Flyers

Flyers Notes: Ron Hextall provides latest on Michal Neuvirth

Flyers Notes: Ron Hextall provides latest on Michal Neuvirth

NEW YORK -- Flyers general manager Ron Hextall refused to say exactly what was the final diagnosis on goalie Michal Neuvirth, but outward signs seem to indicate a sinus infection and chest cold.

Given all his medical tests came back negative for anything else and this was the one issue that had been lingering with Neuvirth, it's safe to say that's why he passed out in his crease during the opening minutes of Saturday's 3-0 win over New Jersey.
 
"My understanding is his sinus was clogged up and that has something to do with it," Hextall said Sunday, reiterating he's not a doctor.

Doctors are not permitted to speak to the media.

"He didn't know [what happened]," Hextall said. "He said neutral zone faceoff and got a little dizzy."
 
Neuvirth was dehydrated, too.
 
"Again, I don't want to get into details, but dehydration affects the body in funny ways, so I am sure when you get sick, hydration is an issue," Hextall said. "I am sure it was probably tied in there. All the tests came back normal."
 
Hextall said that Steve Mason, who missed Saturday's game entirely, had a stomach virus. Mason backed up Anthony Stolarz during Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Rangers (see game story).
 
Several players said a flu bug has been going around the dressing room for a while now and weren't surprised that Neuvirth might have been affected.
 
Asked whether he was comfortable his medical team didn't miss any significant signs that they need to be aware of in the future, Hextall said he had full confidence his medical team handled things correctly.
 
"I don't think there is a whole lot that can be done there," Hextall said. "I have he had a sinus infection for a month-and-a-half now. Guys have had it, too.
 
"If guys didn't play when they had a little sniffle, then we wouldn't have too many players for the whole year. We'd play a dozen every night."
 
Returned
Nick Schultz, a healthy scratch for four games, returned to the lineup in place of Radko Gudas (concussion). Since the All-Star break, Schultz had been scratched 17 of 28 games.
 
Dual shutout
Saturday was the Flyers' first shared goaltender shutout since Nov. 15, 2001, when Brian Boucher and Roman Cechmanek combined to shut out the Washington Capitals, 5-0, in Philadelphia. It is just the third combined shutout on record in Flyers history, joining that one and one by Ron Hextall and John Vanbiesbrouck on Jan. 9, 1999, a 2-0 win against Carolina.

Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

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AP Images

Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Schwartz has four goals and six assists this season and has at least one point in six of the Blues' first seven games. It was his 51st career multi-point game and fourth this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves. The Blues snapped a two-game losing streak

Duncan Keith and Ryan Hartman had late goals for Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves (see full recap).

Maple Leafs ride big 1st period to win
TORONTO -- Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in his season debut and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times in the first period in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Starting in place of Frederik Andersen, McElhinney stopped 14 shots in the third period to hold off the Red Wings.

Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, Connor Brown, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored to help Toronto improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0. The Maple Leafs were coming off a 2-0 victory at Washington on Tuesday night.

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Ericsson scored for the Red Wings, and Nick Jensen had three assists.

Jimmy Howard gave up three goals on four shots before getting yanked in favor of Petr Mrazek late in the first period (see full recap).

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

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USA Today Images

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

For the first time in his nine-year career, Michal Neuvirth knows when he gets home at night after a game, there will be someone waiting for him with a smile.

Win or lose, it doesn’t matter to Neuvirth, or especially to his one-month-old daughter, Emily Gudasová Carolina.

“When you come home, there’s a baby waiting and it's such an amazing feeling that someone is waiting for you at home,” Neuvirth said after Tuesday's 5-1 win over Florida. “Last year, I was mostly here by myself, so I definitely like it better having a family with me now.”

Family now consists of his newborn daughter, his fiancee Karolína Gudasová and uncle Radko Gudas, Gudasová’s older brother and Neuvirth’s Flyers teammate.

To those of us on the outside, the responsibility of fatherhood seemingly has altered Neuvirth’s disposition. He smiles more, cracks a few jokes and elaborates just a little more with his answers to the media. Perhaps, he can tolerate us because there’s a deeper purpose and a sense of providing that comes with fatherhood.  

“It’s an amazing feeling being a dad,” Neuvirth said. “For me, I just have another motivation to play for my family now.”

Of course, it also helps I’ve yet to see Neuvirth yawn or show up to practice with bags under his eyes. He has escaped any late-night drama with an eight-day road trip to start the season, and for now, he apparently has a rare lifetime pass for any early morning feedings.  

“I have an amazing fiancee. She takes care of her (Emily) as much as she needs to,” Neuvirth said. “I usually put her to bed at 10-10:30. During the night, Karolina goes and feeds her in the living room, and I’m a deep sleeper, so she doesn’t wake me up.”

As Gudasová has kept an eye on the cradle, Neuvirth has secured the crease. He’s allowed three goals in his two starts this season with a .956 save percentage, which has initiated the debate for more playing time.

Interestingly, adapting to a new addition is something Neuvirth has also discussed with teammate and fellow netminder, Brian Elliott, who went through a similar set of circumstances with his son, Owen, last season in Calgary. Elliott called that first month with the Flames “a huge adjustment” and his October numbers reflected that.

Six games into the season, Neuvirth apparently has it all figured out. 

Of course, a good night’s sleep has a way of bringing clarity to the situation.