John Carlson Skates In Regular (Full-Contact) Jersey, Darcy Kuemper, Nick Jensen Practice: Notes From Capitals Optional Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for practice on Monday following their 5-3 loss to the Wild Sunday afternoon in Minnesota. They next host the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night at Capital One Arena, with puck drop set for 7PM.


Darcy Kuemper (upper body) and Nick Jensen (upper body) participated in the Capitals practice today. They did not play in Minnesota on Sunday.

John Carlson is no longer in the blue non-contact sweater. He donned the normal white (full-contact) jersey today for the first time since December 23.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, who left in the third period of yesterday’s game in Minnesota, was not on the ice for the optional practice. The Capitals said he is officially “day to day”.

All three goalies (Darcy Kuemper, Charlie Lindgren and Zach Fucale) participated in today’s optional practice.


Today’s stat of the day celebrates a significant milestone for the Capitals, as for the first time in more than two years the team’s faceoff winning percentage has reached the 50% plateau. [Click to enlarge].

The Capitals won the battle at the dot again on Sunday against the Wild (57-43%) and now sit at 50.1% for the season.


Alexander Suzdalev scored his 38th goal of the season on Sunday night against the Saskatoon Blades. He continues to lead all WHL rookies in goals, assists and points.

Ryan Hofer scored his 40th goal of the season on Sunday against the Kelowna Rockets. Hofer has shot the puck 273 times this season for a season shooting percentage of 14.7%.

Ethen Frank scored his 27th goal of the season Saturday night against Rochester. The goal was also the eventual game-winner.

Frank now has the most goals by a Bears rookie since Craig Fisher (43) during the 1990-91  season.


  • 2023 NCAA men’s hockey: Tourney field, bracket, how to watch. [ESPN]
  • 2023 NHL Draft Lottery Odds: Which teams have the best chance to select Connor Bedard? [Daily Faceoff]
  • NHL’s Disney simulcast among top games on cable this season. [Sports Media Watch]
  • Opinion: Nine Time’s The NHL ‘Loser Point’ Skewed The Standings. [The Hockey News]

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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17 Responses to John Carlson Skates In Regular (Full-Contact) Jersey, Darcy Kuemper, Nick Jensen Practice: Notes From Capitals Optional Practice

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

  2. hockeydruid says:

    True they are not an excuse but injuries of part of the reason that the Caps are not a good team this year. The other is age and the quality of the players is not what it used to be. The same is happening in Pitt. Constantly changing lines, constantly adding new players, short and long term injuries all result in not helping with team chemistry and thus a team ends not playing well and having a sub par season and the salary cap issues have not helped at all. They had a very nice and long run, with sadly only 1 Cup, but all runs come to an end! If you take the long view this team is 48 years old and have made the playoffs 32 times. In the last 10 years they have made the playoffs 8 times with one Cup. This was a bad season with injuries and players being added all the time; however look at the talent in the system that is waiting to come up: Hofer, Frank, Lapierre, McMichael, Suzdalev, Shepard, Malenstyne, Snively, Trineyev, Iorio, Hughes, Has, Stevenson and not including the young men playing in Juniors or overseas or college. At this time making the playoffs would mean nothing as they are not a legitimate Cup contender. Its time to realize that and start playing for the draft pick position both this year and for the next several year. Once Ovie gets the record and satisfies the satisfies the bloated and so unimportant ego of the owner this will will start to get better and be a contender again!! .

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think that’s the standard “canned” answer, presenting the company line so to speak.

      • hockeydruid says:

        So true and company lines gloss over the truth and I’m sure don’t make players feel any better as I’m sure fans see through them also. I don’t listen to the pregame and post game conferences as they all, no matter the sport, sound the same, as do most players statements about the team or the game. I hate the “canned” answers and the company line but understand why.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What do you want him to say? “We were gonna be good but we had key injuries and weren’t able to overcome the challenge- even though I wasn’t the problem.”? Be reasonable. He is a professional athlete and is very competitive. He just wants to win, and winners don’t find time to make excuses.

    • dwgie26 says:

      Totally agree with this sentiment. Professionals don’t want to use excuses. Still gotta find a way to win and when you don’t it stings.

      But yeah, as fans, we can say it. Tough year. Tough few years. So many injuries. COVID, Flat Cap. The timing of all of these things was real for the Caps who bet on an aging roster.

      This all stings. But that is sports.

  4. horn73 says:

    Agree for the most party Druid, but if Tom says yeah, it is the injuries, it is very disrespctful to the players taking the places of those that are unjured so of couorse he won’t throw teammates under the bus. But when you are 5 points out with the injuries to key players that the Caps had, yeah, it is because of injuries.

    Alos, can we stop with the Snively stuff day after day. The guy is older than 6 current Caps and pretty much all of them have had better years that Joe and at the highest level. I hope Joe comes on strong and makes the team and scores 40 goals next year, but until he does score at least 20 in the NHL, lets put him in the below average 27-year-old player trying to make the league…sheesh, 3 of the top 20 or so free agents to likely be available are 27

    • Anonymous says:

      If Snively was from PA, no one on this site would care.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Lol. Are you serious? Who cares where they’re from as long as the help win games. Look at Snively’s stats.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nothing wrong with rooting for the local, but he’s a 27 year old tweener. A dime a dozen. A good player, but you can’t seriously believe this team would be markedly different with him in the lineup. Travis Boyd is a better player who has accomplished far more, but didn’t get nearly the love that Snively gets.

  5. novafyre says:

    Axios is reporting that Ted is putting $20million into upgrading their sports network: “Those investments will include construction at Capital One Arena (home of the Capitals and Wizards, and also owned by Monumental) to build out a two-story production facility with two full-size studios, two smaller studios, and six control rooms.” The construction is said to already underway. NBCSW’s new name will be announced this summer.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. Announced yesterday, NBCSW has completely disassociated with the Washington Commanders – no programming whatsoever.

      • novafyre says:

        Yeah, they mentioned that. Looks like they are focusing on Monumental programming. I’m just not sure that there is enough of it. I think they will have to cast a wider net.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Agree. Potential content is scant. They simulcast the Sports Junkies and replay three times during the day, and that’s all they talk about (Commanders). Will be interesting to see what happens with that.

          • novafyre says:

            Last I heard, Ted was still front runner for Nationals stake. I wonder if NBCSW and MASN might work some deal.

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