Capitals coach Adam Oates has a decision to make about his starting goalie entering Saturday’s season-opening game at Tampa Bay. Does he go with Braden Holtby, who was so good in 14 Stanley Cup playoff games last spring? Or will it be Michal Neuvirth, who started 30 games last season and 45 the season before?

Oates does have a handle on who his position players expect to be there – at least for Game 1:

“I would think that the guys expect Holts to be in the net based on last year, for sure,” Oates said.

But he didn’t go so far as to directly name Holtby the starter, either. In a way it doesn’t matter. Given the truncated schedule both Holtby and Neuvirth will see their share of time in the net. He is inclined to go with a hot goalie, Oates said. Both men will get the chance to go on a streak and earn a primary role. But as for wanting a clear No. 1:

“I’ve got two young kids. They’re both very good goalies,” Oates said. “I can’t say that I have an answer for that. Obviously, I was just in New Jersey where Marty Brodeur, it’s not a question. We all know it. But circumstances are different.”

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