On Sunday after the Caps closed out the Flyers, Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth had a moment in the handshake line. Shaking his head in admiration, Holtby gave a big high-five and a pat on the shoulder to his former long-time teammate and rival. Neuvirth finished the series with a .981 save percentage, giving up only two goals in three games.
Caps defenseman John Carlson also had a moment with Neuvirth in the handshake line, though he had to do a lot of jersey tugging to get his attention. Carlson and Neuvirth grew up together in the AHL before both landing in the NHL.
Braden Holtby was mind-blowingly sensational against the Flyers, giving up only five goals in six first-round games (more on that later). But after the Caps won the series, all Holtby could do was praise Michal Neuvirth.
When talking to NBCSN’s Joe Micheletti, Holtby was asked if anything in this series surprised him.
“No, not really,” Holtby said before naming some things that surprised him. “We were probably a little surprised to be up 3-0. [The Flyers] were playing some pretty good hockey too. We know they’re a very good hockey team. It was a testament when Neuvy came in and played as good as you could conceivably play. We still stuck with it and found a way to win.”
Neuvirth stopped 103 of 105 shots in Games Four through Six after serving as Steve Mason’s back-up in the first three games.
Photo: Rob Carr
Steve Mason knew the questions were coming. He did not hide from them. For him, the only way out of one of the most embarrassing moments of his life was through it.
“I messed up,” Mason told reporters after a 4-1 loss in Game Two of the first round against the Washington Capitals.
Less than two and a half minutes into the second period, Mason allowed a rolling ground ball to pass through his legs. Mason had made an impressive save a minute earlier, possibly tweaking a muscle, but he denied that played any part in what happened next: a puck deflected by Jason Chimera at the redline that slid into the back of the net with Mason frozen in place.
“It’s my fault and I realize that,” Mason said.
Wednesday night’s game between the Capitals and the Flyers is significant for two reasons: first, it’s the only Caps game to be played in a thirteen-day period; second, it’s the first time Michal Neuvirth will face the Washington Capitals in a regular season game. Better yet, this is the first time Neuvy will face his weakest competition yet in the opposing net.
We cannot wait.
Former Capitals and Hershey Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth made his first start for rival Philadelphia last night against the Florida Panthers, two nights after playing in relief of Steve Mason who let in four goals in 6:46 against Florida (which was a Panthers record for fastest four goals scored at the start of a game). Neuvirth, who still has “feelings” for the Caps, just set his own record last night.
For all you single ladies of RMNB, this will be upsetting. Over the weekend, former Washington Capitals goaltender (and Hello Kitty stunt double) Michal Neuvirth got married to long-time girlfriend Monika. The two got hitched in a ceremony held in Neuvirth’s home country of the Czech Republic.
Neuvirth confirmed the news on his public Facebook page using– naturally– all hashtags.
Gone. (Photo: Chris Gordon)
Adam Oates is a smart man. After going undrafted out of college, he turned into a Hall of Fame player. It wasn’t his skill that made him an NHL success, but his elite ability to notice things other people didn’t. Oates had a coaching mind in a player’s body.
“If Adam notices something in a game, he adjusts right away,” Ron Wilson, then the Caps coach, told SI in 2001. “Even if it’s only how somebody is holding his stick. He takes the information, processes it, and puts it to use. The thing about Adam is that he assimilates a lot of stuff at once. Most guys might see one or two things, and the rest is a blur.”
However, years later, when Oates became head coach of the Capitals, that obsession with improving individual players would undermine the team as a whole.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.