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Optimism in Washington — Backstrom making good progress

Mar 15, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

Nicklas Backstrom AP

The Washington Capitals got a scare this morning when Alex Ovechkin was forced to leave practice after a huge collision with teammate Mike Knuble, but that fear was offset by optimism surrounding the improved health of star center Nicklas Backstrom.

Backstrom, out since Jan. 3 with a concussion, spoke with reporters today after skating in pads for the third straight day. has the wide-ranging Q&A here.

In brief:

—- Backstrom is symptom-free.

—- He’s made progress over the last few weeks. “I really felt like this is going forward.”

—- He feels good on the ice, though admits “it can still get better.”

—- A recent trip to Sweden served to get his mind off hockey and quell the frustration of being out of the lineup.

—- He’s not going to rush back, though it’s tempting to.

After four straight wins, Washington finds itself three points clear of ninth place in the Eastern Conference, so there isn’t quite the same desperation to get Backstrom out there again. If he can return for the playoffs, the Capitals would be thrilled.

  1. fleurysteeth - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Enough about this Ikea bum. whats SoupCanSid wearing? What color are his socks? Are his lips looking extra moist? Is he high fiving Disco Dan? Common Pro_Crosby_Talk, we, the fans, want answers!

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      How old are you? Because you act like you’re 6…

      • fleurysteeth - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      • kitshky - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Im guessing early teens …but I find it’s best to realize at the very least he’s entertaining himself, don’t feed him the attention, and just ignore him. (and the innumerable accounts he has under “different” names)

  2. thehairychestsportsblog - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Rene Bourque got a real “harsh” penalty for a blatant elbow….3 games…f&ck you Shannahan.

    • dipthatchip - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      seriously. wish that dickface had to sit out every game that Backstrom’s missed. wish the capitals had someone that could lay it to him when they played montreal after the incident..but nope

    • rsl22 - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      Bourque really deserved a lot more (though I think it was five, not three).

      There’s a lot of talk about protecting players on the boards and on icing plays, and adding back the redline to stop players from having too much speed through the neutral zone (thank god that didn’t gain any momentum), but what Bourque did was much worse.

      Backy didn’t have the puck, and Bourque didn’t even try to play the body; he just threw his elbow right into his face. I can understand five games for a rough collision in a puck battle, but when there’s a blatant and very late elbow to the face, that should get a serious punishment. I’d have been happy if it was 20 games.

      • fthepens - Mar 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Well said, Shanahan only cares to protect a few.

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