Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will be a game-time decision in the Capitals’ western Canada trip opener in Vancouver on Thursday night. Backstrom, 29, did not participate in the Capitals morning skate.
#Caps Nicklas Backstrom (ill) will not skate this morning and is a game-time decision for tonight.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 26, 2017
Already without Matt Niskanen, Andre Burakovsky, and Tyler Graovac, the Capitals cannot afford to lose Backstrom for a few games. Backstrom arguably plays one of the biggest roles on the team, plays on the penalty kill, centers the first line, and runs the first power-play unit. He is one of, if not, the one guy the Capitals cannot afford to lose.
Through nine games this season, Backstrom co-leads the team in points with center Evgeny Kuznetsov with 12 points. Three of those are goals. Backstrom has a +1 rating so far this season, good for fourth on the Capitals.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 26, 2017
With no Backstrom, PP1 now includes Alex Chiasson on the goal line. Kuznetsov at the half wall, as per Isabelle Khurshudyan.
Head Coach Barry Trotz said morning skate rushes won’t necessarily be what he does for the game, if Backstrom doesn’t play.
Backstrom practiced on the first line with Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie at practice this week.
Backstrom is nine goals shy of his 200th NHL goal.
By Harrison Brown