Updated 9:19 p.m.: Michal Neuvirth was slated to start Friday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center, but as the netminder took to the ice for pre-game warmups he stepped on a puck and slipped.
Neuvirth suffered an apparent injury to his right leg during the session, was unable to put any weight on that leg as he hobbled on to the bench and needed help from the athletic training staff to make it down the tunnel. Coach Adam Oates couldn’t offer any type of timeline for Neuvirth’s recovery, but as of Friday night he didn’t believe the injury is serious. It sounds like the team is waiting to see how the goaltender feels over the next day or so.
“My understanding is he stood on a puck as he first came out,” Oates said. “Lights come on he went out, stepped on a puck.”
Neuvirth will not travel to face the New York Islanders on Saturday, Oates said. The Capitals were still deciding whom to recall from Hershey to join them on Long Island for that contest Oates said postgame. The Bears play Saturday as well.
That meant Braden Holtby got the start against the Canadiens. With Neuvirth out, video coach Brett Leonhardt was signed to an amateur tryout contract and will serve as Holtby’s backup. Leonhardt’s been in this spot before, when he served as an emergency backup in December 2008. Leonhardt likely won’t be on the bench during Friday’s the game, but rather in full gear in the Capitals’ video room that way he can be ready if needed but still fulfill his regular responsibilities as a video coach.
From CSN Washington, here’s video of Neuvirth heading off the ice.
And here’s a shot of Leonhardt playing the dual role of video coach and backup goaltender, via Caps PR director Sergey Kocharov.
2nd intermission for Stretch. pic.twitter.com/Yj14X2UJ7u
— Sergey Kocharov (@SergeyKocharov) November 30, 2013