Michal Neuvirth To Start Opener
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Capitals free agent steal, goalie Tomas Vokoun, told reporters today when asked if he was nervous for tomorrow, “no, I’m not really nervous because I’m not playing” and added “supposedly I’m going to play the next game [Monday].”
Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth later confirmed that he was told after practice today that he would be starting the opener tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes and said “yeah, I was a little surprised, but you know, I think I had a great training camp and had a really good preseason games and probably that’s why I’m playing tomorrow.”
Vokoun has a career 2.56 GAA and .917 save pct. in 632 regular season NHL games and is 12-10-1-4 with a 2.81 GAA and .915 Save pct. in 29 career games against the Carolina Hurricanes. When asked on the decision to start Michal Neuvirth tomorrow, Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said, “I didn’t know that was public knowledge” and added when told Tomas Vokoun said that he wasn’t playing, “I’m not ready to comment on that.”
On Sunday after the final preseason game, Bruce Boudreau said “Tomas is number 1 but we’ve got a number 1A.”. Boudreau also added, “Training camp, you got guys that come in that deserve the respect to be where they were, and Tomas has earned that.”
Michal Neuvirth started all nine playoff games for the Capitals last season going 4-5 with a 2.34 GAA and .912 Save pct. In 70 career NHL games with the Capitals, Neuvirth is 38-17-0-4 with a 2.55 GAA and .913 Save pct. Neuvirth is a career 1-1 with a 2.50 GAA and .915 Save pct. against the Hurricanes.
In the preseason Tomas Vokoun went 1-2 with 3.26 GAA and .870 Save pct. while Michal Neuvirth when 2-1, 1.34 GAA and a .940 Save pct.
In other news Bruce Boudreau said they still expect Alex Ovechkin back this afternoon and to play tomorrow. Dennis Wideman returned to practice after missing yesterday. Here is what the lines looked like today: Johansson-Backstrom-Knuble, Semin-Perreault-Brouwer, Chimera-Laich-Ward, Hendricks-Halpern-Beagle-King, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman
Listen here to what Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau had to say about who is the starting goalie tomorrow, injuries, Ovechkin, preparing for the season opener and much more.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Also listen to what Tomas Vokoun, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Karl Alzner & Marcus Johansson had to say following practice today as they prepare for tomorrow’s opening night.
Tomas Vokoun Practice Audio
Michal Neuvirth Practice Audio
Mike Green Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Marcus Johansson Practice Audio