Holtby prac­tises after hit in eye with a high stick

The Welland Tribune - - Sports - IS­ABELLE KHUR­SHUDYAN

Wash­ing­ton Capi­tals goal­tender Braden Holtby prac­tised fully Sun­day morn­ing, ap­par­ently no worse for wear after Colum­bus for­ward Cam Atkin­son in­ad­ver­tently wedged his stick through a hole in Holtby’s mask.

The ac­ci­dent in­jured Holtby’s left eye in the sec­ond pe­riod of Satur­day night’s game.

The Blue Jack­ets won the game, 2-1 in over­time.

Holtby didn’t re­turn to the game, and it’s un­clear if he’ll start against the St. Louis Blues on Mon­day, the first game of a back-to-back set.

But coach Todd Reirden said the team doesn’t in­tend to re­call an­other net­min­der, in­di­cat­ing Holtby is at least healthy enough to dress.

Wash­ing­ton could choose to start Pheonix Cop­ley against the Blues and then have Holtby in net against the Nashville Preda­tors on Tues­day.

“Ob­vi­ously, any­thing with your eyes is a lit­tle scary,” Holtby said.

“It’s for­tu­nate that it wasn’t any­thing too se­ri­ous.

“You just move on . ... I didn’t have the sight to keep go­ing. I just wouldn’t have been a ben­e­fit to the team. it was one of those things. Eyes heal quickly, so just 24 hours and I’ll be back to nor­mal.”

Holtby, who has had laser eye surgery in the past, in­ti­mated his vi­sion isn’t quite 100 per cent yet, but “it’s pro­gress­ing the right way, ob­vi­ously,” he said.

“Like any­thing, a scratch to your eye takes a bit to heal.”

Said Reirden: “It’s some­thing you’ve got to be ex­tremely care­ful with and cau­tious.

“He’s had some other work done on his eyes in the past, so it was a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion for us at the time ...

“We needed to make sure we han­dled (it) prop­erly and went through all the proper steps to make sure there was no fur­ther is­sues ...

“We’re go­ing to see how it is to­mor­row still.

“Just with the sweat and all that, it’s go­ing to get re-eval­u­ated right now, so that was a step in the process.”

Braden Holtby

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