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Vokoun or Neuvy?

Posted October 7, 2011

Michal Neuvirth (Photo by Alena Schwarz)

There was some controversy coming out of Kettler Iceplex when Tomas Vokoun was asked about his opening night start. The veteran told the media that he would not be the starter against the Hurricanes. In lieu of Vokoun, Michal Neuvirth was given the nod in the crease at the Verizon Center on Saturday while Tomas is going to face the Lightning on Monday.

Gauging from the reaction of Caps fans, there are very excited about Neuvy being given the honors of starting on opening night. I feel that this is not the right move. Yes, I can understand the “Neuvy had a great training camp” argument. I will also buy the “look what he did last season for the team” stance too. However, the last season argument can only be thrown so far. For starters, there wasn’t an elite goaltender under contract for the Capitals. Semyon Varlamov was injury-plagued and Neuvirth was the more seasoned goaltender in comparison to Braden Holtby (this is not a knock on Holtby by any stretch). Now, we have a goaltender who will be in the running for the Vezina Trophy at the end of this year and a great backup goaltender, although Bruce Boudreau has stated that they are more like “1” and “1A”.  However, Vokoun is the better goaltender with more experience. He should be the one between the pipes against Carolina, and deserves that respect. Vokoun’s agent came out and said that this act could be perceived as a “slap in the face.” And sorry Caps fans, he’s 100 percent correct.

This also isn’t about me dragging Neuvirth through the mud. Like I previously stated, he’s a great goalie with a tremendous upside. He personally kept the Caps in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series last season against the Rangers. Neuvy will definitely get his starts this season, and he deserves that just as much as Vokoun deserves the nod on opening night. But that’s why Bruce gets paid the big bucks while I have the opportunity to sit here and second guess all of his decisions. I just hope that this decision doesn’t come back to bite the team when the game’s over.

Who do you think deserves to be the opening night starter? Feel free to jump on Twitter and tweet me your opinions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Washington Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup Champs Gear