Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom’s Hip Recovery Process “Still At The Beginning”

Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media on Monday that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, who was placed on long-term injured reserve prior to the start of the season, has skated but remains at the “beginning” of the recovery from a hip injury sustained last season. The 33-year-old cannot play until Saturday, November 6, when the Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers, due to LTIR rules.

After goaltender Vitek Vanecek started the first two games of the season, Laviolette said “At some point we’re going to put [Ilya Samsonov] in. As far as the goaltending, we’re looking for great goaltending. And I think we’ve gotten that.”

During line rushes, center Connor McMichael replaced Hendrix Lapierre in between left-wing Conor Sheary and right-wing T.J. Oshie, which could indicate that the 20-year-old could slot into the lineup and Lapierre could come out on Tuesday when the Capitals host the Colorado Avalanche (7 PM ET, ESPN+).

A further indication of McMichael potentially replacing Lapierre on Tuesday is that right-wing Daniel Sprong took Lapierre’s spot on the second power play unit.

The Avalanche reassigned center Dylan Sikura to the AHL’s Colorado Eagles and recalled right-wing Martin Kaut and left-wing Mikhail Maltsev to the NHL squad prior to leaving for Washington. Defenseman Jack Johnson, who was on COVID-19 protocol, was cleared to travel with the team but not center Nathan MacKinnon.

Tampa Bay Lightning right-wing Nikita Kucherov, who sustained a lower-body injury in the Capitals’ 2-1 overtime loss on Saturday, will be out for a while. Head coach Jon Cooper said “Definitely not a day-to-day thing” of the injury.

Former Capitals’ right-wing Ilya Kovalchuk was named the GM for the USSR’s men’s ice hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom’s Hip Recovery Process “Still At The Beginning”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lapierre didn’t have a very good game against Tampa. Lowest possession stats in the team. Good to give McMichael take a spin.

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