Of his four full seasons in the NHL, this is the smallest workload Michal Neuvirth has ever seen. He’s played in only 10 games and started just twice in the past 22 games.

Part of the limited game time is because the 25-year-old Czech fell ill in February and then again in early March, missing his opportunities for starts but it’s also a reflection of Coach Adam Oates’s confidence in Braden Holtby.

“It’s a first time situation for me, I always played a lot more than this year but it is what it is. I’m [a] pro and I’m trying to support Holtsy and the team” said Neuvirth, who has gone 2-4-1 with a .899 save percentage and 2.99 goals-against average. “I wish I play more but it is what it is. I gotta handle it, but I’m looking forward to next game.”

Neuvirth admitted it’s been a trying season. He’s trying to gauge his progress almost exclusively off of practices rather than game performances and isn’t used to sitting idle for lengthy stretches of time.

Oates said earlier this week that Neuvirth will start one of the Capitals’ back-to-back games this weekend, either at Buffalo on Saturday or Philadelphia on Sunday.