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End of season review: Karl Alzner


End of season review: Karl Alzner

Beginning today, Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Karl Alzner

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Age: 26 [turns 27 Sept. 24]

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 217

Games: 82

Goals: 5

Assists: 16

Points: 21

Penalty minutes: 20

Plus-Minus: Plus-14

Average Ice Time: 19:25

Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 4-year, $11.2 million contract [$2.8 million cap hit]

Strengths: Few defensemen in the NHL are as reliable as Alzner, who has played in every game for the Caps for the past five seasons [376 games] and currently ranks behind only Bobby Carpenter [422] and teammate John Carlson [378] in consecutive games played by a Capital. Playing alongside two-way veteran Matt Niskanen, Alzner reinvented himself as an offensive threat, recording a career-high five goals and 21 points in the regular season and another two goals and two assists in the playoffs.

Room for improvement: While he plays strong positional hockey, Alzner lacks the mean streak or hitting ability that would make him even more difficult to play against. Alzner also possesses a heavy shot that he simply doesn’t use enough. After a career-high 95 shots under Adam Oates and Calle Johansson last season, Alzner recorded 72 shots this season and scored on five of them.

Memorable Moment: Teaming up with teammate Eric Fehr to come up with the Honest Abe top hat and beard was pretty cool and so was wearing sunglasses at the 2015 Winter Classic, but Alzner’s goal midway through the second period of Game 5 against the Islanders stood up as the game-winner and helped the Caps win a pivotal game in the seven-game series.  

Quotable: “It’s a weird feeling actually seeing a human come out and the way it comes out. They just kind of manhandle it. It’s pretty crazy. It’s the most emotion I’ve ever felt in my life.” -- Alzner on the Dec. 10 birth of his first child, a baby girl named Stella Raay

2015-16 Expectations: Alzner and Carlson will look to become the Caps’ top two iron men in their pursuit of six straight seasons without missing a game. With some summer work on his one-timer and another year under Todd Rierden, Alzner has the potential to exceed his career highs in goals and points without sacrificing his defensive strengths.


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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series


Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Now it's a series

The Caps looked to be in real trouble after blowing leads and losing in overtime in both Game 1 and Game 2.

After two straight wins, however, Washington is in control against the Columbus Blue Jackets as the series returns to Washington, D.C. for Game 5. 

On the latest eipisode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir talk about what changed for the Capitals between Game 2 and 3, as well as resetting their series predictions.

And as always, they answer several viewer questions.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs


Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.

Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.

Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.

That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.

“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.

This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.

Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.