. Predictably, he’s not telling.
We’ll all find out during warm-ups, but Michal Neuvirth’s experience may give him the edge over Braden Holtby.
“It’s one of those things, it’s out there, but you’ve got to be careful this time of year,” Hunter said when asked if he’d consider giving Holtby the nod.
Of course the last time Holtby started for the Caps, and the only time this season, the whole process was shrouded in secrecy until the final hour before the game against the San Jose Sharks Feb. 13. Holtby allowed five goals on 28 shots.
Neuvirth allowed four goals Sunday in a 5-2 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks, but that was hardly on him.
“Neuvy had to be sharp; we were giving them great scoring chances,” Hunter said Sunday. “He does his job. Every goalie has to do his job.”
It was a good job, as he made a few big saves to keep the game from getting out of hand. Karl Alzner felt bad for the Caps as a team hanging Neuvirth out to dry.
“I told him that after the game. He played great,” the young defenseman said. “He was the reason the game was only 5-2 instead of probably 8-2. He played an unbelievable game.”
But Neuvirth has only started on back-to-back days once this season, Feb. 24 vs. the Montreal Canadiens and Feb. 25 at the Toronto Maple Leafs. He won both games.