At the moment, it seems like Michal Neuvirth is the Washington Capitals’ go-to guy in net.
After Braden Holtby, 23, made two ugly early season games, the Washington Times reports that Neuvirth will receive his fourth consecutive start when the Caps face the Senators in Ottawa on Tuesday.
Seeing the 24-year-old Czech steal the top job for the moment serves as a surprise for some, but it appears that Washington goalie coach Dave Prior hasn’t been caught off guard.
“I get a little defensive on his behalf when people are sort of surprised [by Neuvirth],” Prior said. “His success in the playoffs at the junior and minor league level [shows] he’s got a head on his shoulders that handles pressure well. I’m not surprised how he’s played here.”
The Times article describes Neuvirth’s “quiet confidence,” although he piped up about his competition in net during the off-season, indicating that Holtby isn’t at the same level of prior goalies such as Tomas Vokoun and Semyon Varlamov. He also stood alongside teammate Roman Hamrlik, who made some controversial comments during the lockout.
If there is any lingering bitterness from those comments, it’s not showing enough to pry Neuvirth out of Washington’s net. We’ll see if it stays that way, though.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?