Mar 27, 2012, 4:52 PM EDT
The 24-year-old Swede, out since Jan. 3 with a concussion, participated in battle drills with Jeff Halpern and Joel Ward on Tuesday, fueling speculation that he could return for Washington’s final four games of the regular season:
“He’s doing battle drills, he’s getting ready for contact, and getting ready for games,” Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. “It takes these kind of resistance drills and he’s doing well.”
Well enough to get back into the lineup this week? If Backstrom continues to progress without setbacks some believe he may be in the lineup by the weekend, if not Thursday night’s game in Boston.
“I don’t know,” Hunter said, deferring to athletic trainer Greg Smith. “We’ll have to wait and see.
“You watch him play and he’s having fun,” Hunter said. “As a hockey player he’s glad to be back on the ice. This is what he’s been doing since he was a little kid. It’s nice to see him with a smile on his face.”
The Capitals host Buffalo tonight, then play in Boston on Thursday before going back to Verizon for a home date against Montreal on Saturday.
Backstrom resumed practicing fully on Mar. 26 and has yet to suffer any (reported) setbacks. His return would be huge for Washington’s playoff push — he was the team’s leading scorer prior to getting hurt, with 42 points in 38 games.
Update: Caps GM George McPhee reports Backstrom passed his latest baseline test “with flying colors.”
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 33
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 19
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 31
- Don Cherry: Canucks GM Gillis threw coaches ‘under the bus’ 25
- Playoffs Tonight: Bruins know series vs Rangers isn’t over 19
- Sens’ Alfredsson: We probably won’t win this series 20
- Discuss: Penguins overwhelm Senators to take Game 4 75
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting 105
- Gillis: Vigneault fired because results weren’t there 21
- Official: Canucks fire head coach Vigneault, assistants Bowness and Brown 33
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (105)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (100)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- Tebow fact: He reminds Chuck Norris of Chuck Norris
- LeBron stuns Pacers with OT winner in Game 1
- HBT: Astros vendor fired after taking food into bathroom
- Pens overwhelm Sens, take 3-1 series lead
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement