As the Capitals were battling the Blue Jackets on the ice Thursday night, word came out that defenseman Dennis Wideman's injury suffered Tuesday may be worse than originally thought.
TSN.ca's Bob McKenzie is reporting that Wideman is hospitalized with a leg hematoma.
What's a hematoma? We'll let McKenzie explain:
A hematoma is caused by a contusion where blood escapes or leaks from an artery, vein or capillary into soft tissue, such as a muscle, where it does not belong.
It can cause significant swelling and pressure, which often times can only be released by making an incision to drain the blood from the soft tissue.
That's all well and good. But what does it look like? Just ask Caps' winger Mike Knuble, who said Wideman has been keeping him up to date with some gruesome-looking photos.
"He's been firing off some pictures," Knuble said. "They're pretty graphic in what you're seeing. ... It's pretty grotesque how Dennis is opened up right now."
"I think he's just pretty much high all the time, dealing with the pain," Knubled added with a smile. "But to see the pictures, it's pretty amazing what's happening to him."
Wideman suffered the injury Tuesday night when he was run over by Tuomo Ruutu as he tried to clear a puck out of his own end. Wideman could put little pressure on his right leg as he hobbled off the ice. After the game the Caps said Wideman was considered "day-to-day," but that later turned into "week-to-week." McKenzie is speculating that with his new report it could be even longer.
Knuble added the following after Thursday's game: "He's going to be out a while. That's a reality."
The Caps do not release details of injuries and maintain that Wideman is listed as "week-to-week."
With several key defensemen already out of the lineup in Wideman, Mike Green and Tom Poti, the last thing the Caps needed was another injury on the blue line. Well, guess what happened in the team's 4-3 OT win?
Yep, John Erskine left the game early with an undisclosed injury.
Hear that? That was a collective gulp among those who Rock the Red.
Erskine exited after taking just one shift in the second period. That was his only action after fighting with Jared Boll late in the first. Coach Bruce Boudreau would only say that Erskine was taken out for precautionary reasons and that he didn't hurt his hand in the fight. Boudreau said his bruising defenseman is listed as "day-to-day."
So where does this leave the Caps' blue line? In a tough spot. Green has been skating, but he hasn't practiced with the team since late February. Boudreau said he hopes Green could try to practice Friday. Poti is skating, but hasn't played for what seems like an ice age as he tries to come back from a groin injury.
With Erskine out Thursday, Tyler Sloan saw more ice time than he's had in quite some time. And if No. 4 can't go on Saturday, he could see even more. It's possible Brian Fahey could get a ticket back to Washington.
But that's life in the NHL, according to Boudreau and his players. Injuries are going to happen. You just don't want them to happen with the playoffs right around the corner.
"I've been on a lot of winning teams, and they've had to fight with more guys being out than we have," Boudreau said.
"It's one of those things you can't control," added d-man John Carlson, who scored the Caps' first goal of the game. "Things are going to happen throughout the game and people are going to get injured and people are going to be healthy. Hopefully that happens really soon."