The Washington Capitals will turn to Michal Neuvirth in net against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, his first start since Nov. 22.
The 25-year-old’s agent made noise in asking for a trade, but the Caps haven’t found any takers, particularly in a tough trade market. Tonight could be a chance for the goalie to get back into the mix, whether it means putting the heat on Philipp Grubauer and Braden Holtby in Washington or increasing his value in the minds of other GMs around the league.
Capitals head coach Adam Oates had a fairly terse explanation for Neuvirth’s start, as CSNWashington.com reports.
“It’s his turn,” Oates said. “He hasn’t played for a long time. His turn.”
Does that mean Holtby’s turn will come next? He’s backing up Neuvirth tonight while Grubauer is a healthy scratch, but Oates wouldn’t elaborate.
Washington has only won two of its last eight games, so maybe Oates is simply hoping that Neuvirth will run with the ball for a little while?