Nicklas Backstrom Conducts Shooting Drills, T.J. Oshie Continues To Fully Participate In Practices: Notes From Capitals Monday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday for one final full practice in advance of their next game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team will have the day off on Tuesday before hosting the Flyers at Capital One Arena on Wednesday. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM on TNT.


Lines and pairs at Monday’s practice from’s Tom Gulitti:

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov  – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Lars Eller – Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson— John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Alexander Alexeyev, Joe Snively
Injuries: Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Carl Hagelin, Connor Brown, Beck Malenstyn.
Re-assigned: Connor McMichael was re-assigned to Hershey on November 20.

Nicklas Backstrom continues to step-up his appearances at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. On Monday he was working on shooting drills with assistant coach Blaine Forsythe prior to the Capitals practice.

Backstrom underwent hip resurfacing surgery in June and his return remains unknown at this time. However, the sight of him skating and now working on drills, is nothing but an encouraging sign.

T.J. Oshie continues to be a full participant in team practices, further indicating his return to the lineup is drawing near.

Garnet Hathaway returned to practice today after missing yesterday for personal reasons.

Dmitry Orlov (lower body) is not practicing today after going through the full practice yesterday.


Conor Sheary has scored three goals in his last five games and his seven goals this season rank second on the Capitals, trailing only Alex Ovechkin (9).

Six of Sheary’s seven goals have come at five-on-five, which leads the Capitals and ranks tied for 13th in the NHL. Sheary’s only goal not scored during five-on-five play was a shorthanded goal on Oct. 24 at New Jersey, which marked his first career shorthanded goal. [More here.]


Today’s stat presents the goals saved above expected (xGA – GA) for each of the 32 teams, courtesy of JFreshHockey.

The Capitals netminding tandem continues to prevent more goals than expected, and currently has the 10th-best goals saved above expected in the league. [If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary.]


Connor McMichael was loaned to the Hershey Bears on Sunday and made his first AHL start Sunday afternoon.

McMichael had no points but turned in a fairly decent game. He and Hendrix Lapierre led the Bears in shots with 4 each.

Ivan Miroshnichenko was elevated from his MHL team to Avangard’s VHL team over the weekend. He made his first start and provided two primary assists in his first game back.

Miroshnichenko, 18, played 31 games with the VHL club last season before he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He recorded 10 goals and six assists in those 31 games. More here.


Alex Alexeyev would need to clear waivers should the Capitals want to send him to Hershey for much-needed work. Today’s question, would he clear waivers?

Would Alex Alexeyev clear waivers if the Capitals wanted to send him to Hershey for games?

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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26 Responses to Nicklas Backstrom Conducts Shooting Drills, T.J. Oshie Continues To Fully Participate In Practices: Notes From Capitals Monday Practice

  1. KimRB says:

    Nicklas Nackstrom?

    Is his goal song My Sharona?

  2. Jonathan says:

    What’s with the “Nackstrom” name?

    Good to see him on the ice. The surgery that he had seemed to have questions about whether it’s good or not for someone who is going to get hit as part of his job, so I’m concerned that he might not be able to come back fully for that reason or if he does, he could ruin the repair work that was done. Still, I’m sure he knows the pros and cons himself, and so do his doctors. Hopefully all works out, for we sure do need him.

  3. novafyre says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one doubletaking the title in the email.

    I have not gone back to look, but when Nick was considering this surgery and then doing it, none of the player examples had come back this quickly, some not at all. My memory is that experts were saying Spring at best. So I worry that because of the team’s struggles, this is being rushed.

    Tom was supposed to be back by Thanksgiving. Changing that to January to me is not a good sign. We’re talking a fairly long addition to his rehab and makes me wonder if it’s not reacting properly to rehab and a second surgery might not be required.

    Love to see Osh back but with his style of play, I just can’t believe this is his last stint in IR this year. He is such a great person in the locker room and away from the rink, I just hate to see him get torn up on the ice.

    So I guess I’m saying that while my heart wants to be optimistic, my head just refuses to go along. Hope my heart is right.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      When I first met TJ Oshie in person, I thought he reminded me of Matty Perreault, in personality. Come to think of it, Matty used to get banged up alot too.

    • Jonathan says:

      Understand your concern, but consider whom we are talking about here. He’s the most mature person on the team. I seriously doubt he’d risk re-injury. I mean, the guy was born an old man.

      • novafyre says:

        And I hope you’re right. I don’t want to see any of our MVPs coming back in future years to be honored in wheelchairs or otherwise impaired because of the joy that they gave us. I know he took his time to research thoroughly before surgery and I hope that he’s just as careful now. Same for Willy, same for Osh. Much as I want to be entertained by the Caps, I do not want to see their lives diminished because of it.

        But we all know the pressure that hockey players feel — end of year stories about playing with broken parts and delaying surgeries until their team is eliminated.

        • Jonathan says:

          O, I think he’s willing to risk being debilitated in his later years if my understanding of his surgery is up to date. This surgery, from what I’ve read, can end his career with a future bad hit and leave him with a disabling injury. I just don’t think he’d risk not having his full career opportunity. If he’s as smart as you’re hoping then the surgery isn’t as big a risk as implied online.

          • Jonathan says:

            …you know… because of advances in the field….

          • hockeydruid says:

            Its a terrible injury and surgery to try to come back from and play at a high level. To my knowledge no one has ever come back and played at a high lever. Several have tried and lasted 1 or 2 games and quit because the pain was just so bad. So I say, with all due respect, Backy thanks for the great years and show but please go home to your wife and kids and dont injure yourself beyond repair; after all you want to walk with the aid or a walker or a be in a chair for many a year.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Recovery from an ACL surgery can take 6 to 9 months providing there are no setbacks. the 6 month timeframe is only if it required minor work. SO I would think having surgery in late May would mean we would see Tom end of Feb at the earliest. IT is better to not rush him back than to push and reinjure the ACL again. Also the way this team is playing maybe it is better he sit out and return next year and we receive a high pick this year. The rebuild has to happen and why not start now!

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

  5. Anonymous says:

    Baby come Backstrom!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Man, Alexeyev’s gonna rot on the vine.

  7. Steve Shea says:

    The Capitals should have planned for the problems they are having. Even if everyone injured gets healthy there won’t be time for them to get into game shape and the Caps will miss the playoffs. The teams that are playing the Caps can smell the blood in the water.

    • KimRB says:

      You can see where this is going. The Capitals will get everybody back healthy in February, catch fire, and put up a 18-7-5 record after the trade deadline, but still miss the playoffs. The good play gets Laviolette an extension, and sets us up for another year of mediocrity. I can barely stand the excitement!

      • novafyre says:

        It’s called purgatory, in-between the heaven of doing well in the playoffs, and hell where you fire the GM and coach and do a rebuild. You’re just good enough to keep muddling along, trying one tweak or another, one more signing, a change in assistants. Players are told to just play harder and they watch their careers go by as they age. It’s worse than hell.

  8. Given the doom and gloom outlook at the end of last season when it was announced what he was dealing with, this is definitely a major news bit on Nicky. Still wonder what has been hampering Osh.

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