(photo by Brian Murphy)
While the rest of the country is stressing over swine flu (something 99.9 percent of the general public won’t actually come anywhere near), two Washington Capitals players were hit hard by another virus.
Defenseman Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan missed game two of the Hershey Bears series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with what is being termed as a “12-hour flu.” They were both pulled from the Bears lineup with this mysterious illness and yet, seemed much healthier a day later when they were both called up to the Capitals.
Since this virus isn’t very common, we decided to track down Alzner and learn more.
Hey Karl, can you tell us about this 12-hour flu?
(Laughs). “Yeah, it’s just … um … it just came out of nowhere, hit us pretty hard and then just disappeared,” Alzner said.
All things considered, you’re looking pretty good …
“Yeah, I hide it well,” he said, still laughing. “I just pretend like I don’t have the flu and just keep on going and it seems to work out.”
Because of an injury to John Erskine, Tyler Sloan got into the lineup today and handled himself pretty well, right?
“Definitely,” he said. “I’m happy for him because I want him to play well and do well for the team. Talking to him after the game it’s just like everyone says, as soon as you get your first couple shifts in it becomes easy. He played great and got his first point in his first game. I’m really happy for him and can’t wait to talk to him about it more.”
What did coach Bruce Boudreau say to you before the game about his decision to go with Tyler in the lineup over you?
“He didn’t really say the reasoning or anything like that,” Alzner said. “I don’t really want to ask him about it.”
Did you take the warm-up skate knowing you weren’t going to play?
“Yeah, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to play,” he said. “They write the lines on the board and my number was in brackets, so I kind of put it together that I wasn’t going to play. I knew pretty early.”
So where did you watch the game at?
“I watched from the gym, the training room and the zamboni gates,” Alzner said. “I wanted to work out first. Then I watched a little with the training staff while I was getting my suit on. Then I watched in the family lounge with my girlfriend who’s here right now and then I watched from the zamboni just to see how loud it really was out there.”
How loud was it?
“Very, very loud,” he said. “With the ‘unleash the fury,” I timed it perfectly so I could come out and see that and it was good. It hurts the ears. I’d never been to an NHL playoff games until tonight, this was my first one, but it was incredibly loud.”
Well, rest up and get healthy so you’ll be ready to go if the Caps need you. You never know when this 12-hour flu might strike again.