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Backstrom will ‘absolutely’ play Saturday; Grabovski ‘very ready’ to return

Mar 27, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals Getty Images

From our friends at CSN Washington:

Short of the NHL awarding them 10 more points for good behavior, the news out of Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday could not have been better.

Center Nicklas Backstrom, who left Tuesday night’s 5-4 shootout loss to he Los Angeles Kings with what many feared was a left shoulder injury, said he felt good after Thursday’s practice and will “absolutely” play on Saturday when the Capitals continue their playoff chase against the Boston Bruins.

Center Mikhail Grabovski, who has missed 21 of the past 22 games with a left ankle injury, also skated and said he’s “very ready” to return on Saturday, adding the final call will be made by the Caps’ medical and coaching staffs.

With 10 points out of a possible 12 in their last six games, the Caps have put themselves right back into the wild-card race in the East. After hosting the Bruins Saturday, they’ll travel to Nashville to take on the Predators Sunday.

Related: The Caps are back in the playoff race, but what are their chances?

  1. kantnockdahustle89 - Mar 27, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Thank God.

  2. vbcaps - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Great news. Still going to be a hell of a battle to get into the offs’

  3. wtfkwp - Mar 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I guess all the hyperbole after Dewey’s hip check (including calls for violence) were just as absurd as I said they were.

  4. tdl23ca - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I’m a CAPS fan but does this even matter?

    My point is that this team is not going anywhere (as usual) even if they do make the playoffs (which I doubt).
    How many years in a row can a franchise be so mediocre and play with basically no emotion or will?
    How does a team in the middle of a “playoff race” give up a 2 goal lead in the third period, barely tie it, and then lose in a shootout (again)?

    Even when they change the coach (how’s Boudreau doing out in Anaheim?), star players (Semin), and get a new goaltender (Halak) nothing ever changes.

    The CAPS do not play with any sort of intensity which I believe has to fall at the feet of either the GM or the Captain.

    I typically don’t watch many other teams other than the CAPS, but I watched the Flyers versus the Rangers last night and it was like watching a playoff game. Both teams were fighting for every puck and every inch.

    When you watch the CAPS it’s like watching a guys just going through the motions. It’s not that they aren’t trying but there seems to be another level that other teams are able to get to that the CAPS never seem to be able to match.

    I don’t know if it’s chemistry, coaching, or something else because they have plenty of talent on this team.

    Something has to change because as a fan it’s really getting old. If it doesn’t then eventually Verizon is going to go back to what it looked like before Ovie came here..half empty.

    • kyzslew77 - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      “The CAPS do not play with any sort of intensity which I believe has to fall at the feet of either the GM or the Captain.”

      The Caps do not lack intensity. They lack good players, especially up the middle and on the blue line. That falls at the feet of the GM.

      “When you watch the CAPS it’s like watching a guys just going through the motions.”

      No.

      “I don’t know if it’s chemistry,”

      No.

      “coaching,”

      Some of it definitely is. The rest is that they don’t have enough good players.

      “or something else because they have plenty of talent on this team.”

      No they don’t. This is an incredibly shallow team. They don’t have enough high end talent to compliment Ovi and Backstrom (although Kuznetsov might be on his way to helping solve this problem), and the defense is just dreadful past Carlson, Alzner (who is having a down year) and Green (who is way overpaid but at least still competent). Seriously, look at the defensemen not named Carlson, Alzner and Green that this team has run out this year. It’s a joke. What GMGM said about the team’s goaltending before the trade deadline is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a sports executive say. How you could watch this team and not see that they’re a complete tire fire on the blue line is beyond me.

      But long story short, please can the “They don’t care enough!” narrative. They care plenty. They’re just not that good.

      • tdl23ca - Mar 28, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        Ya. You’re probably right. This GM would have been fired years ago in any other city. How many chances does one person get? He must be a great salesperson with his “success is right around the corner” speeches to Leonsis.

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