ARLINGTON, Va. – Hockey players are just like us, they hate Monday’s too. While some of you may have had a pretty bad Monday, you probably didn’t have a worse day than Lars Eller.
Monday was media day for the Capitals, their first practice of the postseason. Eller was on his way to MedStar Capitals Iceplex when suddenly, his car broke down…in the middle of Glebe Road.
“Just all of a sudden I was pushing the gas and nothing was happening,” Eller said.
While being late to work can get you a stern talking to from your boss, being late to practice can carry serious repercussions such as a suspension. With time ticking away before Eller was supposed to report, he did the only thing he could. He left the car.
“I had to leave it in the middle of Glebe, in the middle lane in morning traffic,” Eller said. “Yeah so that was a first.”
Luckily for him, teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov saw Eller get out of the car and was able to give him a ride.
“Kuzy, right when it happened, he must have just been a couple cars behind me and saw me and he pulled up in front and gave me a ride the rest of the way,” he said.
Eller made it to practice on time and thought his troubles were behind him. He was wrong.
Eller suited up for practice and made his way onto the ice. Just a few minutes into practice, however, he skated off and did not return.
Head coach Todd Reirden said afterward that Eller was dealing with an upper-body issue and left practice for maintenance.
“Didn’t feel like pushing to making things worse and just rehab, rest today and taking care of it throughout the day yesterday and this morning and today,” Eller said.
So in the course of just a few hours, Eller’s car broke down and he had to leave it in the road and then his body broke down and he had to leave practice.
Now that’s a Monday.
The good news, however, is that there was a happy ending. Eller returned to practice on Tuesday and said he will be ready for Game 1 on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Back to normal, feeling good,” Eller said. “So that is not a worry anymore.”
As for the car, a team security official retrieved it out of the street and brought it to a nearby Mercedes dealer to get fixed.
For the superstitious out there, you may see this as a bad omen for the playoffs. Eller, however, took a more positive approach.
“Yeah it was a tough morning,” Eller said. “Car breaks down, body breaks down, but everything is working today so yeah it is just going to go the right way from here.”
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