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Michal Neuvirth leaves Panthers-Capitals game

Apr 5, 2012, 8:25 PM EDT

Michal Neuvirth AP

Among stats nerds, Braden Holtby‘s small sample size of success* has made him something of a punchline. The Washington Capitals must hope that he can regain that spirit, however, as Michal Neuvirth went down writhing in pain during tonight’s big game against the Washington Capitals.

Then again, there might actually be a nice indirect effect to Neuvirth’s potential leg injury, which came when former Cap Marco Sturm fell awkwardly around his knee. (Obligatory joke: Sturm isn’t content to simply hurt himself anymore.)

Alex Ovechkin scored a 2-0 goal shortly after Neuvirth was injured, and while this could just be a coincidence, I got the feeling that Washington saw its goalie go down and decide to nix the “sit on a two-goal lead” plan. (And just as I was about to publish this post, Brooks Laich made it 3-0.)

The Capitals have been guilty of trying to get by with flimsy leads an awful lot lately, although they’ve managed to squeeze out some shootout wins in all but an ugly loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

There’s still plenty of time for Washington and Florida to swap fates – if you are a committed follower of the NHL’s stretch run races, you know that weird things can happen – but there might be at least a short-term shot in the arm advantage to this injury.

Still, the longer-term worry is undeniable: the Capitals might just be down to their third goalie as the playoffs approach if Neuvirth’s issue ends up being serious. (Many believe Tomas Vokoun‘s Capitals days are already over.)

* – Some Caps fans based a tiny body of work last season as proof that Semyon Varlamov was the team’s third best goalie at the time. Cute.

  1. ravenscaps48 - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    That hurt my knee watching it happen

  2. philly4lyfe - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    I don’t think nuevirth is playing against the caps.

  3. wheresdapuck - Apr 6, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    Vokoun left the ice after that groin injury on his own in the previous game. Neuvy needed help last night to get off the ice. That tells me Neuvy will probably be out for the rest of this season. It will be interesting to see who gets called up from the Hersey Bears, because I have no idea who the 4th string goalie is. However, it is Holtby’s time to shine and he could become one of the best goalies in the NHL.

    And we was the goaltender interference call last night? Strum feel into Neuvy and was not pushed by another Cap.

    • t9tookey - Apr 6, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      The next in line is Dany Sabourin. He’s played every game down here in Hershey since Holtby got recalled, somthing like 7-8 straight. But anymore injuries to goalies and there will be a real problem for the Caps because I don’t think they have any other healthy goalies signed. Philipe Grubauer is the 5th goalie, he was playing lights out in the ECHL but he’s out for the season.

      Can the Caps sign anyone on an emergency basis?

  4. watermelon1 - Apr 6, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Actually… The article got it right. The Capitals goalie is always playing against the Capitals. That “defense” led by the amazing Mike Green always seems to be against whoever the Caps put in net.

  5. kgun80 - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    The NY Rangers are breathing a sigh of relief… They get to face the Caps.. They went from a possible tough series with Buffalo.. To a breezy series against the over rated.. Lazy team … Ny in 5.

    • davidpcoelho - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Because the last time the Rangers saw the Caps in the playoffs it went so well right?

      Feel free to reply with excuses on why a lazy team won last year now…because it will still not have changed the outcome.

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