Neuvy Gets Net for Opening NightPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
I wasn't surprised when I learned earlier this week that Caps coach Bruce Boudreau planned to start goaltender Michal Neuvirth in Saturday's season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes. Neuvirth won 27 games for the Capitals last season, carried the team early in the campaign when he was arguably its most valuable player, and carried the mail in the postseason, playing every minute of all nine Stanley Cup playoff contests. In the scheme of things, who plays the first game is rather meaningless. There are 82 games in an NHL season. I think it's a great gesture of Boudreau to give Neuvirth -- who was very sharp during the pre-season -- the opening night nod. Expect some to try to stir up a goaltending controversy here; this is a football town that is conditioned to such things when it comes to quarterbacks. Neuvirth played just one of Washington's six games against Carolina last season, pitching his first NHL shutout vs. the Canes on Oct. 27 in Raleigh. For his career, Neuvirth is a sparkling 23-6-3 with a 2.50 GAA and a .915 save pct. at Verizon Center. Tomas Vokoun, signed as a free agent last July, is expected to start on Monday when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town. The Caps are one of just 10 NHL teams that have a pair of goaltenders who have won as many as 27 games in a single NHL season.
Mathieu Perreault's stellar training camp and regular season performance not only earned him his first opening night roster berth, but also the pivot spot on the Caps' second line. Perreault will take to the Verizon Center sheet tonight flanked by Alexander Semin and Troy Brouwer. "We want people