It has been a particularly tough start to the year on the injury front for the Capitals who have been without several key players for the full season while several other regulars were injured within the first few weeks. However, There’s at least some good news coming as NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti relays (Twitter link) that defenseman John Carlson has been activated off injured reserve, paving the way for him to return tonight against Tampa Bay. To make room for him on the roster, Washington has transferred blueliner Dmitry Orlov to IR.
Carlson, who has been one of the most productive blueliners in the NHL in recent years, got off to a strong start to his campaign with six points in nine games but suffered a lower-body injury two weeks ago against Nashville. While Washington won that game, they only were victorious in one of the six contests that Carlson missed.
As for Orlov, he suffered a lower-body injury last Saturday against the Coyotes. Accordingly, Washington can back-date the placement which means he technically is eligible to return on Sunday at which point they’d need to make another roster move to free up a spot for him. Orlov has made an early impact with five assists in 13 games while logging over 21 minutes a night.
Even with Carlson’s return, the Capitals are still quite banged up at the moment as joining Orlov on the injured list are forwards Carl Hagelin, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, Connor Brown, T.J. Oshie, and Beck Malenstyn; they’ll even be without head coach Peter Laviolette for at least the next two games after he entered COVID protocol earlier today. Despite the lengthy injury list, they’re hanging around at close to a .500 points percentage as they enter tonight’s game with a 6-7-2 record.