Nicklas Backstrom left Tuesday night’s game against the Islanders after taking a puck to the face. He would quickly return to the game only to leave again for a second injury. However, he will be ready to go for tonight’s tilt against the Islanders.
Backstrom was asked about what exactly transpired in the last game that led to him leave the game on two occasions, not to return after the second injury. He wouldn’t be specific about the injuries.
“I had some thought breaks last game, but feeling good today, back to normal”
With all of the injuries incurred by the Capitals, particularly at the center position, TJ Oshie will move from the wing to center the second line. Backstrom doesn’t see a problem with that.
“He can play in every position, I think. He’s so smart out there, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Most of the times he takes a lot of draws too. I think it will be fun seeing him as a center tonight.”
Backstrom thinks the team has managed the absences of key players fairly well. The “next man up” mentality is working well for the team.
“It’s gonna happen this year, very unfortunate, but at the same time, that’s what we all want to strive for. Even if guys are gonna be in and out of the lineup, we still wanna play good, we wanna have our foundation of being a good team. I think last game we actually played a good hockey game. Just keep building, whoever is gonna be in or out of the lineup. Keep moving forward.”
As previously noted, Backstrom took a puck to the face in the last game, but was able to return to the game. He gives full credit to the Capitals team doctors for their speedy patch job and getting him back into the game.
”Obviously I give a lot of credit to the doctors that were there, I think they are use to doing everything pretty quick. When you walk out of a game like that, and stuff like that happens, I think they are very good at making sure they heal you quick so you can get back there. All credit to the doctors.”
Backstrom was asked if his kids noticed his new black eye.
”My son wants to touch it all the time. I’m sure if he plays hockey he’ll get used to it. (laughs)
The Capitals will be without centers Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Brian Pinho for tonight’s game against the Islanders. Backstrom admits it’s not ideal, but thinks it’s good for the team later on down the line this season.
”You don’t want to see this happen, but at the same time we wanna be able to have this depth in case something happens, guys filling in and guys stepping up, I think everyone played a solid game last game, so it’s all about the foundation, and how we wanna play as a team, it shouldn’t matter who we put in or out.”
By Jon Sorensen