Kempny return uncertain with knee injury
It is official: Washington Capitals defenseman Michel Kempny is out indefinitely with a harsh knee injury. The 28-year-old Czech has been with the organization since 2017, and was pivotal in the Stanley Cup run last year. Kempny was injured during a fight with Cedric Paquette against Tampa Bay on March 20. His knee bent in a strange position, and he has not taken the ice since. Kempny showed up to the White House on crutches on Monday.
Reirden said Kempny’s injury is “long term.” Team is figuring out if he’ll need surgery and whatnot, but it certainly seems like he’ll miss the rest of the regular season and at least some of the playoffs, too. Team will have an update with a more concrete timetable soon.— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) March 25, 2019
Kempny is known as a stout defense player. A frequent partner to John Carlson, especially on the penalty kill, Kempny holds strong and is able to block many a forward. His tag team with Carlson and aggressive play put him in the discussion for the Norris Trophy last year. He did not win, but proved a great resource come playoff time. Christian Djoos is the one other defenseman who could fill the role. However, his lack of size and speed makes him a bad pairing with Carlson.
To compensate, the Capitals recalled Jonas Siegenthaler from Hershey. Siegenthaler is a strong defense player in Hershey, but his pro experience is limited. It is hopeful he will be able to get the job done though as the Capitals challenge the Hurricanes tomorrow. While the Capitals roster may have enough depth and talent to get by without him, his absence will be felt across the team.
The next week or so will be huge for the Capitals. With only six games left before the playoffs, the team needs to be in top shape. While they may survive without Kempny, his absence as a defenseman and team player will be felt coming down the home stretch.