Michal Kempny’s name has become a constant when it comes to injury updates for the Washington Capitals. Yet after skating today at an optional practice, the blueliner stated that he believes he’s ready to return to game action and intends to talk to the trainer, doctor and the coaches today in order to make a plan on when he can come back, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
“I feel like I can play a game right now, so we’re going to discuss everything today with (head athletic trainer Jason Serbus) and (team physician John Klimkiewicz) and we’re going to pick a game, pick a day. It’s real close.”
The Capitals face off Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, which could be a possibility for Kempny, who has been out with a hamstring injury. If not, then he’s expected to return to the lineup sometime this week.
- After blocking numerous shots during Saturday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers, it was noted that New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider wasn’t at practice. According to New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis, head coach David Quinn said the forward is considered day-to-day and the undisclosed injury isn’t considered “long term.” The 28-year-old, who could find himself on the trade block when the trade deadline nears, has yet to score a goal this year. He has two assists in three games.
- The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) writes that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov has won the No. 6 defenseman job. The 23-year-old blueliner has broken through and has bonded with David Savard to form a shutdown pair and look like they will both hold down their third-pairing role. “Savvy’s just a really good player. He understands how we have to play,” head coach John Tortorella said. “Gavi’s made tremendous improvement in the last couple of games in making the decision and going with it, being more aggressive in his thinking and not playing in between.”