Martin Fehervary is not the only player the Capitals are calling up today. They have also summoned AHL All-Star Game MVP goalie Vitek Vanecek from Hershey.
The reason for Vitek’s recall is because Ilya Samsonov left practice early this morning after getting injured by an Alex Ovechkin shot during a rush drill.
The puck struck Sammy on the chin area of his mask. The force of the shot knocked the bucket off his head.
Here's what @KgriggsPhoto caught on video of Samsonov's close shave. HC Todd Reirden says he took the Ovechkin shot, "to the head."
— Chip Brierre (@Chip_Brierre) February 4, 2020
According to RMNB contributor Miranda Rosenfelt, Samsonov did not look good seconds after getting dinged by Ovechkin. He was on his hands and knees with his head hanging down, helmet off, for a while. Eventually, he got up and was helped off the ice by the trainer Jason Serbus and a worried Ovi.
When reporters were allowed in the locker room, Samsonov was seen chatting with his close friend on the team, Dmitry Orlov, as he waited to go through concussion protocol. He did not return to practice.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 4, 2020
Samsonov communicated to reporters that he was fine.
Samsonov was walking around the locker room after practice, said he was OK, fine, did the hand motion when one describes they are okay ish. Reirden *should* provide a further update.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 4, 2020
The Capitals did not take any chances and called up Vitek Vanecek anyway. Vanecek will potentially backup Braden Holtby if Samsonov is not cleared before the game. Holtby was originally slotted to start.
“Purely precautionary and we will have him looked at,” head coach Todd Reirden said.
According to the Bears’ Zack Fisch, Vitek was informed midway through Hershey’s practice this morning and quickly left the ice.
In the past, Caps’ goaltenders have remarked to the media how painful Ovechkin’s shots are.
“I remember this one time he told me to get in the crease so he could practice his one-timers,” Vanecek said over the summer. “I said, ‘Yeah, awesome.’ I went there, he shot three pucks at me, the fourth one hit my head and I couldn’t chew for the rest of the day. My jaw was done.”
“He always shoots me hard,” Samsonov said last month translated by Caps Reddit. “I think he only does it with me. Well, I won’t whine. I am getting good training.”
Asked if he has learned to save his shots, Sammy replied, “No one could save his shots for 15 years. I’m not even going to be smart here.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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