Michal Neuvirth went down on Saturday with a frightening injury, but an update on the condition of the Philadelphia Flyers goalie might bring a bit of relief to fans on edge.
Neuvirth was in net for the Flyers in Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils, but collapsed without contact close to 7 1/2 minutes into the game. While the action was taking place away from the Flyers net, Neuvirth fell backward onto the ice.
Play stopped and the team’s doctors rushed onto the ice, but Neuvirth appeared to be unconscious as they started to attend to him. As ESPN noted, it took a few minutes for Neuvirth to start moving again.
“Neuvirth appeared to be unconscious for a brief time, but began moving his arms and legs and sat up in his crease before being placed on a stretcher and carted off the ice,” the report noted. “He was making his 28th appearance of the season and first since March 25.”
But an update on Michal Neuvirth’s condition had a positive sign for Philadelphia Flyers fans. Reports noted that he was awake and alert after being taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Neuvirth is awake as he's taken off the ice. Gave a wave to the crowd. Scary situation. pic.twitter.com/38l5a9fBRu— PhillyGirl1437 (@PhillyGirl1437) April 1, 2017
There may be an explanation for why Michal Neuvirth collapsed. The Courier Post online noted that other Flyers players have been battling illness, with fellow goalie Steve Mason unable to suit up on Saturday after falling ill.
Some other Flyers players noted that Neuvirth had complained that he also felt ill going into the game.
“He wasn’t feeling that well in the locker room and we were worried about him,” winger Colin McDonald said in an interview during Saturday’s first intermission.
Others suggested that Michal Neuvirth may have simply fainted when he collapsed to the ice.
“It’s obviously pretty scary when you see your goaltender just collapse like that,” Chris VandeVelde said in a first intermission interview. “Not sure really what happened if he fainted or got lightheaded or what, but pretty scary and glad to see he was moving and functioning when he was rolled off the ice.”
Even before the game, the Flyers appeared to be taking precautions to shore up their goalie situation, the Courier Post noted.
“Anthony Stolarz, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms goalie, was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at 5 p.m., thinking he was suiting up for a game between the Phantoms and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Flyers called and told him to hustle down to Philadelphia because Mason was ill.
“They also called Eric Semborski, a Temple University alum with no pro experience who was called to duty in a Flyers game on Dec. 3. Semborski works for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and dressed for the Chicago Blackhawks when goalie Corey Crawford had an emergency appendectomy.”
Neuvirth had been in a similar situation in the past. In 2010, the 22-year-old goalie was in net for the Washington Capitals when Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec collapsed without contact as well. Pavelec would later be diagnosed with a neurocardiogenic syncope episode, the Courier Post noted.
While there are indications that Neuvirth’s condition may not be serious, it’s still not clear if he could miss some time while recovering. There have also been no reports yet on whether he will remain in the hospital through Sunday or if he would be released.
A full update on Michal Neuvirth’s condition will be released on Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced after the game.
[Featured Image by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]