As the Washington Capitals work to get back to their expected standard of play, they do so with more injuries.
Saturday’s win over the Nashville Predators was a big one, marking the Capitals’ best 60-minute effort so far this season as they made their way back up the Metropolitan Division standings. However, they lost two stars in the victory. Meanwhile, some prospects are banged up as well.
In other NHL news, there were some iconic quotes from this past week, and of course, with the season back in swing, free agent and trade rumors are brewing across the league.
Here is a recap of a wild weekend.
Washington Capitals Links
- The latest from Peter Laviolette and more on T.J. Oshie and John Carlson‘s lower-body injuries. (WHN)
- There was positive news on the injury front, though, as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson skated for the first time. More on their statuses and timelines. (WHN)
- Aliaksei Protas isn’t thrilled with the way the season has started and wants to gain the Capitals’ trust. (WHN)
- More on Alex Ovechkin‘s start and ice time, Connor McMichael‘s future with the team and more in the latest WHN mailbag. (WHN)
- Speaking of McMichael, there are no plans to send the 21-year-old to the AHL’s Hershey Bears despite being a constant scratch. (WHN)
- And back to injury news: Alex Alexeyev is on a long-term conditioning loan with Hershey and will join Washington in the coming weeks. (WHN)
- Jonathan Huberdeau disappeared for a bit in the Flames’ Battle of Alberta showdown with the Edmonton Oilers. Why? Darryl Sutter stole the show with his explanation: he had to take a s**t. Calgary Flames (CHN)
- What’s the latest on David Pastrnak’s negotiations with the Bruins, and what happens if those talks fall through? Boston Bruins (BHN)
- The Sharks aren’t messing around, and reportedly, everyone not named Tomas Hertl is on the trade block. San Jose Sharks (SJHN)
- It looks like rookie sensation Wyatt Johnston has earned a full-time stay with the Stars this season. Dallas Stars (DHN)
- Speaking of talented young guns, Cole Caufield is making waves in Montreal. Montreal Canadiens (MHN)
- Could Patrick Kane be a trade target for the rival Penguins? Pittsburgh Penguins (PHN)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- If Oshie and Carlson are long-term injuries, things are bound to get interesting in D.C. The team has struggled with consistency to open the season, and having two new players join Backstrom (hip resurfacing surgery), Wilson (ACL surgery), Carl Hagelin (hip surgery) and Connor Brown (lower body) is not ideal. Call-up option Lucas Johansen is also now dealing with an injury. How severe Oshie, Carlson and Johansen’s ailments are is unclear at this time.
- It’s also disappointing to see two leaders and a key member of the blue line draw out, as the pairings looked like they were starting to come together. Especially Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen. No. 42 also told WHN that he’s really enjoying his time alongside No. 3.
- Having Alexeyev available soon will be convenient, but if there needs to be a forward drawing in for Oshie, it’s unclear if that would absolutely be McMichael or Joe Snively. The team needs a top-6 winger and one guy who has that experience at the NHL level: Sonny Milano.
- Speaking of Washington call-ups, Beck Malenstyn has been outstanding on the Capitals’ powerhouse fourth line and has two points in three games while operating with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway. I see him sticking around.
- Thoughts are with Michal Kempny, who suffered another major — and scary — injury to his left leg in his second game with HC Sparta Praha.
- Also, re: Wyatt Johnston, another quote of the week from Pete DeBoer, via Matthew DeFranks: “I might hide him in my trunk so Jim can’t find him.” Easy to say that Dallas loves the kid, and he’s contributed to a lot of the Stars’ early success.