Karl Alzner, who in January became the first player in Capitals franchise history to play in at least 500 consecutive regular season games, extended his iron man streak to 523 games in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Stars. The defenseman blocked a team-high five shots in defeat, but managed, as usual, to avoid the type of injury that would jeopardize his ability to play in the Capitals’ next game.
“Last night none of them hurt, thankfully,” Alzner told the Sports Junkies on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan. “They all hit me in good spots.”
Alzner, whose streak ranks as the fifth-longest active streak in the league, also described the spots that are among the most painful to take a puck to the body.
“The ones that get you inside the knee usually don’t feel good because you can’t really do a whole lot,” he said. “They just send that shooting pain down your leg, and you just start hobbling around for a little bit. Those ones suck, but there’s sometimes where you just get hit right in the hand. We have gloves on, but they only protect you a little bit. When you get them right in the hand, it’s pretty easy to break something. It’s kind of embarrassing, but my wife is the one that opens all the jars in our house because my hand has been broken so many times from the shots. I’ve got pretty weak hands now, so it just depends, but the hands end up being pretty bad in the long term.”
Pretty bad in the long term? Alzner is a 28-year-old professional athlete who has played in 523 consecutive games and apparently can’t open a jar of pickles without assistance. (Let’s hope he can still handle bottles of truffle oil on his own.)
While still on the subject of toughness and getting hit by pucks, Alzner was asked if he noticed the Capitals fan who took a puck to the head during the second period of Saturday’s overtime win against the Flyers.
“Yeah, that was actually our old babysitter, Sam,” Alzner said.
Alzner said he didn’t find out until after the game that T.J. Oshie signed a puck for Sam and she was taken to the hospital to get staples in her head.
“Apparently she’s pretty pumped up about it,” said Alzner, who noted that Sam eventually became too busy with her job as a neonatal nurse to continue looking after Alzner and his wife’s first kid. “She’s a big fan, and she kind of thought it was an interesting process, how it all happened. But yeah, I felt bad for her, obviously. She’s doing okay now, though.”