The Washington Capitals are hurting big time as the NHL All-Star Game nears.
Winger Alexander Ovechkin earned an untimely three-game NHL suspension for launching himself into Penguins Zbynek Michalek.
“We were down and he was trying to rally our group,” veteran Mike Knuble told the Washington Post. “That is a big part of his game. You would hate to see that go away . . . You don’t want that to disappear, not for any length of time, that’s for sure.”
This banishment comes on the heels of defenseman Mike Green’s return to the long-term injury list due to hernia surgery. Also, No. 1 center Nicklas Backstrom remains sidelined by a concussion – but at least he returned to the ice for a brief skate.
Ovechkin is slated to return on Feb. 4. Green could be sidelined into March. And Backstrom? Nobody can accurately predict his return date.
Suddenly Washington’s top line is Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault and Alexander Semin. Yikes!