After suffering a hard-fought 3-2 loss in Winnipeg on Friday and facing back-to-back games in Chicago and Detroit, Capitals Coach Dale Hunter called off Saturday’s practice.
Here are a few notes and quotes to get you through until tomorrow’s morning skate:
*I have inquired about Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart and whether he’ll face discipline from the NHL for his headshot on Marcus Johansson. No word on a hearing. The Jets don’t play until tomorrow night.
*Nicklas Backstrom skated for about 45 minutes with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish this morning at KCI, a team spokesman confirmed. This marked the fifth consecutive day the Caps center has skated as he attempts to return from a concussion that has sidelined him since Jan. 7.
Backstrom has said he's not going to hurry back. But it sure seems like things are progressing well given the length of time he worked out today.
*Looking ahead a bit, Sunday’s opponent – the Blackhawks – are 5-1-1 this month and are coming off back-to-back wins over the NHL-leading Blues and streaking Stars. And they’re doing it without captain Jonathan Toews, who has not played since Feb. 19 because of a concussion.
According to a tweet from Chicago Tribune beat writer Chris Kuc, the Blackhawks plan to start Corey Crawford against the Caps.
Have a safe St. Patty’s Day, everyone. If there’s no update on Stuart, I’ll check in from United Center in the morning.