Once upon a time, the Washington Capitals had three wonderful goaltending prospects.
The first, a quiet Czech netminder by the name of Michal Neuvirth, put up steady numbers from 2008 to 2014 before getting dealt to the Buffalo Sabres in an attempt to fix their floundering depth chart.
The second was a stoic, serious goaltender from Saskatchewan named Braden Holtby. He stuck around, rising through the ranks to become the team’s de facto number one by the 2013-14 season and a Vezina candidate a few years later. He won the coveted trophy in 2016, and hopes to repeat before long.
The final one was a befuddling Russian pro named Semyon Varlamov. He, Holtby, and Neuvirth split the net for just one season - the 2010-11 campaign - before he was moved to get a shot as a full-time starter for the Colorado Avalanche.
Now, one Vezina finalist nomination later, he’s looking to prove that his injuries won’t hold him back - facing none other than Holtby tonight in his 300th dame as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
Landy-MacK-Rantanen— Jesse Montano (@jessemontano_) November 15, 2017
Jost is not on the ice.
The biggest good news ahead of the game is the arrival of Vladislav Kamenev, who lit up the AHL during his first four games in San Antonio prior to the recall.
With four assists for the Rampage already, Kamenev will attempt to fill the hole Duchene left between Sven Andrighetto and Nail Yakupov. Both have strong offensive instincts, while he has a good playmaking air behind his style - so hopefully, he’ll have a great shot in the line he played on yesterday at practice.
There’s some bad news as a chaser, though: Tyson Barrie is out.
Tyson Barrie still in red here at AM skate, likely out tonight vs Washington #Avs— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) November 16, 2017
No word yet what kind of injury he’s dealing with, but it’s yet another hit for the Central Division club; it seems that as soon as one player gets better, another goes down.
Trotz said Djoos is out tomorrow. Doesn't have a timeframe for injury. Chorney will play tomorrow.— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 15, 2017
The Capitals haven’t been particularly forthcoming with their line combinations for tonight’s game, but The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan did confirm that Christian Djoos is out with an upper-body injury.
That’s not particularly reassuring for Washington, as those two teams sit at the bottom of the barrel to kick off the season. It should make for plenty of determination to face off against the Avalanche and their own three-game losing streak.
You can watch tonight’s game at 7:00 PM MST on Altitude TV.