Thursday’s shutout loss to the Boston Bruins increased the Washington Capitals’ losing skid to three games. The Caps’ next test comes in the form of the Phoenix Coyotes, a team also battling for a playoff spot–albeit in the more competitive Western Conference. The ‘Yotes are coming off two consecutive wins, one of which was a 5-2 trouncing of the Montreal Canadiens. The Caps, on the other hand, are continuing to struggle in every way possible (or so it feels.)
The team’s main issue–although there are many–is defense, which comes as no surprise. We’ve heard it all season and seen it play out on a regular basis. Adam Oates and Co. have yet to find a system that ticks with the players they have. A rotating carousel of blueliners have comprised nearly half of the Caps’ defensive pairings, although the return of Jack Hillen should allow for some stability.
Between injuries, suspensions, and general inconsistency, the Caps have now seen 14 different defensemen on their roster. Cameron Schilling is the latest call-up, while fellow blueliner John Erskine and forward Brooks Laich are once again injured. It’s doubtful that their absences had a profound impact on the game’s outcome, but it’s certain that their presences have at times been sorely missed.
Laich and Erskine aren’t the only Caps to have been injured this season. I’ve compiled a list of some of the more significant blows the team has taken. Have your say–whose injury, past or present, has hurt the Caps the most?