Over the first two weeks, the season could not have gone any worse for the Washington Capitals and head coach Adam Oates. The Caps have dropped five of their six games, and many fans and spectators across the country cannot understand why Washington is struggling so much early.
It started with their first matchup against the high powered Tampa Bay Lightning. Young goaltender Braden Holtby had a complete meltdown in his first start of the shortened 2012-2013 season. He let up six goals, the majority of which were weak (to say the least). Because of the six times the lamp was lit, Holtby only had 28 saves. He was given another shot two days later, starting at home at the Verizon Center; but his cause was not helped as he surrendered four goals to the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-2 loss.
Since Holtby’s collapse, Michal Neuvirth has taken over and has actually played very well. Although his 1-2-1 record might not show it, Nuevirth has performed impressively and kept Washington in each game they have played. Some of his saves have been very impressive and his stats show that he really has been better than the record shows. His GAA is under 3.00 and three of his four starts have been spread out by just one goal.
Neuvirth has not played terrible, and I can see him taking over completely for Holtby in the long run. The Capitals have no offense lately and if they can get something together, Neuvirth will have the chance to win many games for this Capitals team.
It should be interesting to see what Adam Oates does with his goalie next game against Toronto. Neuvirth was 2-0 last year against the Leafs, but since he has started the past four games, Oates might give Holtby another shot between the pipes.