Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/12/14
As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals.  As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who finished his fourth season in the Washington organization on this past campaign. Season Summary: Ouch.  After starting opening night against Carolina and picking up a win, Neuvirth got hurt soon after taking warmups in and did not play again until late October, at which point he was decidedly poor.  He seemingly turned a corner around Christmas when he was given five straight starts, but in the Caps' first game after the holidays in Buffalo he had the worst start of his career, allowing three goals on six shots in just over 11 minutes.  Down the stretch, Neuvirth improved slightly, but was also very bad for stretches, such as a string in mid-March where he gave up four or more goals in five of seven appearances.  Despite all of this, however, he was in line to start in the playoffs because of an injury to Tomas Vokoun before he himself fell victim to a hip flexor strain on April 5th against the Panthers.  Overall, he was 13-13-5 with a 2.83 GAA, .903 save percentage, and three shutouts in 38 games (30 starts).  Grade: C- Role Play: As a backup goalie, particularly one as young and good as Neuvirth, your job is to be able to help your team win and not let in soft goals regularly, neither of which Neuvirth was able to do on a regular basis.  There was no consistency, and quite frankly, the only reason his numbers were not worse was because he shut out two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, Toronto and Montreal.  He wasn't able to carry the load at times, which I expected from him.  This was simply Neuvirth never finding his groove and falling victim to a sophomore slump.  The result: a poor season.  This wasn't the coaching staff's fault, either, for playing a better goalie than him (Vokoun) when he was healthy.  They didn't "need to give him a chance."  This is the NHL, where as a 24 year old, you earn your playing time.  Mikey didn't.  Grade: C- Playoffs: Neuvirth was healthy enough to back up for the majority of the Caps' Braden Holtby-fueled postseason run, but never got in to the net because of the stellar play of his counterpart in the Washington nets. Grade: N/A Future Potential: Despite his down 2011-12 campaign, Neuvirth's future remains very bright.  Sometimes, sophomore slumps happen with goalies, and though it's frustrating, it's not the end.  Neuvirth still has good positioning, strong technique, a fast glove, and is not afraid to challenge shooters.  This, compared with the fact that Neuvirth is signed for one more year at $1.15 million before he reaches restricted free agency, means there is zero chance that he is traded this offseason unless it's for one of the top centers in the game.  He is young, cheap, and has superior talent, trading him for anything less than an elite player would not only force an unproven goalie into a 60-game workload but it would also rob the Caps of their organizational depth at the goaltending position.  Plus, with Neuvirth's talent, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he, and not Braden Holtby, is the starter in the future.  He's that good.  Grade: A The next report card will feature defenseman Dmitry Orlov. As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Did Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after touchdown run?

Sherman has torn ligaments, Thomas dislocated shoulder

Goodell turns gown interview with NBC before Super Bowl

Insider information suspected on National Anthem betting

Giants co-owner Ann Mara dies at age 85


Pats-Seahawks tickets most expensive in S.B. history

Report: Seahawks offer Lynch a huge contract

Super Bowl matchup of low round QBs a rarity

Reporter who broke Deflategate story receiving death threats

Sherman not expecting baby on Super Bowl Sunday

Report: Peyton Manning likely to announce return shortly

Overtime rules: what happens if Patriots, Seahawks are tied

Seahawks get away with roughing the kicker on punt?

Marshawn Lynch rocks gold cleats during pregame

Earl Thomas did not like ‘Legion of Boom’ nickname at first

WATCH: Kevin Love booed by fans in return to Minnesota

WATCH: Gregg Popovich gets nailed in head with a shot

Tom Brady sounds fired up for Super Bowl

Deion Sanders’ charter school shut down

The six most popular players in Super Bowl XLIX

Tony Dungy voted for Bobby Wagner for NFL MVP

Patriots' footballs were 'just a few ticks' under limit?

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Seahawks make Lynch a huge offer?

Super Bowl matchup of low-round QBs a rarity

Kevin Love booed in Minnesota return

Deion’s charter school shut down

Dungy cast the Wagner MVP vote

Report: Jets, Bills to pursue Revis

Did the Falcons pipe in crowd noise?

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.