T.J. Oshie Set To Return, Dmitry Orlov Participates In Morning Skate, Nicklas Backstrom Participates In Non-Contact Jersey: Notes From Wednesday’s Morning Skate

The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for their gameday morning skate. They host the Flyers at Capital One Arena tonight with puck drop set for 7:30 PM on TNT.


Dmitry Orlov (lower body) was on the ice for the Capitals morning skate after not practicing Monday. (Team was off yesterday). T.J. Oshie (lower body) also participated in morning skate. He was a full participant in practice on Sunday and Monday. Lines and pairs at Wednesday’s morning skate courtesy of Tom Gulitti/NHL.com:

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
Dmitry Orlov – Alex Alexeyev

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Darcy Kuemper was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, indicating he will likely get the start tonight against the Flyers.

Nicklas Backstrom was once again on the ice prior to the team’s morning skate. Today he appeared to be skating with a bit more speed, and worked in a few sharp turns. He also participated in the team’s morning skate, donning a blue non-contact jersey.

Once again, there is still no official timeline for Backstrom’s return. However, signs from this week have been very encouraging.

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


The Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at Capital One Arena for the first of four meetings between the teams this season. Tonight’s game marks Washington’s fourth game against a Metropolitan Division opponent this season (1-1-1).

The Capitals have earned at least one point in two of their three division games, including a win against first-place New Jersey on Oct. 24 and a shootout loss to second-place Carolina on Oct. 31. [More here.]


Garnet Hathaway missed practice on Sunday for “personal” reasons. In this case, it was great news.

Congratulations to Garnet and Lindsay, and welcome to the Caps family, Ella.


One of the positive stats for the Capitals of late is their average shot differential per game. This is simply the Capitals shots per game average minus their shots against per game average. (SF/GM – SA/GM). [Click to enlarge].

The Capitals hit a season-low on November 1st following their game with the Vegas Knights, with a -5.20, meaning the opposing team was averaging more than five shots per game than the Capitals. That average has been improving and now down to a little less than a shot and a half and has trended in the right direction for the month of November.

Related, the Capitals Corsi For Percentage (CF%) at 5-on-5 shows similar tracking and is now well above 50%

[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick. If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary.]


Goaltender Chase Clark and Quinnipiac have made their way to Belfast, Ireland for this weekend’s Friendship Four tournament. UMass, Dartmouth and UMass-Lowell will all partake in this weekend’s tournament.

Photo: Quinnipiac Men’s Hockey

Capitals prospects continue to find their teams in the NCAA Top-20 polls. Ryan Chesley (Minnesota, #2), Chase Clark (Quinnipiac, #4), Mitchell Gibson (Harvard, #9) and David Gucciardi (Michigan State, #16) are ll in this week’s Top-20.


  • Alex Ovechkin has recorded 73 points (43g, 30a) in 67 games against the Flyers, while John Carlson has recorded 31 points (3g, 28) in 52 career games versus Philadelphia.

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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24 Responses to T.J. Oshie Set To Return, Dmitry Orlov Participates In Morning Skate, Nicklas Backstrom Participates In Non-Contact Jersey: Notes From Wednesday’s Morning Skate

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hot damn! We’re finally getting the band back together.

    • GRin430 says:

      Let’s hope it isn’t one of those one-night-only reunion shows…

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Ha, no doubt “Live! One Night Only!”

      • KimRB says:

        You just gave me a picture of overweight old men, strapping on their guitars, performing their hits catalogue, while their original lead singer is in a commune in the Sierra Nevada, and the bass player sues them for using the band name, without his permission.

        Rock is Dead (to quote Mr. Townshend again)

        • novafyre says:

          Not as long as commercials keep using their songs!

          • KimRB says:

            Yeah, well they use Mozart’s and Beethoven’s music in commercials too. Doesn’t make those Herren any less dead

            • novafyre says:

              True. Genre musicians may be dead, but that doesn’t mean the genre is dead. Especially not in my brain (permanently transistor radio damaged) which pulls up rock, folk, and pop lyrics as I read articles.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Not gonna lie, I feel like we might see Backy before Willy. That would be a mind blower. I know, we don’t have the real information inside Caps, but it sure feels like it

    • hockeydruid says:

      For Backy, I feel, it will be short lived as NO one in any sport has made a successful long term comeback from this surgery. I would rather have fond memories of the things he did than sad memories on how he ended his career. Like so many athletes he does not know when retire. For me this is a no brainer as I would rather walk with my wife and kids and be able to do thing with them than be permanently incapacitated. AS for Willie ACL recovery from surgery takes 6-9 months and that is on the short end. For his return a lot depends on rehab and even more depends on his mental state about the knee. As surgery was at the end of May I would not expect to see him back until Christmas at the earliest and possible not until March. Remember it is not just recovery from surgery and getting his head right but also getting in playing shape, especially the legs.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        We were talking about the documentary on Andy Murray “Resurfacing”, as he underwent same surgery, but I’m not a big follower of tennis. How did his career go afterwards?

        • novafyre says:

          November 2019 Amazon Prime released “Andy Murray: Resurfacing” a documentary detailing Murray’s various attempts to overcome his hip injury over a two-year period from his 2017 Wimbledon defeat to his doubles victory at Queen’s Club in 2019.

          His comeback has been spotty. For one, tennis competition is not a daily grind unless you’re winning. And he won and lost. (Practice is daily but we’re talking matches.) Covid interfered with tournaments and Andy has always had various other ailments. So it’s really hard to determine how successful it was. But he is still competing and winning. At the 2022 US Open he lost in the third round to Matteo Berrettini.

          So I would say the procedure he had was a success.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please envelope Oshie in bubble wrap before tonight’s game.

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    Not gonna lie, Bäckström’s skating at this point looks fairly decent. Somewhat surprised by today’s video.

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. dwgie26 says:

    I am going to the game tonight. Excited to see Oshie back in the lineup! Seems like Orlov will not. Flyers have been sucking so could be an interesting battle.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

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