Remember When Michal Neuvirth Was a Terrible Goalie?

neuvirth-2011

Gigantic Czech infant child Michal Neuvirth stopped 44 of 44 shots in Friday’s shutout over the Caps. It was one of the best goalie performances in Philly history.

Whatever happened to the goalie who blew the 2011 playoffs for the Capitals?

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Capitals Playoff Hockey: Flyers beat Caps 2-0

sad-ted

In the trailer for the new Independence Day movie, the voiceover is all like, “We knew it would happen again. We just didn’t know it suck super duper hard.”

THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT.

We know the Caps were designed by the Old Ones to teach man how to suffer. We know this. We’ve even gotten used to it a bit. But this is worse. THIS IS SOOOO MUCHHHH WORSEEEEE.

Everything was fine. The Capitals were driving play, but pesky penalties kept putting them on defense. And then a puck hopped off Taylor Chorney’s skate and past Braden Holtby. Then an empty netter.

IS THAT IT?! That’s all? Oh, it burnsssss IT BURNSSSS

Flyers beat Caps 2-0. Caps lead the series, I guess, 3-2.

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Bringing It All Back Home: Flyers beat Caps 2-1

john-clark

Photo: John Clark

You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you? Without special teams dominance and a convincing performance at even strength, the Washington Capitals dropped Game Four to the Flyers. It’s just prolonging the suffering is what it is.

Shayne Gostisbehere, the Ghost Bear, got his first playoff goal with a blue-line slapper in the first period, deflected off Karl Alzner up front. The Flyers made it 2-0 in the second period with a goal by — I’m not making this up — Andrew MacDonald.

The Caps finally got something going early in the third, with TJ Oshie putting a backhand tuck past Philly goalie Michal Neuvirth. What followed was a barrage of Caps offense, but no goals.

Flyers beat Caps 2-1. Caps still lead the series 3-1.

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: Finish Him

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: Len Redkoles

The photo above is from a Caps-Flyers game in December 2009. It was Peter Laviolette’s first game as head coach of the Flyers. With the score tied in the first period, Philadelphia’s Dan Carcillo suckerpunched Washington’s Matt Bradley. Bradley was hurt, but the Capitals responded as they thought best.

They won 8-2.

I think of that game a lot. I think of how the team was done wrong and they found justice in the form of goals. Tons of goals.

RMNB started publishing the next week.

I’m done with thrown bracelets. I’m done with unruly fans. I’m done with penalty minutes you measure in hours. Done with late hits, working the refs, and ghost bears.

I’m done with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tonight the Capitals will join me in this notion. With a win, the Caps can secure their first ever four-game sweep and advance to the next round.

Puck drop at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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Michal Neuvirth is Starting Game Four

Flyers beat reporter Dave Isaac broke the news: Steve Mason is out, and Michal Neuvirth is in.

So it’ll be Holtby vs Neuvirth tonight. Prepare yourselves.

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holtbeard

Braden Holtby has saved 91 of 93 shots this series, good for a .978 save percentage, which isn’t bad when you think about it.

Cut to Tuesday’s practice at Wells Fargo Center. Holtby reportedly left about ten minutes in after colliding with a teammate. Holtby was seen favoring his left leg.

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Take Out the Trash: Caps beat Flyers 6-1

caps

In Game Three, the Washington Capitals magnanimously spotted an early goal to the grieving Philadelphia Flyers. But dirty play by the home team squandered that good will, so the Flyers had to be put down. Without mercy.

Philadelphia, feeling the high of a pregame tribute to Ed Snider, scored in the first minute off the stick of Michael Raffl. The Caps returned fire with a power-play goal, Marcus Johansson’s tip-in of John Carlson’s slapper.

Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal of the second period, the end result of some great neutral-zone work by the top line.

In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov joined the rodeo, grabbing a weird bounce and pantsing Steve Mason to put the Flyers in a two-goal hole. Alex Ovechkin buried it during a supersized power play late in the game, but a bunch of hardcore Philly fans had already headed towards the exit by then. They didn’t even see Jay Beagle make it a six spot.

Caps beat Flyers 6-1! Caps take a 3-0 series lead!

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Caps at Flyers Pregame: Glass Case of Emotion

patrick smith - getty

Photo: Patrick Smith

After winning both home games, the Caps are in Philadelphia tonight to see if they can’t put the Flyers in a stranglehold. It won’t be easy. The Flyers are mightily pissed about games one and two, and they’ve got sentimental reasons not to play like garbage tonight.

The saying goes, “you’re not in trouble until you lose at home.” Here’s rooting for trouble tonight at Wells Fargo center in what is sure to be an emotionally charged game.

Caps lead the series 2-0. Puck drops at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 56-18-8 52.0% 101.1 21.9% (5th) 85.2% (2nd)
Philadelphia Flyers 41-27-14 50.1% 100.5 18.9% (11th) 80.5% (20th)

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Rockville Slim - Unleash the Fury

Remy and Bowser, step aside; I think we’ve got a new best Caps rap jam. From the immensely talented Rockville Slim, we’re happy to debut “Unleash the Fury.”

The scope of this thing is huge. There’s footage of major area ice rinks, some roller derby action, clips with The Horn Guy and Loud Goat, shots from inside the Hirshhorn National Portrait Gallery, plus jabs at the crummy cell phone reception at Verizon Center and our fair city’s football team.

Not to mention, this song is kind of a banger. Those horns are boss. Turn it up.

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Braden Holtby is the Wonderwall: Caps beat Flyers 4-1

Chimera-bration

Chimera-bration!

The pain of the playoffs usually goes like this: the Caps are dominating play but can’t crack the goalie. They do everything right, but they just can’t hit the back of the net.

Game Two was the exact freaking opposite. The Caps were on their heels from the drop, but Flyers goalie Steve Mason wasn’t exactly Halak-like in his crease work. A trio of goals in the first forty made this a solid win, and that curious reversal of fortunes made Saturday night actually kind of pleasant and fun. That’s not the Caps playoff hockey I know, but I could get used to it.

John Carlson scored first, using patience and a couple screens to crack Steve Mason. And crack he did. Mason next allowed a high-fiber softy from Jason Chimera early in the second period. Jakub Voracek narrowed the score by seizing on a loose puck, but Alex Ovechkin got an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot before the second intermission to make it 3-1.

With two minutes and change left in the third, Nick Backstrom got himself on the ledger, zipping a glove stick-side goal on poor Steve Mason. Locker called it “icing on the cake,” which reminds me– we should eat some cake!

Caps beat Flyers 4-1! Caps lead the series 2-0!

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