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Caps prospect suffers broken wrist: Why this short-term setback won't affect the Caps' future plans

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Caps prospect suffers broken wrist: Why this short-term setback won't affect the Caps' future plans

One of the Caps’  young, up and coming prospects has suffered a significant setback in his first professional season. Defenseman Connor Hobbs will miss the next six to eight weeks due to a fractured left wrist, the Hershey Bears announced Sunday.

The injury occurred during the Bears’ loss on Saturday against the Toronto Marlies. Hobbs skated hard into Hershey’s bench as he missed on a hit on a Marlies player.

Hobbs, 20, is in his first professional season after aging out of his junior team, the Regina Pats of the WHL. A fifth-round pick of the Caps in 2015, Hobbs exceeded expectations in the WHL and developed into a star on the blue line. In the 2016-17 season, he recorded 31 goals and 85 points in 67 games.

The injury should not affect the Caps’ plans for this season. Should the NHL squad need to dip deeper into their defensive depth in the future, players like Tyler Lewington, Jonas Siegenthaler and Lucas Johansen would likely have been recalled first. But that does not mean the Caps do not have high hopes for him in the future.

Hobbs has a monster slap shot and was very effective in the WHL at getting the puck on net from the blue line whether it be with the slap shot or with a subtle wrister. His defensive acumen needs work, but he is a player with definite potential and a higher ceiling than many thought as a fifth-round pick.

While broken bones are always a concern, the good news is that the fracture was to Hobbs’ non-shooting wrist. As a right-shot, any lingering effects of the fracture will not hamper him as much as it would had it been to his right.

In 10 games this season in the AHL, Hobbs has one goal and two points.

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4 reasons why the Caps lost to the Avalanche

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USA TODAY Sports

4 reasons why the Caps lost to the Avalanche

The Caps were handed an ugly 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and Washington will now return home with zero points on their two-game road swing. Here's why they lost to Colorado.

Another early goal

The Capitals had a rough start to their game Tuesday against Nashville. The Predators hit the post with their first shot and scored their first goal at 11:48. Their start on Thursday was worse. Washington did not get any help from the post and Gabriel Landeskog made Colorado’s first shot count just 17 seconds in. That set the tone for the entire game.

RELATED: BARRY TROTZ ON THURSDAY'S GAME, 'IT WAS ALL JUNK'

The late first period goal

Despite the bad start, the Caps kept it 1-0 through the first and looked like they would have a chance to regroup in the locker room before the second…but they allowed a Nathan MacKinnon goal with just seven seconds left in the first. That is a backbreaker.

Mistakes with the puck

For years, the Capitals were criticized for being “too cute,” for not making the simple plays. As a highly skilled team, they could pull off some of those beautiful plays. They are not that team anymore. Washington made a lot of mistakes on Thursday and a lot of them came because they would not make the simple, easy play.

You can read more about Washington’s mistakes with the puck here.

The Caps frequently turned the puck over because they would not make easy passes electing instead to go for the home runs. They could not get sustained offense because they kept turning the puck over in the neutral zone.

MORE CAPITALS: WHO WERE THE 3 STARS OF CAPS-AVALANCHE

Missed third period power play opportunity

It looked like the Caps would trail 4-1 heading into the third period, but Washington somehow won a coach’s challenge on a goal by Nikita Zadorov for goalie interference. With a second chance at life and down by only two heading into the third period, the Caps had a golden opportunity less than three minutes into the final frame when they were given a power play opportunity. They did not take advantage. A goal in that situation would have pulled Washington within one with a lot of time left to play. T.J. Oshie came close as he hit the post, but the Caps ultimately failed to score and gave up a fourth goal on a penalty shot just 16 seconds after Colorado returned to full strength.

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Tarik's three stars: Caps buried by Avalanche

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USA TODAY Sports

Tarik's three stars: Caps buried by Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had huge performances for the Avalanche, who jumped out to an early lead and thumped the Caps, 6-2, at Pepsi Center.

The loss was the Caps’ second in a row overall and fourth in their last five games away from Capital One Arena. Colorado, meantime, snapped a six-game losing streak against Washington with the win, their first victory in four contests.

RELATED: CAPS MAKING LIFE DIFFICULT FOR THEMSELVES WITH BAD MISTAKES

Tarik’s three stars of the night:

1-Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche

MacKinnon got off to a poor start this season, producing just one goal and a minus-8 rating in his first 10 games. Lately, however, the 2013 first overall pick has been hot…as the Caps found out. With seven seconds remaining in the opening frame, MacKinnon turned Brett Connolly inside out, then stuck a shot underneath the crossbar to put the Avs ahead 2-0. MacKinnon also recorded a trio of primary assists and a secondary helper, giving him a five-point performance.

2-Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche

Landeskog, who recorded a hat trick, struck on the Avs’ first shift, sniping a shot past backup goalie Philipp Grubauer just 17 seconds into the contest. The top-line winger’s second score came on a penalty shot early in the third period, staking the home team to a commanding 4-1 lead. Landeskog put home his own rebound with 25.2 seconds remaining in the game for his third goal of the night.

MORE CAPITALS: TROTZ EXPLAINS WHY VRANA WAS A HEALTHY SCRATCH

3-Tom Wilson, Capitals

Wilson blocked a slap shot from close range in the second period, leaving him limping for the remainder of his shorthanded shift. Then, a short while later, No. 43 set up the Caps’ first goal with a nifty pass from the corner right to Connolly at the doorstep. The primary helper was Wilson’s second in three games.