John Carlson’s road back to the ice

John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Tonight we will see the return of John Carlson for the first time since Dec. 23. when he took a puck to the face on a shot in the Washington Capitals win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Carlson began participating in practices since March 8. He originally sported a blue, non contact jersey but last week progressed to the normal sweaters. Last week head coach Peter Laviolette hinted that Carly would be back soon..

When doctors examined Carlson after the injury, they said he suffered a fractured skull and severed temporal artery. It might have not only cost him his career but his life too.

Carlson talked about the moment to reporters on Saturday morning:

"“It was kind of survival-ish. When you see blood, you’re just like, ‘What do I have to do to get out of here?’ kind of thing, and that’s what I was feeling like. Even in the moment, you don’t think about the pain as much, you know, just what you think is the best thing to do.”"

As much painful as it was for Carlson he was lucky to not get a concussion. Now he joins a much different looking defense on the Capitals.

Just a few days before Carlson’s injury, Erik Gustafsson had a hat trick. Now there’s Rasmus Sandin. The Caps also moved Dmitry Orlov. On the forward front it was goodbye to Garnet Hathaway, Marcus Johansson, Lars Eller. Craig Smith was also acquired in the Orlov and Hathaway deal with the Boston Burins.

Now the Caps are basically playing for pride the rest of the way as one more loss cold be the final nail in the coffin of their playoff hopes. Back when Carlson got hurt in December, everyone was hopeful about the Caps as they were 11-2-2 in December.

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Now the Caps are five pints behind the Florida Panthers for the final wild card spot with just 10 games to go. I don’t know if the playoffs are the best thing for this team but having Carlson back is still cool.