T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov are both good to go for tonight, per Caps head coach Peter Laviolette. Darcy Kuemper, as expected, will be in net.
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) October 12, 2022
“I’m super excited for this year,” said Kuemper on Tuesday. “You know last year was obviously a ton of fun, a dream come true. You know those are a lot of friends over there that’ll be friends for life, but I’m excited for this new chapter, new adventure, can’t wait to get it started tomorrow.”
Kuemper, who signed a five-year free agent contract with the Caps after backstopping the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup win since 2001, will be absent from the raising of the Stanley Cup banner in Colorado, but remains focused on helping his current team to a victory. Kuemper was 37-12-4, with a .921 save percentage, a 2.54 goals-against average and five shutouts in 57 games last season with the Avalanche.
“I’ll probably watch a highlight of it,” Kuemper said, “But, you know, it is what it is, I won’t be thinking of that tomorrow at all. Not till after the game for sure”, he added on Tuesday.
The Capitals will open their season at Capital One Arena before traveling to Toronto to face one of Kuemper’s predecessors in net, Ilya Samsonov and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The atmosphere of his Caps debut is something the former sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Wild is looking forward to.
“Super excited,” said Kuemper, smiling. “You know, being on the other side of it, it’s a real tough rink to come in and play, because the crowd’s always so loud. I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of that and having them cheer us on, so it’ll be a lot of fun.”
As we previously noted, Kuemper is 1-6-0 with a .894 save percentage and a 3.03 goals-against average in seven career games vs. BOS (including 1-1-0, .896 save percentage, 3.97 goals-against average last season).
For those wondering, Kuemper has a better career record against the Toronto Maple Leafs, tomorrow night’s opponent (3-2, .909 sv%, 2.50 GAA, 1 SO).
By Jon Sorensen