On Monday, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media following today’s practice. Although he enjoyed the recent break, he was excited to see the whole team on the ice this morning.
Backstrom enjoyed having the break over the past few days, mentioning he and his family went to see Disney on Ice. “It’s nice to chill for a weekend,” he said. The Backstrom family was also at Medstar Capitals Iceplex watching practice this morning.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 21, 2022
“All year it’s been guys in and out of the lineup,” he said. Today was the first time all season the Capitals had their entire optimal lineup on the ice for practice together. Forward T.J. Oshie, goaltender Vitek Vanecek, and defenseman Justin Schultz all participated in the practice. Left-wing Anthony Mantha skated in a light blue non-contact jersey, which marked the first time he’s participated in a team skate since his shoulder surgery in early November. Backstrom was excited to see them back on the ice. “They obviously mean a lot to this team.”
He said it was a “hard” practice today “with everyone involved.” “We won [the last two games]..we really got to work it to get better as a team, and play the way we want to.”
Backstrom also noted that he is “feeling okay” with no soreness following ongoing hip rehabilitation that kept him out of training camp and the first 28 games of the 2021-22 season. “I just need to start playing better.”
Washington was victorious in their past two games: a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators on February 15 and a 5-3 “W” over the Philadelphia Flyers two days later. On having a break after the two wins, Backstrom said, “It’s easier to play every other day because you get into that rhythm…I think for us as a team, we’re an older team and we gotta take care of our bodies. We gotta get every rest we can get during a long season like this.”
By Della Young