Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek was forced from the net Saturday night with a lower-body injury. One ex-goalie-turned-pundit blamed the rookie for the exit.
Vanecek skated off 13-plus minutes into Game 1 of Washington's first-round Malik Hooker Jerseys series vs. Boston after appearing to hurt his groin on a goal by the Bruins' Jake DeBrusk. That prompted Kelly Hrudey to go after Vanecek during the first intermi sion on Sportsnet's "Hockey Night in Canada." In Hrudey's mind, Vanecek hadn't properly prepared for a Stanley Cup playoff game.
"I gue s there's a part of me that I'm supposed to feel sorry for Vanecek, his first-ever NHL playoff start, but first of all, this is a Curtis Brooks Jerseys bad goal; he just wasn't ready. You could tell immediately that something was wrong," Hrudey said as a replay of the goal was shown over his voice. "But I'm sorry, if you're an NHL goaltender, you should not be pulling or straining a muscle.
"That's one of your jobs, to make sure that you're stretched out, whether that means you stretch eight to 10 times during the Nick Cross Jerseys course of a day before the game to make sure this doesn't happen. I mean, you've got to be a better pro than that."
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Veteran goalie Craig Anderson replaced Vanecek in net.
The Caps later announced that Vanecek would not return. Pheonix Copley, who played for the team's AHL affiliate in Hershey, Pa., this season, was named the emergency backup.
Vanecek, 25, started 36 of the Caps' 56 games as a rookie during the regular season. He posted a 21-10-0 record, a 2.69 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. The Czech Republic native was a Kylen Granson Jerseys second-round draft pick by Washington in 2014.
Anderson, who will turn 40 on May 21, has 46 games of playoff experience with the Avalanche and Senators. His last postseason appearance was in 2017 with Ottawa.
Anderson was on the active roster in place of Ilya Samsonov, who came off the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list Saturday but did not dre s for the East Division series opener.
"It's unfair to the organization, it's unfair to Craig Anderson,"Hrudey, who played in 677 regular-season games and 85 playoff games in the NHL Braden Smith Jerseys with the Islanders, Kings and Sharks, said of Vanecek having to leave the game.