Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette has been behind the bench for 21 NHL seasons, but John Carlson's injury after taking a puck to the face was "one of the worst" he's seen.
Laviolette was on 106.7 The Fan's "The Sports Junkies" on Wednesday to provide more insight on Carlson's status and the aftermath of the Brenden Dillon shot the 32-year-old blueliner took to the face.
"He's at home, he's doing good. He's listed as long-term, he's not day-to-day," Laviolette said in the interview. "They're still going through it right now. He's seeing doctors on a daily basis."
When asked about the extent of the injury, Laviolette said he doesn't believe Carlson lost teeth, but did have to get several stitches to close the wounds on his face following the shot.
"There was a bunch of stitches, I mean a bunch of stitches. There was a puck that hit him in the head going 85, 90 miles an hour," Laviolette added. "It was a bad one, it was one of the worst that I've seen."
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Carlson, who has 21 points in 30 games so far this season, plays an integral role on the top pairing as the No. 1 defenseman, works as a catalyst on the power play and kills penalties, and he is also one of the alternate captains and leaders in the room. Not having him as Washington continues to push in a tight Metropolitan Division race will hurt, but the Capitals are relying on the likes of Erik Gustafsson and more to step up and help fill the void.
Laviolette added that Carlson, who is on the injured reserve, will not be back before the new year or by the start of 2023. However, he said that the prognosis is good for Carlson. The veteran blueliner also appears to be doing well at home and in high spirits, as his wife also shared an update and photo of him a day after he left the hospital.
"He's home, he's doing good, he's resting. He won't be on the ice anytime soon. It could've been a lot scarier," Laviolette said. "You take that slapshot right to the head like that… I'm thankful and happy that he's healthy and he's going to be okay. We're not going to see him [soon], this isn't a Jan. 1 thing."