Photo credit: Rob Carr
Last year, the Capitals’ top defense pair was John Carlson and Brooks Orpik. This year, those two have missed a combined 43 games. Tonight, it was Carlson’s turn again.
“He probably saw the doctors tonight and we’ll probably have an update (Saturday) because I don’t really know yet,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s not 100 percent or he would have played tonight. It is a lingering of the old injury so we just want to have the opportunity to let’s get it settled down or fixed. Whatever we need to do let’s just do it so that it’s not lingering on.”
Earlier in the week, Trotz said that Carlson had come back too soon from his injury and that had affected his play adversely.
After trading for Buffalo’s Mike Weber earlier in the week, the Capitals now have eight defensemen. If Carlson remains out, they might have to use them all. Taylor Chorney, who played well in Orpik’s absence, will be the primary reenforcement. Overall, the Capitals feel they can weather any storms that affect the blueline.
“We’re pretty set with our system and guys have got that down pretty well,” Karl Alzner said. “You can mix and match.”
Adjusting to new partners, Alzner told me, was easy.
“I’d say it’s pretty darn close to seemless,” he said. “The only thing would be just listening for that voice,” a problem Alzner experienced Friday night with his partner Matt Niskanen.
“I was coming around the net and I heard someone call for a reverse,” Alzner. “I said that reverse sounds like a European accent. I was like that doesn’t sound like Nisky. I looked back and it was Mikael Granlund.”
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