Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media following the team’s optional morning skate this morning in Detroit. He announced that Zach Fucale will get the start in goal tonight against the Red Wings. This will be Fucale’s first career NHL start. Ilya Samsonov will be the backup. Vitek Vanecek is taking a maintenance day.
Laviolette said he didn’t want to make any statements re the goaltender for tomorrow’s game against Columbus but they would continue to assess things with Vanecek.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 11, 2021
Fucale, 26, is 3-0-2 with Hershey this season with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. The 6’2″, 189-pound goaltender is tied for second in the AHL in goals-against average among goaltenders with at least five games played.
[Zach Fucale: 2021 Annual Review and Forecast]
During the 2020-21 season, the Laval, Quebec, native led the AHL in goals-against average (1.80) and ranked second in save percentage (.932), establishing career highs in both categories.
Fucale played 11 games with Hershey, the most games he has played at the AHL level since the 2017-18 season, posting a 9-2-0-1 record. Fucale’s nine wins were tied for eighth in the AHL, while his two losses were the fewest among goaltenders with at least 660 minutes played.
“I feel like the last few years have been trending in the right direction. I got a good thing going and I’m just sticking to my game. I feel like things are working well right now.”
Zach Fucale after today’s practice.#ALLCAPS | @MedStarHealth pic.twitter.com/9b6s2f1yyF
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 10, 2021
Fucale and Pheonix Copley received the AHL’s Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.
By Jon Sorensen
I think that Sammy has pissed Lavi off and Lavi is trying to decide what to do. Do the Caps keep Sammy in DC or do they send him to Hershey/trade him and go with Vee and Fucale.
At the very least, it sends a signal to Sammy.
I think VV is still hurting and he doesn’t want to make it worse. They’re playing a back to back and he made the choice to save Samsonov for Columbus and put Fucale in tonight and let VV rest for the weekend.
It’s not always deeper than it is.
Totally agree with both previous statements; VV is hurting right now and whatever Samsonov did a couple of games ago put him in the doghouse and Im thinking that if Fucale plays well Samsonov goes to Hershey or maybe hits the road in a trade. think that the HC and management is tired of his antics especially at what they are paying him.Could we see VV maybe go on the IR for 10 days and Copley make an appearance ?