The Capitals injury report continues to grow, but believe it or not, it looks like there is light finally glimmering at the end of the tunnel. Here is the latest report, as of 11 AM on Wednesday, November 8th.
Note: The Capitals had the day off on Wednesday, so there are no expected updates until the Capitals return to practice Thursday morning.
Madison Bowey was a last-minute scratch against the Sabres on Tuesday night (11/7). Trotz said Bowey could’ve played the game, but decided to be cautious, with this being the second game of a back-to-back. Trotz said he “tweaked something” in Monday night’s game against Arizona. We will know more at Thursday morning’s practice.
Brett Connolly has been out since sustaining an upper body injury in the Vancouver game on October 26th and was placed in the NHL’s “Concussion Protocol” during the game against the Canucks. Tuesday night before the Sabres game, Trotz said Connolly, Graovac and Niskanen have gone from “week-to-week” to “day-to-day.” Caps are close to getting some guys back in the lineup. All three players skated on Tuesday afternoon.
Burakovsky underwent a successful surgery on his fractured left thumb on October 24th. Burakovsky sustained the injury during the third period against the Florida Panthers on October 21. Based on the nature of this procedure, Burakovsky is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks. Burakovsky was placed on long-term injured reserve on the 24th. This means Burakovsky will be eligible to return no earlier than mid-to-late December.
Tyler Graovac is still listed as “week-to-week” with an upper body that he suffered against Toronto. Graovac skated with the team for the first time on Thursday 11/2.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen suffered an injury to his left thumb against the Devils on October 13th and was subsequently placed on long-term injured reserve. Niskanen was eligible to return November 7 against the Sanres, but hasn’t joined the team in a practice yet. Niskanen has been skating with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish before practices.
The Capitals have currently lost 35 man-games through the first 16 games of the season. Here is the breakdown of players and man-games lost to date.
MAN-GAMES LOST VS. WINS (LEAGUE)
The following graph, provide by @ManGamesLostNHL, is one tool to use to help visualize the effect of injuries on a team, and understand which teams are struggling and which are thriving with respect to injuries and man games lost.
FRAME OF REFERENCE
The Capitals lost an NHL-low 49 man-games to injury last season. The Vancouver Canucks led the league with 439 man-games lost. Eight teams in the National Hockey League lost fewer than 150 man-games to injury in the 2016/17 season. All eight of those teams qualified for the post-season, however six of them were eliminated in round 1.
Here are the player and games breakdown of the man-games lost for the 2016-2017 Washington Capitals, as provided by NHL injury viz.