Here’s a dispatch from the Department of Expected Overreactions (OK, it’s actually from CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley): the Washington Capitals will start Michal Neuvirth instead of Tomas Vokoun during their first game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct 8.
Considering the very reasonable Vezina Trophy hype for Vokoun, this news might startle many people. Let’s calm that down right now with the same banter you should use after every season-opener: it’s just one game. My expectation is that Vokoun will make 55+ starts in 2011-12 and be an excellent contributor, while Neuvirth should get a healthy number of relief opportunities.
The word is that Neuvirth had a really good training camp and will get a reward for his hard work. Head coach Bruce Boudreau is justified in giving his former starter a nice treat since Neuvirth might not be extremely happy about getting usurped. Boudreau was coy about his decision, though.
Feel free to over-analyze that statement if you’d like, but again, I would expect Vokoun to be the number one goalie in Washington. Perhaps this indicates that it will be more of a “timeshare” situation than some expected, but it’s better to have two strong options in net than none.