Washington Capitals v San Jose Sharks

Report: Vokoun could miss playoffs


It’s “entirely likely” the Capitals won’t have goalie Tomas Vokoun should they make the playoffs, CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley is reporting.

Gormley writes that “the groin injury suffered by Vokoun in Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Boston Bruins is worse than the one that sidelined him six straight games,” thus the likelihood the Caps will have to rely on 24-year-old Michal Neuvirth and, if not Neuvirth, rookie Braden Holtby for the postseason.

Save for a poor October, Vokoun had played very well for the Caps, so this is a considerable blow to their playoff hopes. Neuvirth’s coming off a strong performance in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory over Montreal, but his overall numbers (2.85 GAA, .902 SV%) are mediocre.

Suffice to say if Washington qualifies for the postseason and meets Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers in the first round, the goaltending matchup will be decidedly in New York’s favor.

Vokoun, 35, is a pending unrestricted free agent, so he might also have played his last game in a Caps uniform.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.