Facing surgery today for an eye injury suffered in last nights’ contest against the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals defenseman Tom Poti will likely miss the next two to three weeks. Normally Poti’s absenese would mean that Coach Bruce Boudreau would look to grizzled veteran John Erskine or Tyler Sloan, who is enjoying his first taste of the NHL postseason, but instead looked to their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and recalled their 2007 first-round draft pick, Karl Alzner. Although you might be familiar with King Karl, as he played 21 regular-season games for the Capitals this year, RtR put together a Cliff Karl-Notes primer for you on number 27.
– If Boudreau decides to give Alzner a sweater tomorrow night, he may be reunited with John Carlson – a tandem that played together, and won, last seasons’ Calder Cup. The pairing would also have a combined 3 gold medals at the World Junior Classic’s.
– Alzner has elevated his play severely for the Bears this postseason. Even against a very large and physical Albany team, he has been ruthlessly outmuscling opponents in front of the net, while showcasing his mobility and skating abilities to net 1 goal and 4 assists.
– With all the Bears injury/illness issues on the Blueline – King Karl’s been the go-to-guy – averaging 26-27 minutes per night. (In the OT game 1 Saturday night against Albany, Karl skated 35 minutes).
– In each game that a defensemen has gone down for an extended period of time (like Amadio’s injury in the 1st period of Game 1 in the current series or Wellar’s 5 min fighting, 10 minute misconduct the other night), Alzner has been double-shifting on the blueline, and still playing on both the Power Play and Penalty Kill.
– In the Bears panel at Caps Convention Alzner said he likes to spend his free time during the day at Zoo America in Hershey looking at the animals. He also has a lucky moustache he keeps in his suit pocket that was once owned by Snoop Dogg, and makes wishes at 11:11.