With John Carlson out of the lineup, and perhaps not even returning...
Black and Blue Caps
After the game against the LA Kings, the Caps weren’t rocking the red…they were icing the black and blue.
In one of the most brutal games of the year, the Caps were dropping like flies.
The first two happened just seconds apart from each other. Nicklas Backstrom was ridden into the turnbuckle by Drew Doughty, falling very awkwardly on his shoulder. Backstrom gingerly made his way to the bench and back to the dressing room. Just a little while after, Chris Brown could be seen limping to the bench, and he too would head to the locker room. Fortunately for Brown and the Caps, he eventually came back. But, unfortunately for Backstrom and the Caps, Backstrom did not return to the game.
“It was tough when Nick went off,” Marcus Johansson said. “It kinda changed everything up a bit. It’s tough when you lose your first centerman.”
If there is any sort of bright side to this Backstrom injury, Adam Oates said it was an upper body injury, and that he was not undergoing concussion testing. And the Caps next game is against Boston on Saturday, giving Backstrom a little bit of time to rest up.
But that wasn’t the only injury. Troy Brouwer got into a little pushing match with Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell. Mitchell caught Brouwer right in the face with his stick, causing Brouwer to drop to the ice. Brouwer was helped off the ice, where he kneeled over on the bench for quite some time, and then he too headed to the locker room. He appeared later in the game.
That even still wasn’t the final injury of the game for the Capitals. Midway through the overtime, Alex Ovechkin skated by Jack Hillen. Ovechkin tried to turn away from Hillen, but the two collided heavily. Hillen’s head bounced off Ovechkin’s chest, and both went down to the ice. Hillen laid motionless on the ice, and Ovechkin was doubled over in pain.
“I lost my breathing,” Ovechkin said. “I didn’t see him…I just turned and he came to me. There was nothing I could do [to avoid it].”
According to Oates at the time of his press conference, Hillen was being evaluated in the team locker room.
It is well known that hockey is a brutal, physical sport. And tonight the Caps proved it.