The Washington Capitals are currently battling injuries and COVID-19, and now, they could be missing Carl Hagelin.
Per the Capitals, Hagelin is not taking part in Thursday’s practice due to an illness. The COVID-19 test results from Thursday morning are still pending, according to the team.
If he ends up testing positive, he would join linemates Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway, as well as defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, on the COVID-19 protocol. Dowd entered protocol on Friday after missing practice with an “illness,” and TVR went on the protocol on Saturday. Prior to Monday’s tilt with the Ducks, Hathaway entered protocol as well.
Hagelin would also be the fifth player impacted by the virus this season. Lars Eller was the first to be affected and tested positive Washington’s West Coast swing and had to quarantine in Anaheim for 10 days and miss six straight games.
The Capitals, who are fully vaccinated, have had the last two days off, with Tuesday being a regularly scheduled day off and Wednesday being canceled out of an abundance of caution. Washington returned to the ice on Thursday for a full practice. They will hold a morning skate on Friday before taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena.
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Losing Hagelin would leave another noticeable void to fill. He has points in three of his last four games and finally scored his first goal of the season and first since May 11 on Monday. Beyond that, he is a solid defensive forward and reliable penalty killer. And ultimately, taking him out of the equation would also leave the team without the entire Hagelin-Dowd-Hathaway combination, one that head coach Peter Laviolette puts a lot of trust and emphasis on when it comes to both defensive and offensive zone starts and tight matchups.
“You can feel when that line isn’t part of the group,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of the combination. “There’s something special that they do that’s special for our team. And it doesn’t always reflect in the goals and assists column… I also weigh heavily what they’re able to do defensively.”
Per The Athletic‘s Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals goalie coach Scott Murray is also on COVID-19 protocol.