Caps head coach Adam Oates has confirmed that Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal when Washington hosts Montreal on Thursday night.
The news comes less than 24 hours after Braden Holtby suffered his second straight loss to begin the season — a 4-2 defeat to Winnipeg.
Through the two games, Holtby has posted a 5.04 GAA and .863 save percentage, allowing 10 goals on 73 shots.
Following the Jets game, Holtby told the Washington Post he wasn’t happy with his start to the season and felt he should’ve stopped Andrew Ladd’s first-period goal:
“Whenever you let in 10 goals in two games, obviously it’s not good, but at the same time, I feel fine,” he explained. “When you break down the goals, they’re not trends or overly bad goals, other than the second one tonight, I felt. . . . I’m trying to get adapted to everything, and I want to keep improving and getting better and learning from these two games.”
Neuvirth hasn’t played this year and will make his season debut on Thursday, and rust could be a factor
While he did play 24 games during the lockout for HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga — posting a 2.51 GAA and .925 save percentage — he hasn’t faced game action since early January.
“I feel cold, but, you know, this is job I pick and I gotta handle it. I’m trying to stay positive and happy,” Neuvirth told the Washington Times. “I felt good during the practice today and I’m ready to go.”
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.