(Image from ESPN)
Your mission, should you choose to except it: Vote for who YOU think should be the Capitals' starting goaltender come playoff time. Your options:
- Semyon Varlamov; still considered a rookie, this 21-year-old Russian shined in the playoffs last year, and was doing well this year until injuries caused him to be sidelined for more than two months. Varly is still trying to get his groove back, but he's getting there. Varly also traveled to Vancouver as the third Russian goalie, but didn't play at all.
- Jose Theodore: the veteran, Jose is often ridiculed for his poor performances, but in reality, he isn't that bad. This 33-year-old Canadian has been with the Caps for two years, and is currently in a bit of a hot streak. Jose was pulled last year in the playoffs. While Jose has never won a Stanley Cup, he has won both the Veniza and Hart trophies, awarded to the best goalie and MVP of that year respectively.
- Michal Neuvirth: this 21-year-old Czech goaltender won a Calder Cup with Hershey of the AHL last year, and looked to be set to spend the rest of this year in the Minor Leagues as well. However, an injury to Varlamov led to him being called up, and he played pretty well for two months, at least as well as Theodore. Also a rookie, Neuvirth will be a dark horse to be the playoff starter.
- Braden Holtby: this 20-year-old Canadian goaltender started his season down with the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League, but due to Varly's injury he was called up to Hershey, where he has flourished. Holtby has been instrumental in Hershey's dominance this year. While Holtby likely won't play for the Capitals this year, look for him to see a few games in the 2010-2011 season.