The Capitals believe John Carlson will be ready for the round robin and do not expect him to miss any time due to injury, general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday. Washington's first round robin game is against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Aug. 3.
Carlson did not play the final 10 minutes of Wednesday's exhibition game after getting tangled up behind the red line and falling to the ice. He did not practice on Thursday, but head coach Todd Reirden said he expected Carlson to be back after the team's day off. MacLellan reiterated that hope.
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"I think they’ll go through treatment today, that’s the hope that he will be [there Saturday]," MacLellan said. "We’ll see how treatment goes today and make a decision there tomorrow morning."
While the news is encouraging, MacLellan also stressed that the team was going to be very cautious with their star defenseman.
"We’re not going to put him in a situation where he can further risk injury and it will hinder his performance going forward here," MacLellan said. "Our most important games are going to be the first round, so we’ll make a decision based on where he’s at health-wise and recovery-wise."
When asked if Carlson would be ready for the start of the round robin, MacLellan said, "Yeah, I think so."
MacLellan also provided an update on goalie Ilya Samsonov who was in Washington for training camp, but was not on the ice for any practice and was ultimately left behind when the team departed for Toronto.
"He had an off-the-ice injury back at home in Russia, didn’t pass his physical, and we’re working with him in the rehab," MacLellan said. "He should be available to start next season."
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