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Neuvirth and Varlamov: The Biggest Difference So Far

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All indications are that Michal Neuvirth will get the start tonight in Montreal, which is interesting in at least one respect - it will give Neuvi the same number of NHL regular season starts and appearances as fellow blue-chipper and teammate Semyon Varlamov. Here's what the two have been able to do so far in their respective NHL careers:


GP GS MIN W L O GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Michal Neuvirth 21 18 1066
11 5
0 49
2.76 552 503 .911 0


GP GS MIN W L O GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Semyon Varlamov 22 19 1253 16 1 3 47 2.25 608
561
.923 2

The road has been a bit smoother for Varly (maybe not as much as you'd think, though - each goalie, for example, has five starts in which he has allowed four or more goals against), and we all know what each did in the postseason last year.

But perhaps the most important number to note here is that while Varlamov has made just 29 regular season professional starts since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Neuvirth has made 46 (a number that would have been higher had the organization not spent so much time trying to find another AHL team and a European squad to transfer him to in the fall of 2008). Bottom line here? After tonight, the Caps' two young goaltenders will have the same number of NHL regular season starts and appearances, and relatively similar stat lines. One big difference, though, has been in their respective abilities to stay healthy. And that matters.