One of the biggest questions facing the Washington Capitals to start Round One of the postseason is John Carlson’s availability. After getting injured in the Caps’ exhibition game on July 29, the Norris Trophy finalist missed all three of the Capitals’ round-robin games. Was it a precautionary measure or is Carlson legitimately ailing?
Capitals head coach Todd Reirden appeared to point towards the latter when he was asked about Carlson’s availability for Game One against the New York Islanders.
Reirden was “hopeful” Carlson will be able to play.
Reirden on John Carson's status for Game 1 vs Islanders:
"I'm hopeful he will be able to play in Game 1"
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) August 9, 2020
Carlson only missed one practice due to the injury, but seeing the defenseman held out of all three RR games is concerning, especially in comparison to how the team has handled Nicklas Backstrom. The Swedish center, who appears to have gotten nicked up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, missed practice on Friday but still suited up Sunday against the Boston Bruins despite being a game-time decision.
The Capitals being without their top-pairing defenseman and PPQB for any length of time could be a major loss. So I, too, like Todd am hopeful John Carlson can suit up later this week.
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