24 - Number of times two goalies drafted by the Washington Capitals have appeared in an NHL game for opposing teams. Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov could make that 25 tomorrow night in Colorado.
A bit more on the history:
- Like Neuvirth and Varlamov, who were separated by just ten picks in the 2006 Entry Draft, the last two Caps-drafted goalies to face one another in an NHL game, Olie Kolzig and Byron Dafoe, were members of the same draft class (in their case, 1989; Kolzig was chosen 19th overall, Dafoe 35th). They last went at it on February 12, 2003.
- Kolzig and Dafoe faced each other 20 times, with Dafoe winning eight, Kolzig seven, the two tying four times and each having one no-decision. Of course, Kolzig was 4-2 against Dafoe when it mattered most - in the 1998 playoffs.
- Since 1987, goalies drafted by the same team in the same year have faced each other 85 times, with the 20 meetings between Kolzig and Dafoe leading the way. Martin Brodeur and Mike Dunham, drafted in 1990 by New Jersey, have clashed 15 times, while Tomas Vokoun and Jose Theodore (Montreal, 1994) come in third with 11 meetings... and counting.
- It's well known that Kolzig and Dafoe were each the other's best man in their respective weddings, share a strong commitment to a common cause... and fought (or "fought") one another on November 21, 1998.
- Moving on, Dafoe faced Jim Carey twice, beating him both times, though Carey got no decision in one of the two. In that no-decision (October 20, 1995 versus Dafoe's Kings), Carey was replaced by Kolzig, meaning that three Caps-drafted goalies appeared in the same game.
- The other two match-ups to make the list pitted Jim Hrivnak against Peter Sidorkiewicz, with Hrivnak's Caps winning both.
- In Kolzig's one start against the Caps (I know, we've all tried to block it out), he faced Brent Johnson.