Dale Hunter stood outside the Washington Capitals’ locker room at 5:20 p.m. Monday saying the team had “not yet” recalled anyone from the Hershey Bears. With Tomas Vokoun ailing, it was uncertain whether the Caps would need another goaltender to back up Michal Neuvirth for the game against the San Jose Sharks.
Just after 6, the news came down: The Caps had recalled goalie Braden Holtby from Hershey, along with enforcer Joel Rechlicz. Either both players had to drive fast to get to Verizon Center in time, or, more likely, the team delayed announcing it and they were in the locker room as Hunter was denying recalls.
Neuvirth confirmed earlier Monday that he’d be starting against San Jose. Holtby played for the Bears on Sunday.
The reason for Rechlicz’s recall was not immediately clear. Marcus Johansson, who skipped the optional morning skate, took a crosscheck in Sunday’s loss at the New York Rangers, but Hunter said the young center was fine.
Mike Knuble will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game as trade rumors swirl. With the trade deadline looming (Feb. 27), there are plenty of scouts scheduled to be in attendance for the Caps’ game against the Sharks.