Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was a late scratch before Friday night's game against the Minnesota Wild due to a lower body injury.
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Capitals Defense Loses Carlson Again
Saturday, Feb. 27
According to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post, Carlson is expected to miss three to four weeks after undergoing a procedure on Saturday.
Khurshudyan expects the team to put Carlson on long term injured reserve.
Carlson, like the rest of his team, has been affected by the injury bug this year. After sustaining a lower body injury in December, Carlson was placed on injured reserve and missed over a month of action.
His absence didn't hurt the team though as Washington went 9-2-1 while he recovered. With such a well-rounded team, it's little surprise that Capitals are leading the NHL with 94 points in 60 games.
With the departure of Mike Green in the offseason, Carlson became a solidified first pair defenseman with Brooks Orpik after putting up a career year in 2014.
Carlson recorded 12 goals and 43 assists to compliment a plus-11 rating last season and is performing at a similar level this year with six goals, 25 assists and a plus-nine rating.
He kept up his high level of play even when Orpik was out for 40 games with a lower body injury, as head coach Barry Trotz told Khurshudyan:
I think John has benefitted from Brooks, and now instead of being the student, he’s a little bit of the teacher...Just the fact that he now has a letter on his jersey with our team is a huge sign that we respect what he’s done and what he’s brought to our blue line.
He's one of Washington's most relied on players as well, averaging over 24 minutes per night on the ice.
Matt Niskanen might make the jump up to the first defensive pairing while the Capitals face time without a top-pair blue liner once again..
Luckily for Washington, they have a seventh defenseman in Taylor Chorney who has been a key contributor this year. Due to injuries, he's appeared in a career-high 46 games and his play earned him a two-year contract extension.
Washington was just fine without Carlson before and they should be just fine once again without him.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com