Washington Capitals 22 year old goaltender from the Czech Republic, Michael Neuvirth has been named the NHL's Rookie Of The Month for the month of October, 2010, to add to back to back AHL Calder Cup Championships he already has under his belt with Caps AHL Affiliate Hershey Bears. Nicklas Backstrom was the last Capital to take this honor back in December of 2007. Neuvirth is only the 3rd Capitals goaltender to win the honor in franchise history and first in 15 years, joining Jim Carey who won it in March 1995, and Bob Mason who won it way back in December of 1984.
Neuvirth took the honor by earning 7 wins, with only 3 losses, a 2.15 GAA (goals against average), and a .926 save percentage in that span. He has allowed two or fewer goals in 8 of his last 9 games. Neuvirth is tied for first in the NHL in wins with Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, and places 8th in both GAA and save percentage. Neuvirth has played the majority of the Capitals games this season while Semyon Varlamov has been recovering from a persistent groin injury. He has been particularly stingy with not leaving juicy rebounds for opponents to pick off and attempt a score, and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Many of the goals that have been scored on him have been either deflections, or very poor defencive play in front of him, and have not been because of poor play in the net. If Neuvirth can keep up this level of play, and Varlamov can recover and return to his great form, the Capitals should be very tough to beat between the pipes for the remainder of the season.
CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL NEUVIRTH! NHL ROOKIE OF THE MONTH!