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Tomas Vokoun gets to play tonight, after all

Michal Neuvirth, Bobby Butler

Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth (30), of the Czech Republic, deflects a shot by Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Butler (16) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)


Dale Hunter said that he decided to start Michal Neuvirth (pictured) instead of Tomas Vokoun because of a “gut feeling.” That feeling must resemble indigestion right now.

Neuvirth was yanked from tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres after allowing three goals on just six shots. That was 11:15 into the game, leaving Vokoun enough time to give up a tally of his own. Both goalies currently have only stopped half of the shots they’ve seen through a first period that Stephen Whyno calls the worst the Caps have played under Hunter.

It looks like Washington’s goalie conundrum continues - and it’s not a good problem to have, like the solid situation in St. Louis.

Ultimately, it seems like the answer to “What is ailing the Capitals?” might just be “Everything.” Their offense is average, their defense tends to shoot itself in the foot and their goalie duo continues to struggle.

The Capitals have 40 minutes to turn things around and 4-0 leads aren’t as hopeless as they were before the lockout. Still, it’s periods like these that make you wonder if the Capitals are just a mediocre team instead of being a sleeping giant.