The Washington Capitals continue to battle COVID-19 and a couple of injuries throughout the lineup, but they made a move on Monday that may indicate a step in the right direction.
Washington re-assigned forwards Beck Malenstyn and Brett Leason to the AHL’s Hershey Bears, and Mike Sgarbossa came off the COVID-19 protocol. That leaves Washington with 12 healthy forwards.
Malenstyn had a solid showing through 12 games, netting his first career goal and getting in his first career fight while also boasting 34 hits. Leason also hit the 22-game rookie mark, picking up three goals and six points.
Right now, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Mike Sgarbossa are on the COVID-19 protocol, and Tom Wilson went to the injured reserve on Monday. Aliaksei Protas, Joe Snively and Sgarbosssa are last two call-ups still remaining on the roster.
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Washington is holding an optional skate on Monday before heading to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Tuesday. Given the comfort of sending down Leason and Malenstyn and having exactly 12 healthy forwards left, the Capitals could get someone else back soon.
Wilson appears to be making progress and took part in Sunday’s morning in a regular jersey. Though he went on the injured reserve, he is eligible to come off of it for the game in Philly. Or, perhaps the Capitals see one of their guys on COVID-19 protocol return.
Either way, if this does indicate the Capitals are getting someone back in the lineup, it’ll be a great sign before the holiday break as the entire league deals with COVID-19. Despite the outbreak, the league will carry on with games decided on on a case-by-case basis. The NHL will also discuss the Olympics.
“This is the world we live in… everybody’s dealing with it,” head coach Peter Laviolette said.