The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex Wednesday afternoon for practice following their 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night. The team changed the practice to “optional” Wednesday morning.
The Capitals announced Wednesday morning that captain Alex Ovechkin had returned from Russia and was at the Capitals practice facility. Ovechkin was the first player on the ice before the optional practice.
Alex Ovechkin back on the ice for Capitals practice today pic.twitter.com/KSg0VtKGUl
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 22, 2023
The return to workouts is the first step for Ovechkin. When he is ready to return to games is still to be determined.
#ALLCAPS Alex Ovechkin has returned to @MedStarIceplex
His return to game action remains TBD#Caps host #Ducks tomorrow pic.twitter.com/eYt5qAAbeg
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) February 22, 2023
Ovechkin rushed from the airport straight to facility this morning. He was eager to get back after last week. “It was probably toughest situation I’ve been through through my whole NHL career…it’s life and we move on. Thanks everybody for support back home and here,” he said.
Ovechkin was emotional as he spoke of his father’s impact today: “He give me everything, all his health, all his time. He travel with me all over the world and been at every practice when he have a chance.”
In addition to Ovechkin, Nick Jensen, Alex Alexeyev, Dylan McIlrath and Nicolas Aube-Kubel skated with Kuemper and Lindgren for the optional practice.
Anthony Mantha, who left last night’s game with an upper body injury, did not participate in the optional practice. Mantha skated 8:18 of ice time, recording two shots on net before leaving last night’s game.
STAT OF THE DAY – SHOTS FIRED
The Capitals led in five-on-five shot attempts, 43-39 and shots on goal, 27-25 last night against the Red Wings. Unfortunately, only one of those shots found the back of the net. As a result, the Capitals team shooting percentage continues to plummet. [Click to enlarge].
The Capitals now have a season shooting percentage of 7.88% at five on five and now rank 24th in the league. The league average currently sits at 8.53%.
Gary Bettman’s 30-year reign has made the NHL richer. But has it hurt hockey? [The Guardian]
32 Thoughts: A trade deadline check-in on each NHL team [Sportsnet]
- If the Capitals decide to sell, what could they get in return at the deadline? [Daily Faceoff]
- On this date in 2020, Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career NHL goal, becoming the 8th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
On this day in 2020, Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal, becoming just the eighth player in NHL history to reach the milestone #Hockey365 #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/JgkedimIAM
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) February 22, 2023
Also, today is the 43rd anniversary of the Miracle On Ice. The United States had the youngest team in the tournament and in U.S. national team history, defeated the four-time defending gold medalist Soviet Union, perhaps the greatest hockey team ever assembled.
Having an optional practice at this point makes no sense. This team needs to work through issues.
Many have forgotten that the Miracle on Ice was a semi-final game. The US still had to beat Finland a couple of days later for the gold. Useful trivia question.
Yep. It wasn’t anticlimactic at the time, the game against Finland, but over time, it’s fallen into the shadows of the victory over USSR.
I would sell next week.. Several teams are all in – NYR, BB, CH, TB, and of course the Leafs.. Oilers and Kings need a D and they will pay big for NJ and DO…