Capitals' depth being tested by spate of injuries

Chris Lingebach
November 27, 2019 - 6:41 pm
Capitals' depth being tested by spate of injuries

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Capitals have dealt with so many injuries in such a short amount of time, a turnstile should be affixed at the entrance of the locker room for incoming players.

Carl Hagelin, Nicklas Backstrom and Nic Dowd have all missed extended periods of time, replaced on the roster with names like Beck Malenstyn, Mike Sgarbossa and Brendan Leipsic.

"We've had a little more injuries and stuff than normal right now, so yeah, there's been quite a lot of rotation inside the locker room here lately," Lars Eller told The Sports Junkies during his weekly appearance, driven by AAA.

"It can be hard to keep up at times," he joked. "That's just the nature of the game. It won't be the last time. But it's all faces and people you've seen at training camp, so it's not like people you've never met before coming in."

Coming into Wednesday's game against Florida, the Caps received a rare three full days of rest since their last game, Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to Vancouver. Washington's had one of the more rigorous schedules in the NHL to start the season, so the time off is a welcomed breather.

"Yeah, it's been odd," Eller said. "I think we've gotta be one of the teams that's played the most games, if not the most games here, through the first two months. So it's nice with a little bit of rest here. You welcome that, when you can have two, three days in between games, which seems like we haven't had since we started the year. The body welcomes that every time you can get it."

Eller's tallied 13 points on five goals and eight assists through 25 games. Although he's gone nine straight games without a goal, Eller figures to be at a good scoring pace for the season.

"Yeah. I think in my position, when you play bottom six or third line most of the time, if you can be around a half a point a game, that's good," he said. "But you always want more. You always feel like you should have scored on a couple chances or had another couple goals, so you always strive for more. That's just the nature of us, and the nature of me, for sure. But I think it's been a good first two months for us, and for me."

Eller begins at the 29:00 mark below.