Washington lost three players last night to injury in the team’s gutsy 1 – 0 win over Detroit, forcing the Capitals to play with just nine forwards for the last two periods of the contest. T.J. Oshie exited in the first frame with what is being called an upper-body-injury after absorbing a heavy hit from Riley Sheahan, writes Isabelle Kurshudyan of The Washington Post. He is being listed as week-to-week, suggesting he could miss at least the next few games for Washington.
Kurshudyan adds that Lars Eller, also suffering from an upper-body-injury, is currently day-to-day though head coach Barry Trotz says he is doubtful for tomorrow night’s game after not practicing today.
Andre Burakovsky was also hurt during the game and sat out the final two periods but was a full participant in practice this morning and should be ready to go tomorrow. Trotz says the 21-year-old winger is “trending in the right direction,” in terms of his chances of playing tomorrow. Burakovsky is confident, saying, “I feel good” and “I feel ready,” when discussing his availability for the game.
The loss of Oshie for any length of time hurts Washington as the veteran winger plays in all situations and logs big minutes for the team. He has eight goals and 12 points in 17 games this season for the Capitals.
Eller, acquired from Montreal in the offseason in exchange for two, second-round draft choices, has just two goals on the season. Washington pulled the trigger on the deal with the idea the Danish pivot would address the team’s longstanding hole for a third line center who can contribute in all phases.
Kurshudyan also reports that Trotz indicated the team will recall a forward from Hershey of the AHL, with the expectation that Oshie and Eller will be out of the lineup tomorrow. Though Trotz didn’t offer any insight into who might get the call, Paul Carey, Chris Bourque and Christian Thomas are all having good seasons for the Bears and each has at least some NHL experience.
Elsewhere in the Metro Division:
- According to Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch, Seth Jones, out the last couple of weeks with a hairline fracture of his foot, was back at practice this morning. Jones was originally expected to miss three weeks with the injury so a return to practice lines up well with that time frame. In his first full season with the Blue Jackets, Jones has three goals and six points in 10 games. Fortunately for Columbus, the absence of Jones hasn’t hurt the team as the Blue Jackets have won four of the five games he has missed.
- On one hand, the influx of talented youngsters into the Philadelphia Flyers lineup has been a welcome one. But, on the other, there is generally a learning process each must go through and several of the team’s young players are finding that out, as Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post writes. Head coach Dave Hakstol recently made second year defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere a healthy scratch and benched rookie winger Travis Konecny for much of the third period in Thursday’s 5 – 2 win over Winnipeg. Hakstol reminds his charges that a healthy scratch or a benching is simply a part of the process as young players learn what it takes to be a successful NHL player, and not to necessarily take it as a bad thing: “It’s easy to take some of the moves that we make in a negative way, but that’s not the case,” Hakstol said. “For young players, it’s a learning process. I used the word (Thursday) ‘accountability.’ There is that element within a team and most importantly just taking positive steps forward as you become a more consistent player at this level and that’s not an easy step for young players to make and Ghost is still a young player.” Gostisbehere, who finished second in Calder Trophy voting a year ago, and Konecny, a 19-year-old rookie, have both been productive this season with the “Ghost” posting 10 points in 17 games while Konecny has 11 points in 18.