The Capitals were the healthiest team in the NHL last season. Unfortunately, the start of the 2017-2018 season has been anything but a bill of clean health for the Caps. Here is the first of the season’s injury reports, as compiled at 4:00pm on Thursday, October 26th.
CURRENT INJURY STATUS:
Nicklas Backstrom was ill Thursday morning and did not participate in the team’s morning skate. Capitals’ head Coach Barry Trotz said Backstrom is a game time decision for Thursday night’s tilt in Vancouver.
Alex Ovechkin, who took a tumble in Monday’s practice and left the ice and practice early, practiced Tuesday morning, Wednesday and Thursday morning, and appears to be fine. He should be good-to-go Thursday night in Vancouver.
Andre Burakovsky was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) list Tuesday morning, and did not make the Western Canada road trip. Burakovsky met with a specialist Tuesday afternoon and as a result, underwent a successful surgery on his fractured left thumb. Burakovsky sustained the injury during the third period against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 21. Based on the nature of this procedure, Burakovsky is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks. This means Burakovsky will likely return in mid-to-late December.
Defenseman Matt Niskanen skated with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish before practice. Niskanen skated without a stick, but in full gear otherwise. Niskanen suffered an injury to his left thumb against the Devils on October 13th and was subsequently placed on long term injured reserve.
Tyler Graovac is still listed as “week-to-week” with an upper body that he suffered against Toronto. Graovac will also miss the trip to Western Canada.
TOTAL GAMES LOST
The Capitals have currently lost 7 man-games through the first nine games of the season. However that number will rise quickly starting Thursday in Vancouver. Here is the breakdown of man-games missed to date.
Frame of Reference:
The Capitals lost an NHL-low 49 man-games to injury last season. The Vancouver Canucks led the league with 439 man-games lost. Eight teams in the National Hockey League lost fewer than 150 man-games to injury in the 2016/17 season. All eight of those teams qualified for the post-season, however six of them were eliminated in round 1.
Here are the player and games breakdown of the man-games lost for the 2016-2017 Washington Capitals, as provided by NHL injury viz.
Injuries and Post-season
The Penguins were the 7th most injured team and the Predators the 13th most injured team during the 2016-2017 season. The following chart details total man-games lost, total wins and standings points lost due to injury, as compiled by mangameslost.com.
By Jon Sorensen