After being raked in the eye by Cam Atkinson’s errant stick and serving as Pheonix Copley’s backup for two consecutive games, Braden Holtby fully participated in Capitals practice Thursday morning – the team’s first time on the ice since a 7-2 drubbing against the Nashville Predators.
It’s unclear which goalie will start against the New York Islanders on Friday, but Holtby’s full participation is another good sign in his recovery.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 17, 2019
“[My vision] is progressing. It’s doing a lot better,” Holtby said. “It just didn’t clear up as quick as we were expecting it to. Just one of those things where it was a decision where you don’t really know what it’s gonna be like in a game and there was a bit of doubt about what I was gonna react like.”
When asked if he would play Friday, Holtby said “we’ll find out tomorrow,” noting that for the Nashville game he “obviously wasn’t close enough to 100% where we felt comfortable that it was for the best, betterment of the team.”
Caps head coach Todd Reirden added that the Capitals are considering calling up a goaltender from AHL Hershey.
Reirden said he’s considering recalling another goalie, something the team didn’t have time to do in Nashville. They’re taking Holtby’s status minute-by-minute.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 17, 2019
After suffering the injury Saturday night against Columbus, Holtby practiced the next morning, but did not play in either of the Capitals’ back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. Holtby was scheduled to start the Tuesday game against Nashville, but hours before the puck drop, the team decided to hold the goaltender out for precautionary reasons.
If Copley gets the nod on Friday, he’ll have started in three consecutive games for only the second time this season.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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