No Red Lights: Hockey: Pre-Season Goalie Moves (cont.) - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

Pre-Season Goalie Moves (cont.)

Neuvirth, rookie for the Caps, will get playing time after Varlamov's injury

Of the perrenial Cup favorites, the Caps might have the most interesting goalie situation coming into the new season. They finally ripped the band-aid off the Theodore situation and dealt him. In favor of two youngsters, Varlamov, the hero of the 2009 Playoffs, and Neuvirth, a highly touted rookie. A very gutsy move indeen. Varlamov was good last year but when your offense puts up 3.87 goals per game, you don't have much pressure to perform. Also, he's starting the season on the injured list. While many goalies perform fine after injuries, its a question mark. Nursing an injury through a season can be extremely tough. While I don't know much about their rookie backup, the fact that they believe enough in him to trade theodore means a lot. It's the same confidence that the bruins showed when trading Raycroft and then Fernandez to make room for Thomas and Rask.

The next goalie which has big shoes to fill is Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings. He had a great season last year, but honestly, every goalie in a Red Wings uniform has a good season.  The Wings will just win games because of their sound business practices (have a cohesive set of forwards, solid stay-at-home defensemen that can contribute and a talented group of youths that have time to mature). So the Wings' goalies have relatively easy nights in comparison to other teams (i'm looking at Toronto and Florida's workloads). But this is in terms of shot difficulty.  It is just as hard to stay focused and consistent when you are not seeing the action. It is going to be up to Howard to continue to push himself mentally in order to see consistent results.