- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
- North Korea warns South: We’ll attack ‘without warning’
- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- Multiple injuries as balcony collapses at London’s Apollo theatre during performance
- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
Capitals set to ride Neuvirth, Varlamov
Holtby assigned to Hershey as goalie drama down to two
Question of the Day
ARLINGTON, Va. -– A hockey rink has two nets, which means three goaltenders makes for a crowd. And with just nine games left in the regular season, the Capitals are thinking playoffs.
So on Saturday, they assigned rookie goalie Braden Holtby to Hershey of the American Hockey League, and they'll ride with Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov at least for now.
"Three goalies is never a good situation for practice time or anything else," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. "People think it makes the other guys better because there's pressure – it doesn't. It's not a great situation."
He's right –- goalies prefer not to share a net, a problem the Caps experienced at the end of the 2007-08 season with Cristobal Huet, Brent Johnson and Olie Kolzig. But that won't be an issue with this team down the stretch with Holtby's demotion.
It didn't matter that Holtby was the NHL's first star of the week with a 4-0 record, .965 save percentage and 1.05 goals-against average, as he was the least experienced of Washington's three netminders.
"I'd rather have him playing full-time in Hershey and us doing what we have to do up here," Boudreau said. "We'd rather keep him sharp."
Neuvirth made his case Friday night with a 33-save shutout of the Devils that gave the Caps their 10th win in 11 games.
"Yeah. I feel good. I'm pretty confident about my game right now," Neuvirth said. "Playoffs is the best time of the year -– it's more fun and it's more interesting for everyone and I think everyone can't wait till the playoffs start."
Confident, yes, but Neuvirth said he doesn't think the starting job is his to lose, citing Varlamov's experience.
"Varly was the starting goalie for the last couple years, but I wanna take his job from him," he said. "We still have nine games left and anything can happen."
Boudreau said Saturday after practice at Kettler that Varlamov, who's coming back from a lower-body injury, will play in at least one game this week. The Caps travel to face the Flyers on Tuesday, the Senators on Friday and the Canadiens on Saturday.
The coach isn't committing to which goalie will play in which games – nor will he say that Neuvirth put himself in the "lead" to be the No. 1 guy when the playoffs start.
"There's no lead. This isn't a race," Boudreau said. "We'll just go with who we think is the hottest goalie at the time when the time is needed."
Still, there's a level of empathy for Holtby, who hasn't lost an NHL game in regulation since Nov. 22. But Varlamov's health and Neuvirth's solid play in his past two starts made the move necessary.
"It's tough. That's the way that it works sometimes: You can play really good and it just doesn't matter," said defenseman Karl Alzner. "Sometimes the way the business works is that you literally can't be here in terms of too many guys or the cap or whatever the situation is. That's too bad, but we all know what he can do. Coaches and management know what he can do -– it's no secret. He was the first star of the league, so he's gonna be here someday."
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- Deportations under Obama plunged to just 1 percent last year
- Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare
- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow