Injuries Catching Up With Caps

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Posted March 12, 2015

(Caps Outsider)

Midway through the second period, Jay Beagle raced towards a puck just as it crossed the red line. As he arrived to the puck, he was met by New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi. Girardi lowered his shoulder into Beagle, catching him in his shoulder. Beagle helicoptered and slid across the ice. He rose slowly, sulking towards the bench and into the locker room.

Beagle came back out onto the ice during the commercial break to skate around and test himself out. He returned back to the locker room and wasn’t seen again. Curtis Glencross stepped in to rough Girardi up.

“I was kind of behind it,” Glencross said. “I thought it was a little bit dirty, so I just kind of went to the guy. Hopefully (Beagle’s) alright.”

Whether the hit was dirty or not (according to Alex Prewitt, Alzner stated he didn’t think the hit was dirty), there’s no arguing that the Caps may have gotten bitten by the injury bug at an unfortunate time. Beagle wasn’t the only one that was dealing with some sort of injury. Both Mike Green and Brooks Orpik missed out on the game. Their presence was certainly missed tonight. While Nate Schmidt and Cameron Schilling did an adequate job in filling in for the missing blue liners, it’s obviously a little different having those guys out there.

“Obviously it was different not having them back there, but I thought Schmidty and Schills came in and did the job they needed to do,” Braden Holtby said. “I don’t think there was any panic in the room, not having those guys in the line-up. We’ve been pretty fortunate with injuries so far, so this is maybe a test of how we fight through this type of adversity.”

He brings up a good point. This was the first time this year that more than one of the top six defensemen on the team was out of the lineup. And testing your depth just before the playoffs isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Even Nicklas Backstrom was affected. He hadn’t skated on the ice in four days, and Barry Trotz said that his ice time was limited because of his stomach bug. But what’s most important and most telling is that Trotz believes the Caps should have a chance to win every game they play, no matter who is in and who is out.

“We were missing a couple of important guys,” Trotz said. “Would they make a difference in the game (shrugs), we don’t know. We won’t find out. But it’s not an excuse. We played well enough to at least get a point tonight.”