Capitals goalie struggles make for messy situation

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The Washington Capitals have been carrying three healthy goalies for weeks now. That’s an awkward situation under any set of circumstances, but it’s made worse recently by the team’s struggles.

Rookie netminder Philipp Grubauer hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s lost four of his last five starts and Braden Holtby’s confidence was shaken after he allowed five goals on 11 shots on Saturday.

Washington isn’t scheduled to play again until Thursday, which gives Capitals coach Adam Oates plenty of time to mull over who he’ll start next.

“What if I go to (Michal Neuvirth)?” Oates said, according to CSN Washington. “Neuvy deserves a start at some point, right?

That would be interesting if nothing else. Neuvirth has been the team’s third-string goaltender lately and his agent has asked for his client to be traded. It remains to be seen if the Capitals will be able to accommodate that request, but it would likely be easier if he gets some playing time. As it is, Neuvirth hasn’t started since Nov. 22.

The Washington Capitals have just a one-point edge on the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. If they allow either of those teams to surpass them, the Capitals will have let their current playoff spot slip out of their grasp.