OK, maybe that’s a stretch … although plenty of people dismissed Dubnyk as he enjoyed an unexpected near-Vezina campaign in 2014-15, too.
If there’s at least one parallel between the two, it’s that Neuvirth is picking up the slack for a struggling entrenched No.1 goalie. (Alright, it’s true that Dubnyk seemingly took over for multiple goalies …)
By stopping 28 shots by a dangerous Winnipeg Jets team, Neuvirth helped the Flyers break a six-game losing streak. He also earned his third shutout of the season, making him the early league leader in that elusive category.
Neuvirth’s 3-2-1 record won’t make him an award finalist, but he’s been a steadying force for the Flyers, sporting an impressive .945 save percentage.
It’s quite a step up for a guy who likely felt at a career crossroads as he struggled with the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders last season.
If nothing else, he must be feeling a lot more optimistic about his NHL future than about a month ago.