The Washington Capitals are in need of any help they can get as they chase a playoff spot. If star defenseman John Carlson has his way, they'll receive that help in a big way very soon.

Carlson spoke with reporters on Saturday where he revealed his hope to play as soon as next week. “That's my goal. That's what from earlier on I had in mind. I think the major hurdles are behind me certainly and I think my expectation would be to play soon,” the Capitals defenseman said.

Carlson suffered a very scary injury back on December 23. In a game against the Winnipeg Jets, Carlson took a slapshot to the head, leaving him bleeding profusely on the ice.

The Capitals defenseman immediately got up and headed for the locker room. He went to a hospital overnight and before being released the next day. Carlson admits he was terrified in the moment.

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“Just all the blood and everything, whenever you see that blood, you get a little weary of what's happening and stuff,” Carlson said. “I'm sure I lost a little bit that day, but they do say you get a lot of blood to the brain, so that's a good thing for me in the moment.”

Carlson did travel with the team for their game on Saturday and wore a non-contact jersey in practice. The star Capitals defenseman has spent the last 10 days skating with the team.

Carlson did not play in Washington's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Capitals sit five points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference's last playoff spot with 11 games remaining on their schedule. If the season ended today, Washington would be in the running for a top-15 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.