For approximately 15 minutes Thursday morning, Alex Ovechkin was on the ice alone at KCI in a powder-blue no contact jersey apparently testing something out with his stride.
Ovechkin, who missed Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators with a lower-body injury, skated at half speed skating in small circles then laps around the rink. At one point, the left wing sat on the bench for a few minutes then stepped back on to the ice. Ovechkin tried to power through the neutral zone with his trademark stride but had to pull up, unable to reach full speed.
While it’s tough to tell exactly how Ovechkin is feeling, the fact that he had to pull up on the only two attempts to go full speed while skating certainly isn’t a good sign. It’s uncertain at this point whether he will be able to play in back-to-back games this weekend against Montreal and at Toronto.
It’s believed Ovechkin suffered the lower-body injury at Carolina on Feb. 20, as he was seen limping after the contest and saw his second-lowest time on ice of the season (15:43) in that game. While it’s unclear exactly what caused the injury, Ovechkin did absorb a hip check roughly eight minutes into the second period from Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen that appeared to put strain on the winger’s left leg.
A video of that hip check is below (h/t to Russian Machine for the clip):