Monday, December 21, 2009

Kid Goalies

Goalies...numbers. Two of our favorite subjects.

Folks who follow the Caps know that the Capitals have some outstanding goaltender prospects in Semyon Varlamov (21 years old), Michal Neuvirth (21) and Braden Holtby (20). But how good? Well, they've certainly had quite a season as a group so far...

Semyon Varlamov leads all rookie NHL goaltenders in wins, and he is second in goals against average and save percentage. He is 16-1-3 in his young NHL career to date.

Michal Neuvirth is fifth in goals against average among all AHL golatenders (second among rookies... yes, he is considered a rookie at that level) and fifth in save percentage (tops among rookies). He is the defending Jack Butterfield Trophy winner as Calder Cup tournament MVP, which he won by virtue of leading the Hershey Bears to the Calder Cup championship last spring.

Braden Holtby is manning the pipes for the Bears while Neuvirth is on call to Washington to replace the injured Varlamov. If anything, he's been better at Hershey than he has been at South Carolina. Although he's seen limited action with the Bears, Holtby still ranks 13th among rookies in wins (despite playing about a third as many games as the leaders), he would be second in the league in save percentage (tops among rookies) if he qualified, and his GAA would be tops in the entire AHL among all goalies.

And this doesn't even include Dan Dunn, who in six games at St. Cloud State, is 4-2-0, 2.32, .926. His noteworthy number is that of the goals he's allowed, almost a third of them come as a result of power plays (five of 14).

The Caps have as talented a group of goalie prospects as they did when they had Jim Carey, Olaf Kolzig, and Byron Dafoe on the roster (all of whom dressed for the Caps in the 1994-1995 season).