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Is Neuvirth’s Injury Cause For Concern?

Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth has now been out one week (seven days) with what he, and the team are calling a badly bruised right foot. Neuvirth, left this morning’s practice at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex early. After emerging from the team’s locker room, he could be seen walking gingerly through the arena. The injury was suffered in the morning skate prior to the Capitals game against the Tampa Bay Lightning last Monday, which Neuvirth was scheduled to be the backup for. Since then, Neuvirth has not suited up for a game and he believes today was a setback on his return.

The team has officially listed Neuvirth as day-to-day with a lower body injury. However, Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t see Neuvirth as day-to-day or fit to backup, let alone start, a game until he improves drastically.

“I’ve got to figure he’s got to go through a full practice to be the backup.” – Washington Capitals Head Coach, Bruce Boudreau

Neuvirth, who started the first game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes, was thought to challenge Tomas Vokoun for the starting spot in net. However, with this nagging injury, and no time table set for a return, it seems as though the Capitals will be using their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, goalies. Both Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin have been called up and sent down for the previous two games respectively. It is assumed that Vokoun will get the start against his former team, the Florida Panthers, tomorrow evening with either Holtby or Sabourin getting the backup slot. I would imagine Holtby would get the call, seeing as he saw minimal action in the NHL last season with the Capitals, and made quite the name for himself.

With the way Holtby has been progressing, and based on the action he saw last year at the NHL level, I don’t see Neuvirth’s injury to be too big of a concern moving forward. However, depending on how long Neuvirth is out, he may be replaced by Holtby on the Capitals roster. This injury is more concerning for Neuvirth than it is for the Washington Capitals organization.

I would like to see Neuvirth back in action by next week, but only time will tell with this injury.