Capitals’ Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says John Carlson is Home, “Doing Good”; Reiterates Carlson “Won’t Be On The Ice Any Time Soon”

Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette made his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies radio show. He discussed the team’s improvement in the standings recently and provided an update on defenseman John Carlson.

The Capitals are currently riding a five-game winning streak. The team’s recent game, a shutout victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, lifted them to third in the Metropolitan Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

“I’ve been there before where you’re down in the standings,” Laviolette said on the team’s slow advance. “This one was not as bad just to get back. I mean, we’re not out of the woods…it’s just a long climb back into it.”

Washington has gone 9-1-0 in their last ten games. Laviolette explained that around the time of the December 5th game against the Edmonton Oilers, which ended up a 3-2 win in favor of the Capitals, became a turning point for the team, saying, “I met with the leadership group, or what was left of it ’cause a lot of the guys weren’t in the lineup, and we just talked about it.”

“We said we cannot afford a December that looks like November and October—like playing .500 hockey will be the death of us…there were some real conversations, I can tell you that…they’re a veteran team. I think there’s always a belief that we can win.”

Laviolette reiterated that the Capitals “made common mistakes that could be cleaned up” during the first two months of their 2022-23 campaign, which ended up “hurting us.” “The shooting percentage was so low,” he said, especially during five-on-five play.

“You’re just not going to win with that team shooting percentage. It just wasn’t high enough… we’re still trying to put pucks in the net, get to the net, generate at the net, and the shooting percentage has certainly gone up…we’ve been able to do that, I think, through the month of December pretty consistently.”

Overall, December has been a solid month for Washington despite injuries continuing to plague the team since the beginning of the season. Their recent absence is Carlson, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday after leaving the team’s 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets last Friday with an upper-body injury following a hit in the head by a shot from Jets’ defenseman Brenden Dillon.

Carlson spent that night in a local hospital for “precautionary reasons” and was discharged on Saturday. The team said Carlson remains “under the care of team medical personnel,” and Laviolette emphasized that the 32-year-old blueliner would be out “long term.”

The good news is that Carlson is home and “doing good,” according to Laviolette, who noted that Carlson’s injury was “one of the worst I’ve seen.”

“I don’t believe he lost any teeth,” Laviolette said, adding that Carlson is seeing doctors daily. “He’s resting. He won’t be on the ice any time soon…It could have been a lot scarier. You take that slapshot right to the head like that…I’m thankful, I guess, and happy that he’s healthy and that he’s gonna be okay.”

“We just focus on [who] we have right now and not [who] we don’t have,” he added in regard to injured players and when they could be returning to the lineup. “I think the guys have done an unbelievable job of just stepping up. Somebody’s gotta go in and step up in four minutes last night for John Carlson, and I thought we did a really good job.”

“Hopefully, the turn of the calendar to 2023 brings us a little better fate…We’ll miss John Carlson; there’s no question about it. He’s our top guy and we’re gonna miss him.”

The Capitals kick off a three-game homestand on Thursday, hosting the Ottawa Senators at Capital One Arena. NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
This entry was posted in Coach, Coaching, Interview, News, Peter Laviolette, Players, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Capitals’ Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says John Carlson is Home, “Doing Good”; Reiterates Carlson “Won’t Be On The Ice Any Time Soon”

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Now there’s another post by Gina. She showed Carlson reading a book to his toddler son and saying, “There’s a little person who’s happy Daddy will be spending extra time with him.”

Leave a Reply