The way things had been progressing for Michal Neuvirth, who hadn’t played since February 18 due to a lower-body injury, it had seemed like a return was imminent. Reports from practice said he’d been skating with the team for a while, and a team that has had significant problems in net with both Neuvirth and Brian Elliott injured would surely be looking to get one of them back in as soon as possible.
That return is now here, as the Flyers have announced that Neuvirth has been activated from the roster.
In the process of bringing back Neuvirth, the Flyers sent Alex Lyon back down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Since Lyon’s recall was an “emergency recall”, the team was forced to make a decision as soon as one of Neuvirth or Elliott got healthy on whether they wanted to send Lyon back to the Phantoms or use one of their remaining post-deadline roster call-ups on him. For now, they’ve chosen to send him back to the Phantoms, though he can be recalled later if the Flyers deem they need a backup and prefer him over any of their options at the NHL level.
Given Mrazek’s struggles since being acquired by Hextall in a pre-deadline trade, one has to think that Hextall will look to lean on Neuvirth as much as he reasonably can for the foreseeable future (at least until Elliott is back, which is apparently expected to be some time next week). This hasn’t always worked out well, given Neuvirth’s injury history that tends to flare up as soon as he’s needed for any extended period of time, but given the urgency of the Flyers’ situation in the playoff race, they may not have much of a choice but to lean on the guy who’s played reasonably well for them (when healthy) this season.
Neuvirth will be available for tonight’s game in Colorado and will presumably be the starter in said game.