Monday, December 15, 2008

Caps' Web Producer Gets NHL Debut

On December 12, the Washington Capitals were faced with an unusual situation. That evening they were scheduled to play against the Ottawa Senators at 7:00 pm at the Verizon Center. Jose Theodore, one of the Caps' two goaltenders, left the morning skate early with a hip-flexor injury. The other goalie, Brent Johnson, who had missed games earlier in the season with a hip injury and had tweaked said injury on December 10th in a game against the Boston Bruins, was well enough to start the game but had no backup netminder. If his hip didn't make it through the game, the Caps were in trouble. The Caps called up goaltender Simeon Varlamov from the team's American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears, but there were complications: 1) Varlamov and the Bears were in Houston on a road trip, and 2) his flight wouldn't arrive in DC until minutes before the start of the game. The Caps needed a backup goalie to fill in until Varlamov made it to the game. So they grabbed their web producer, Brett Leonhardt, and assigned him the task. Leonhardt had been a goaltender in college, so it's not like he was some random guy off the street with no experience. But just imagine. He sat on the bench for the first 10 minutes of the game in front of thousands of fans before Varlamov, who changed his clothes in the car on the way from Reagan airport to Verizon Center, relieved him. I'll bet those ten minutes were the most exhilirating of his life.

You should really read the brief story by ESPN.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Number of Injuries Getting Ridiculous

The Washington Capitals are looking more and more like their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. That's because the Caps have been hit with so many injuries this season that they've had to call up players from the American Hockey League to fill the gaps. At first, it just seemed unlucky. But now, it just seems ridiculous. Here's the current list of injured players:

  • Chris Clark (Center) - Fractured forearm (Clark is the team captain and is on long-term injured reserve (LTIR))
  • John Erskine (Defenseman) - Concussion
  • Sergei Fedorov (Center) - High ankle sprain
  • Eric Fehr (Right Wing) - Shoulder
  • Mike Green (Defenseman) - Shoulder
  • Brian Pothier (Defenseman) - Concussion syndrome (Pothier is on LTIR; he has not played since last season)
  • Tom Poti (Defenseman) - Groin
  • Jeff Schultz (Defenseman) - Finger surgery (Schultz is on LTIR)
  • Alexander Semin (Left Wing) - Back
  • Tyler Sloan (Defenseman) - Lower body injury (Sloan was actually called up from the Hershey Bears to replace one of the Caps' injured defenseman. Then he got hurt.)

Considering the fact that they only recently regained defenseman Shaone Morrisonn after a long-term injury and center Boyd Gordon after a short-term injury, it is amazing that the Caps have managed to maintain their first-place standing in the southeast division. But they need to get some of these guys back on the ice soon, or that very well may change.

Just looking at that list makes me shake my head.


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