Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth says he wants to be a starter

Bruce Bennett

Do the Capitals have a goalie controversy on their hands?

Michal Neuvirth hasn't started a game for the Washington Capitals since November 22, when he gave up three goals to the Montreal Canadiens in the first period en route to a 3-2 loss.

Since then, he injured himself slipping on a puck during warmups and got sent to the AHL on a rehab stint while rookie Philipp Grubauer sparkled as Braden Holtby's replacement in D.C.

Neuvirth returned from injury this week, but was a healthy scratch on Friday as coach Adam Oates put Grubauer between the pipes against the Hurricanes. Holtby had already overtaken Neuvirth as the Capitals' starting netminder, and now his position as backup might in jeopardy as well.

Neuvirth made an interesting comment about his role on Saturday.

Is that desire or dissatisfaction? It's hard to read into a single comment, but you can imagine Neuvirth being frustrated to some extent.

However, Capitals are probably just as disappointed with his performance this season. Neuvirth is 2-3-1 with a 2.83 goals against average and a .912 save percentage this season. He hasn't been able to nail down the starting job for the last several seasons, even when Semyon Varlamov was traded away to Colorado.

CSN's Chuck Gormley threw out Neuvirth's name last month as a possible trade candidate. With Grubauer and Holtby forming a reliable combination this season, Washington's situation in net might be worth watching over the next few months.

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