Mike Knuble skated in full pads for about 40 minutes Thursday morning at KCI, taking part in a rather intense conditioning skate with Capitals strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. The veteran right wing, who missed Game 4 after taking a puck off his right hand in Game 3, didn’t do much shooting and the shots he did take weren’t with much force.
It’s unclear what exact injury Knuble suffered when he was struck by the puck prior to scoring a goal in Game 3. The 38-year-old didn’t take his right glove off to expose his hand during the practice or while he was signing autographs. When he met with reporters, Knuble didn’t remove his hand from his sweatshirt pocket.
Knuble said he expects to play again this postseason but he doesn’t know when he will next appear in the lineup. He had only missed three games this season prior to his absence Wednesday night, and that stint came back in November, when he suffered a broken jaw.
“I call myself day-to-day,” Knuble said. “You’ve got to do your best to stay in shape and keep your conditioning or whatever. It’s hard to sit out and hard to watch, especially last night to watch the ups and downs. Finish with Jason [Chimera’s] goal -- it’s heart wrenching to watch at home, that’s for sure.”
As for whether he might be available for Game 5 against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon, Knuble said he wasn’t sure.
“That’s up in the air; we won’t know until tomorrow or maybe even Saturday morning, Saturday game time,” he said.
At one point during Knuble’s workout, Chimera came out of the weight room near the ice surface and the injured right winger yelled for him to come over. Knuble hugged Chimera, there were a few cheers, and the oldest player on the Capitals’ roster later discussed how difficult it was for him to watch the pivotal matchup at Madison Square Garden last night.
“I find myself watching the clock all day and trying to be home at the right time, trying to make sure I have my DVR set so I don’t miss anything,” Knuble said. It’s “just a weird feeling. Missing a playoff game, watching your team play is much different than missing games in the regular season. It’s really hard to go through. Obviously, I was as low as they felt last night and as high as they were after, too.”