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Like Sergei Bobrovsky, Michal Neuvirth is likely to spend more time on the bench now that the more experienced Tomas Vokoun will be suiting up for the Washington Capitals.
But again, that doesn't mean you can just forget about Neuvirth.
In 48 games last year, he went 27-12-4 and posted four shutouts, setting a record for wins by a Caps rookie netminder and tying the team record for shutouts by a first-year goalie. He was also third among all rookie goaltenders in wins.
In addition, he was ninth in the NHL with a 2.45 GAA and also had a .914 save percentage.
During the playoffs, Neuvirth was a bright spot as the Capitals were dealt more postseason disappointment. He went 4-5 to rank seventh in the NHL in wins. He also had a .912 save percentage (ninth in the league) and a 2.34 GAA (fourth). He was also the third Caps rookie to get a shutout in the playoffs, doing so in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Rangers.
Neuvirth won two Calder Cups with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, so he has what it takes to win a championship.
And boy, does he know how to stonewall an opponent. When I used to watch him in the AHL, I would call him "Annoy-virth" because it felt like he was literally a brick wall. But even though I was aggravated that my team couldn't get pucks past him, I knew he was the real deal.
I still believe that, and should Vokoun struggle or get injured, Bruce Boudreau can sleep well knowing he has Neuvirth to call on.