With the season 25 games old already, the Washington Capitals are working through and addressing some COVID-19 issues in the locker room.
Garnet Hathaway entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Monday, joining defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and linemate Nic Dowd. Dowd had missed Friday’s practice due to an “illness” and later entered protocol. TVR skated Friday and then went on protocol on Saturday. Hathaway had played in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Columbus, scoring an empty-netter. Washington did not skate on Sunday, taking a day off out of caution.
As the team deals with more cases that have arisen over the last few days, head coach Peter Laviolette said the Capitals, who were 100 percent vaccinated to open 2021-22, are taking more precautions, which include social distancing and wearing masks again.
“Just with the way things have gone in the last 48 hours, we’re trying to keep guys apart,” Laviolette explained on Monday. “Talked to the guys real quick on the ice. Instead of putting them into a confined room. Just doing whatever we can to stay as safe as we can. Just the world we’re living in right now. We can only do the best that we can to stay distanced, stay apart.”
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Hathaway is the fourth Capitals player to be impacted by COVID-19 this season. Lars Eller was the first, having tested positive on the West Coast swing. He had to quarantine in Anaheim in a hotel room for 10 days, and also missed six games.
“I felt like I had a mild flu or a cold for about three days, but I never had like, high fever or excessive breathing problems or anything like that,” Eller said of his symptoms. He added that his lungs felt fine and it could take a couple of games to get back to 100 percent.
Washington squares off against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Per the morning skate lines, it appears that Daniel Sprong will draw back into the lineup with Hathaway out after being a healthy scratch on Saturday.