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Capitals sound off on John Carlson's All-Star snub

Capitals sound off on John Carlson's All-Star snub

The Capitals will be well represented at the All-Star Game with two players, the head coach and members of the team's equipment staff all taking part. Heck, even Slapshot will be there.

But all the talk around the team Tuesday was about who was not selected to participate: John Carlson

“I was supremely disappointed that Carlson, I think it’s a crime that he didn’t make it,” Barry Trotz said.

Carlson, who did not speak to the media after Tuesday's morning skate, has scored 34 points in 43 games this season and plays an average of 26:17 per game for a team that currently sits in first place of the Metropolitan Division. His role has increased substantially this season with two rookie defensemen playing regularly and injuries limiting Matt Niskanen to only 29 of the team’s first 43 games.

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To many, an invite to what would have been his first All-Star appearance seemed like a formality. Yet, when the teams were announced Wednesday, Carlson was passed over for Kris Letang, Seth Jones and Noah Hanifin.

That is not sitting well with the Caps.

“I know he's been one of the best defensemen,” Trotz said. “I know how much he's meant to us as a group and especially with Nisky out early in the year and how many minutes he's had to play, playing with pure rookies on the back end and helping them along. I just think he should have been there.”

“I wouldn't put much value into the All-Star Game selections,” Brooks Orpik said. “I mean, Nicky Backstrom has played one, I think, so that tells you enough about the selection process for that.”

Of all the defensemen selected for the All-Star Game across the NHL, only one player, Dallas’ John Klingberg, has more points than Carlson. Only two players selected, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson, average more ice time per game.

But there is some silver lining to the snub.

“Selfishly speaking, I'm glad Carly's not going so he gets some extra rest,” Orpik said. “With the amount of minutes he's been playing this year, he's obviously had to step up a lot with the guys that we lost from last year. Especially when Nisky was out this year, he was probably pressed to play probably in more minutes than he probably should have been, but he didn't complain. He did a really good job with it.”

MORE CAPITALS: BRADEN HOLTBY MADE THE ALL-STAR GAME BECAUSE OF PLAYS LIKE THESE

The All-Star break does give time off to those players who are not fortunate enough to go so it could be beneficial for Carlson to have a few extra days off considering how much Trotz continues to lean on him.

But even if it would be better for the Caps if Carlson did not go, Trotz is still holding out hope his star defenseman gets a shot.

“I really truly believe he should be on that group,” Trotz said. “Who knows? There's a few days here and something might happen. I hope he has that experience because he deserves it.”

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Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

When Mike Babcock essentially dismissed any concern over the impact Tom Wilson could have on a series, Wilson responded. In the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017, the Caps' forward scored the overtime winner in Game 1 and saved the series in Game 3 with a sweep of the puck off the goal line followed by a goal of his own soon after.

If you dismissed Wilson after Game 1 and Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Barry Trotz believes you can expect a similar answer this year after how he played in Game 3.

"I think his game was really good and that will maybe give some trust and confidence in him going forward," Trotz said Wednesday on a conference call with the media.

Wilson's impact in the first round against Toronto was immediate. As a top-line winger this season, expectations for him were high heading into the playoffs. His start to the series, however, left a lot to be desired.

Through the first two games, Wilson did not record a single shot on goal. What's worse, he took a critical penalty in each game that allowed the Blue Jackets to tie the score on each resulting power play.

You can't compare Wilson's impact on the Caps to that of a player like Alex Ovechkin, but a top-line player has to have some sort of positive impact or, at the very least, not be a detriment to his team.

In Game 3, postseason Tom finally delivered.

Wilson recorded six shots on goal and scored Washington's first goal of the game, deflecting in a shot from Matt Niskanen.

"[Wilson's] taken a lot of criticism for his first two games and some of the penalties and the effect it's had on the game," Trotz said. "I think it's given him some confidence. He's a bright young man, he's a leader, he's an all-in guy."

The key now will be for Wilson to build on that confidence.

Columbus has a number of star players such as Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Sergei Bobrovsky. What they do not have, however, is the scoring depth to match the Caps. Getting key contributions from players like Wilson in addition to the top playmakers like Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will make it very hard for the Blue Jackets to keep up.

"[Wilson] had a big effect last year in the first round," Trotz said. "I think he can have a big effect in this series, in this first round."

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Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 4 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

With a thrilling double-overtime victory in Game 3, the Capitals are right back in the series. Trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1, the Caps will look to even up the series at 2-games apiece before returning to Washington for Game 5.

As the Caps take the ice for Game 4, you can be certain that Braden Holtby will be the man to lead the team in net. His stellar performance in Game 3 resolidified him as the team' starter and ended whatever goalie tandem there was between him and Philipp Grubauer.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 4

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 4 on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Columbus currently leads the series 2-1.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 4 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blue Jackets
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE