The Capitals announced that they had recalled Cody Eakin from the Hershey Bears after the conclusion of their 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres and the 20-year old will be in the lineup Saturday night against Columbus.
Coach Dale Hunter said Eakin earned a recall for the way he played in four games with the Bears after being sent down on Dec. 18 and that he was brought up to provide more depth.
Hunter said Mathieu Perreault, who was speared by his own stick on Dec. 26 against Buffalo, is healthy, as is Jay Beagle, but that the Capitals didn’t want the latter to play in back-to-back games so quickly after returning from more than a two month layoff with a concussion.
“We wanted some depth and get him up here, see him in practice. He’s been playing really well down there so give him a chance to come up,” Hunter said. “He went down there and played very well defensively and offensively so we get some depth and he gets a reward.”
In four games with the Bears following his reassignment, Eakin recorded four goals and one assist.
During his first recall to the Capitals this season, Eakin appeared in 19 games, recording three goals and three assists but he had just one point in eight consecutive contests prior to being reassigned. Eakin’s ice time was also dwindling toward the end of his first stint in Washington as the rookie forward saw more than eight minutes of ice time only once in his final four games.
“I needed to play and I wasn’t doing it here so it was nice to go back and re-find my game and start becoming a little more successful in the way I wanted to play,” Eakin said. “It’s tough to do that when you’re focusing more on not making mistakes than playing the way you need to.”
Going back to Hershey allowed Eakin to log some significant ice time, get back in a rhythm and rebuild his confidence. He hopes that he’ll be able to use what he learned during that first recall for as long as he remains with the Capitals this time around.
“I overthink a lot of things, that’s probably my biggest challenge while I’m here,” Eakin said. “I know I can play and it will come in time but I don’t want that time to be down the road – I want it to be now. I’ve just got to relax and have some fun and play with some swagger and try to get back to the game I want to play.”
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Mike Green did make the trip to Columbus and skated this morning but he will not play after being placed on injured reserve in order to make room on the 23-man roster for Eakin.
Green was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 11 and can be activated from the list at any time, Washington would just need to make another corresponding roster move to not exceed the maximum of 23 players on the active list.