The Washington Capitals will be without one of their defensemen for some time, as Michal Kempny has been ruled out “indefinitely” with a lower-body injury according to head coach Todd Rierden (via team reporter Mike Vogel). Kempny injured his leg on Wednesday and needed help to leave the ice.
Since arriving in Washington at the trade deadline in 2018, Kempny has thrived. The 28-year old defenseman immediately found a role with the Capitals and averaged nearly 18 minutes a night en route to a Stanley Cup championship. He signed a four-year, $10MM extension with the team in June, and returned to play an even bigger role this season. Logging more than 19 minutes a night, the smooth-skating defenseman has 25 points in 71 games and ranks only behind John Carlson in blocked shots.
Unfortunately, that role will now have to be filled by someone else as Kempny deals with his leg injury. Christian Djoos is the obvious choice as he is with the team, though the team has been hesitant to use him much this season. After playing in 63 games last season, Djoos has suited up just 37 times in 2018-19 and is averaging just over 13 minutes in those appearances. The 24-year old will be needed to give more than that if the Capitals expect to go far in the playoffs again this year, at least until Kempny returns.