It’s Michal Neuvirth vs Braden Holtby for the First Time Ever

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.

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Photo: @NHL

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.

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Like a pimply sixteen-year-old after a breakup at the back-to-school dance, goaltender Michal Neuvirth just can’t get over a past love. That past love happens to be the Washington Capitals.

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Michal Neuvirth Gets Married at a Castle (Photos)

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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.

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The Micromanager: Adam Oates’s Downfall

Breakdown Day (12 of 12)

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.

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Michal Neuvirth’s Elastic Groin (Photo)

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Looking more like torture than exercise, former Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth tweeted out this photo of himself doing the splits on some kind of weird slide board this afternoon. Neuvirth, who was traded to the Sabres at the trade deadline, played in two games for Buffalo before getting sidelined with another injury.

In his tweet today, Neuvirth said he was “finally feeling good!” If this were me doing the splits, I would not be feeling good at all. I’d be going to the hospital. I’ll keep Neuvy’s groin in my prayers.

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Photo: Joel Auerbach

The trade deadline got really difficult for some Caps fans on Wednesday when long-time goalie Michal Neuvirth was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres for Jaroslav Halak. It’s understandable if some fans got attached over the years. Neuvirth won Calder Cups in AHL Hershey, honored Olie Kolzig by having an image of him painted on the side of his mask, and forever challenged our assumptions of what a smile is.

But more than that, Neuvy was a homegrown prospect who worked his tush off to make it to the big league team and succeed. Let’s just forget about that one bad interview he did.

On Friday night, Neuvirth took the ice for the first time with the Buffalo Sabres. And it was super weird. Wearing his Capitals-themed mask, Capitals colored pads and gloves, and red, white, and blue stick, Neuvy made 42 saves (one off his career high) in the Sabres 2-0 loss to Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers.

Have I mentioned it was weird?

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Photo: Mark Buckner

(Photo: Mark Buckner)

Coming into the 2014 NHL trade deadline, some fans feared Caps general manager George McPhee would make a drastic move in the hopes of securing a playoff spot. Instead, he made three reasonable ones. The Caps got better this year without harming themselves in the future.

The biggest deal was the final one, with the Caps sending Michal Neuvirth and the newly acquired Rostislav Klesla to the Buffalo Sabres for Caps killer Jaroslav Halak and a third-round pick.

“I think we start with Neuvirth, and he wasn’t happy being a number two,” McPhee told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “We tried to accommodate him. We brought in an experienced guy. I think it’s an upgrade on the tandem which is what we wanted to accomplish.”

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Photo: @a0gr8

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin just shared the last photo you’ll ever see of Michal Neuvirth and Martin Erat as Capitals.

“Last dinner with boys, and they gone!!” Ovi wrote on Instagram. “Good luck to them, and welcome new players to the team!” Neuvy is now off to Buffalo, where more playing time and opportunity await, and Erat to Phoenix, where at least it’s warmer.

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Michal Neuvirth has started the last three Caps games, inserting himself back into the Capitals goalie picture after not playing for a month and requesting a trade on December 29th. In the last week, Neuvirth has made big save after big save, keeping a defensively inept Caps team capably backstopped in all three starts. The team went 1-1-1 in those games.

Early in the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Islanders, Neuvirth showed off some fantastic lateral movement, robbing Frans Nielsen on a clear one-timer.

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