So, the Caps had a little surprise when former teammate Michal Neuvirth stepped in between the posts. We thought we knew this guy, based on his years with the Hershey Bears and the Washington Capitals.
We were wrong. He has matured into a true NHL lead goaltender, like his old friend Braden Holtby.
In the two playoff games (4 and 5), Neuvy was not the old ‘shaky’ goalie bloggers and sportscasters talked about when he was in Washington.
He ended the regular season with a respectable 9.24 percent save average, a 2.27 goals against average (GAA), and three shutouts.
Braden sits slightly behind Michal with a 9.22 save percentage, a slightly higher GAA at 2.20, and he had three shutouts as well.
When you consider the body of work from the regular season, they are pretty evenly matched.
Flip over to the playoffs and it is a bit of a different story. Neuvy leads the league with a 9.87 save percentage–Hotlby follows with a 9.61 SV%. Neuvy also leads the league with a .50 GAA compared to Holtby’s 1.01. They both have one shutout which in the playoffs is pretty phenomenal. Frederick Anderson of the Anaheim Ducks holds the second place between these gifted goalies.
Any way you slice it, today’s win, and the Round 1 win will come down to how these two old friends play. There is a lot of history between these two Calder Cup winning netminders who want to hoist the big CUP for their team and their fans. Michal Neuvirth may have something more to prove to the team that chose Holtby over him though. Its’ gonna be one heck of a end to the series!