Already the Capitals’ “Iron Man” for playing the most consecutive games in franchise history, shutdown defenseman Karl Alzner will be playing in his 500th consecutive game in a Capitals sweater tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.Drafted by the Caps with the fifth overall selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the always reliable Alzner has been one of the most durable players in the NHL in his first nine seasons in the NHL. After tonight, he will have played 500 consecutive games since October 8, 2010. He is one of the NHL’s best shutdown defenseman and his durability is a big reason why. In playing in his 500th consecutive game in a Caps sweater, he will be the first ever to do so.
He has the fifth-longest consecutive games played steak in the NHL, per the Washington and will be just third defenseman since the 1943-44 season, joining the Florida Panthers’ Keith Yandle and the St. Louis Blues’ Jay Bouwmeester, according to the Capitals PR. A pending unrestricted free agent, Alzner has long proved himself worthy of a pay raise, one that will hopefully come from the Caps.
Alzner, as mentioned above, is the first Capital ever to play in 500 consecutive games and last season, broke Bobby Carpenter’s franchise record of 422 consecutive games played, and has not missed a game since. His durability and preparation off the ice has enabled him to lace up the skates every night for just under seven years. He currently ranks fifth on the team in average time on ice and is first in shots blocked.
By Michael Fleetwood