Originally posted on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 5/29/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker