Mar 15, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT
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.
- Kucherov isn’t going to ‘cry’ about Kronwall hit 12
- Nothing but Kuznetsov: Caps best Isles in Game 7 18
- Not done yet: Lightning earn Game 7 against Red Wings 7
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 0
- Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’ 28
- Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core? 16
- Report: Developers file intent to build arena in Seattle suburb 78
- Rangers lose Zuccarello indefinitely with suspected concussion 8
- Cooper: Lightning have to ‘suck it up’ and ‘fight through’ Wings’ interference 52
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 13
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (110)
- Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance (99)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin (89)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)