Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was ruled out for the team’s first game of the NHL restart Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an undisclosed injury.
Washington Capitals coach Todd Reirden said Monday morning that Carson would be a game-time decision. A Norris Trophy finalist, Carlson was hurt during Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Carolina Hurricanes when he fell and slid awkwardly into the boards:
John Carlson did not finish the exhibition game after this awkward tumble into the boards pic.twitter.com/tySrXzni7J— Ian Oland (@ianoland) July 29, 2020
On Friday, Washington general manager Brian MacLellan told reporters he didn’t expect Carlson to miss any games with the injury. He also practiced over the weekend.
On the other hand, the Capitals may think it’s better for the long term that Carlson take one game off and be at 100% for the other two round-robin games against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. The team is not in a life-or-death scenario yet; in the first round of the NHL’s 24-team return-to-play, the Capitals are playing three games that will determine their seeding for the next round. They can’t be eliminated yet.
Carlson is the Capitals’ best blueliner and one of the favorites to win the Norris Trophy for the league’s top defenseman. He led all defensemen in assists (60) and total points (75) during the regular season.
The Capitals will take on the Lightning at 4 p.m. Monday in the league’s Eastern Conference “bubble” in Toronto. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.
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