Aside from the news about the 2012 NHL All-Star roster, it was a relatively quiet day at KCI on Thursday as the Capitals held an optional on-ice workout.
More on the All-Star Game:
— Ovechkin, Wideman named to roster
— Weigh in: Is Ovechkin a worthy all-star?
— Wideman surprised by all-star nod
With the team in a strenuous stretch of games nearly every other day leading up to the all-star break Jan. 26-30, only a handful of players took part in the skate.
Those who did participate were: Michal Neuvirth, Alexander Semin, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, Dmitry Orlov, John Erskine, Tomas Kundratek and Jeff Schultz.
There was also no new update on center Nicklas Backstrom or defenseman Mike Green, who aggravated his groin in San Jose. Backstrom has missed three games with a concussion, the result of the elbow to the jaw he absorbed from Calgary’s Rene Bourque. The team officially lists Backstrom’s status as day-to-day but on Wednesday Coach Dale Hunter said that there is no timetable for the center’s return.
The 24-year-old Swede hasn’t skated since Jan. 6 in San Jose. He was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday retroactive to Jan. 2 but can be taken off the list at any time.
It’s possible that the concussion and the uncertainty of when he will be able to return to the ice may have caused Backstrom to be left off the NHL’s all-star roster. Backstrom leads Washington with 42 points, is ranked 15th in the league in scoring and many speculated he would receive his first all-star nod if healthy.
“That’s how it is. What’s he at right then, and the league knows what happened with the elbow,” Hunter said. “Everybody wants to go to the All-Star game. It’s a great honor. Unfortunately, he’s hurt right now and we’ll have to wait and see how he is [Friday].”
Backstrom has not been made available to reporters since Jan. 6 in San Jose, when he spoke after taking part in the team’s practice at HP Pavilion. The time off the ice may already have Backstrom a little restless, though.
The center announced he has joined Twitter (@backstrom19) and he shared the following update Thursday morning: “Looks like its gonna be another fun day on the couch! Thanks everyone for welcoming me on twitter..! #bored
More from Post Sports:
— Ovechkin, Wideman named to all-star roster
— Ovechkin says his game is coming back around
— Chimera scores as Capitals take 1-0 victory
— Fourth line helps shut the door on Penguins