After Tuesday’s game, it’s no secret that the Washington Capitals’ goaltending situation needs to be addressed. However, reports indicate their solution likely won’t come in the form of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Washington was rumored to have interest in the former Penguins netminder. A veteran goaltender would serve the team well, especially to serve as a mentor for the younger players and backstop the team on a consistent basis. However, per The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Capitals did in fact make a push for No. 29, but it doesn’t appear that he will be heading to the District.
“They want a starting, Stanley Cup-caliber goaltender,” Seravalli wrote in his Metropolitan Division “Trade Deadline War Room” piece, adding, “They put on the full-court press for Marc-Andre Fleury, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen.”
Seravalli added that there are several Metropolitan Division teams also looking at netminding. Additionally, the options could get thinner and thinner with each day that goes by, and he also said the team wanted a goalie “yesterday.”
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Right now, Washington is going with Ilya Samsonov and Hershey Bears netminder Pheonix Copley. Vitek Vanecek was starting to get into a rhythm, but is now on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury and has not skated. The team also experimented with Zach Fucale, but he is now back in Hershey with Hunter Shepard.
The Capitals have had to pull their goalie in their last two outings. Against Edmonton, Washington pulled Samsonov for Copley after he surrendered three goals on four shots. On Tuesday against Columbus, it was the other way around after Copley gave up four goals on 19 shots.
Through 33 games this season, Fleury is 14-16-3 with a .908 save percentage and 2.93 GAA. Although the numbers aren’t great, he has kept the Blackhawks in it this season. He is a capable netminder and proven winner who has the experience and ability to backstop Washington for a deep playoff run. That is something the team needs right now.
Per Seravalli, the team could also be pursuing a “jack-of-all-trades” forward who can work well with the team’s younger players. Some pieces in play could be their 2022 first-rounder, Vanecek and defenseman Michal Kempny. The 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is March 23 at 3 p.m. ET.