Mar 15, 2012, 2:00 PM EST
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.
CSNWashington.com has the wide-ranging Q&A here.
—- 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.
- Washington finally signs top prospect Kuznetsov 4
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 27
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 63
- Canucks’ Kassian gets three games for boarding Dillon 27
- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 32
- Goalie nods: Luongo’s first game back with Panthers, Neuvirth makes Sabres debut 14
- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 21
- Canucks’ Bieksa: ‘If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is’ 34
- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 36
- Sabres spoil Callahan’s Lightning debut, Stamkos’ return 7
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Sabres announce Pat LaFontaine resigns as president of hockey operations (66)