WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Who’s been in net in Washington has been about as consistent as the Capitals’ play this season – that is to say, not at all.
The Capitals have kept three goalies – Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth and Philipp Grubauer – on the roster, maintaining a heavy rotation between them through 42 games.
“We have three goaltenders here and that’s not an ideal situation for any of them,” Brooks Laich told the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday. “It’s something that I’ve never really seen; actually I’ve only ever seen once before in my hockey career.”
Holtby has handled the bulk of the netminding, but with a 13-11 record, has the worst save percentage (.910) of the three. Graubauer (rookie), 5-2, has a .923 save percentage, and Neuvirth, 2-3, has a .912 save percentage.
“But they’ve all handled it with professionalism, they’ve been classy; I’m sure they’re all upset because they’re not all playing, but they haven’t let that creep into the locker room, which has been great as teammates,” Laich said.
But Holtby struggled in his first game action in two weeks on Saturday, giving up 5 goals on just 11 shots, as the Caps fell 5-3 to Minnesota on the road.
“You could tell in the morning in the skate in Minnesota that Braden was really excited to be back in the net,” Laich said. “He was competitive in the morning skate, in warm-up he was competitive, in warm-up looked sharp, and then when the game came it just didn’t go his way. One was a 5-on-3 goal that he never saw; one was a 2-on-1 goal.”
But Laich remains confident Holtby will recover.
“We know that he wants to be better and we know that we want to be better,” he said. “But he’ll get another chance in there and we’re not worried about it at all.”
With a 17-game game blitzkrieg forthcoming for the Caps, fans would be at ease to know the team found some consistency in net heading into the Olympic break.