For a huge chunk of fantasy hockey fans (oh yeah, and plenty of Washington Capitals hopefuls), Michal Neuvirth’s Saturday start was a cause for concern. To little surprise, Tomas Vokoun wasn’t very happy.
Neuvirth looked good in a 4-3 overtime win yesterday, but it’s likely that Vokoun will still get the majority of the starts. Katie Carrera reports that he’ll make his belated regular season debut with Washington on Monday.
My guess is that Vokoun should still receive at least 55 starts this season. That’s a fine number to keep the veteran netminder healthy for the 2012 playoffs (if they make it, naturally) while also giving Neuvirth enough reps to be reasonably happy. People tend to have tunnel vision for just the next season – and sometimes it’s just about the next few games – but Neuvirth has a chance to be the goalie of the future.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau received a lot of criticism for this decision, but he might be onto something. He’s helping his team both now and later, although it’s possible that the bellicose coach isn’t doing much for his shaky short-term future.
(H/T to Rotoworld.)