The Caps’ first-year goaltender Michal Neuvirth was named NHL rookie of the month for October after going 7-3-0 with a 2.15 goals-against average, .926 save percentage including one shutout – a 29 save effort vs. Carolin on October 27. He also sits in third overall in the InGoal Magazine three stars season-long competition, behind only Tim Thomas and Jonathan Quick.
Neuvirth was expected to take over the Caps’ #2 role after Washington let Jose Theodore walk as a free agent at the end of last season. Instead, he became the main man in net when last year’s rookie sensation Semyon Varlamov went down with a groin injury. Neuvirth took the opportunity and ran with it, quickly establishing himself in the Washington crease. Varlamov managed a brief return to play in one game plus two periods but has since been injured again. Dany Sabourin has received the bulk of the time as Neuvirth’s backup but has now been sent down and Braden Holtby recalled from Hershey.
Neuvirth and Varlamov have been linked in the Caps organization since being taken only 11 spots apart in the 2006 entry draft – Valamov going in the first round 23rd overall, Neuvirth in the second round 34th overall.