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Sammi's Weekend Wrap

Sammi’s Wrap: Clarity On John Carlson’s Ear, Capitals’ Scratches & Woes

The Washington Capitals saw some surprising scratches and got some injury updates, there’s a scandal surrounding the Vancouver Canucks and NHL trade chatter continues.



WASHINGTON — It was a busy week for the Washington Capitals, who saw their red-hot play from December drop off a bit and the dog days of January take over as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson continue to get integrated. At the same time, there were a couple of big scratches, while the club also got some injury updates.

In other news, there's a lot brewing around the NHL, as the Vancouver Canucks are involved in a scandal surrounding Tanner Pearson and trade talk continues to brew.

Here are the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the league:

Washington Capitals Headlines

– Despite a blog report, John Carlson did not have to have his ear reattached, as his wife, Gina, clarified what happened and provided an update on his recovery at home. (WHN)

– Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch for back-to-back games and has a bit to say regarding the decision and the need to improve his work ethic. (WHN)

– But is it a sign of his relationship with the Capitals being beyond repair or headed for a trade? We break it all down. (WHN)

Dylan Strome also had to take a seat as Peter Laviolette makes some tough lineup decisions while balancing 14 healthy forwards. (WHN)

– Tom Wilson opened up about his recovery, resilience and return for Washington in an exclusive 1-on-1. (WHN)

– With regard to the team's play, Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals "haven't been ourselves" and face a tough truth about their struggles. (WHN)

– Plus, an update on Connor Brown, who is getting more work in as he recovers from a torn ACL. (WHN)

NHL Headlines

– The Canucks are starting an internal investigation with regard to the handling of Pearson's hand surgery, as a 4-6 week timeline and one procedure turned into three. (Sportsnet)

– Is it time to worry about the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche? They're missing their heartbeat, according to new beat writer Evan Rawal, and it could cost them. (CHN)

– The asking price on Erik Karlsson is getting a bit high — as the San Jose Sharks reportedly want three first-round picks for the defender. (SJHN)

– Some New York Islanders analysis from Stefen Rosner ahead of puck drop tomorrow, as the team is letting Ilya Sorokin down with the lack of offense. (NYIHN)

– Former NHL forward Gino Odjick, who played for Vancouver and the Montreal Canadiens, passed away at 52. (MHN)

Sammi's Top Shelf Takes

– I'd expect the Stadium Series jerseys to come out any day now.

– When it comes to which player to scratch next, it's hard to imagine that Strome sits for a second straight game. Given the lack of offense and success on the power play, I'd imagine that Strome comes back in. So who comes out?

– Lars Eller would be my guess, or Sonny Milano, as both saw a dip in ice time last game.

– Give Backstrom a lot of credit. The 35-year-old is coming off hip resurfacing surgery that he didn't know he'd come back from, and is slowly but surely getting back up to speed. He is still one of the best minds in the game, and Wilson actually summed it up pretty well, saying that when Backstrom's body can do what he has in mind on the ice, "it's a pretty dangerous recipe for success."

– Alex Ovechkin is currently on pace for 54 goals this season. If he hits that mark, he would secure the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history. At 37. Wow. He also tied Mike Gartner for the most 30-goal seasons in the history of the Show (17).

– This goal from prospect Alexander Suzdalev is IN. SANE.

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