Blog Entry

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:17 pm
Backstrom hasn't played since Jan. 3. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Washington Capitals made a pretty sound statement this week when they smacked down the Florida Panthers, the team they are battling neck-and-neck with in the Southeast Division. It would be a tremendous boost to them if they could get arguably their best player (yes, even compared to Alex Ovechkin) Nicklas Backstrom back to help them out.

That doesn't sound too likely.

Out since early January when he suffered a concussion from a hit from then Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque, Backstrom recently talked to Gefle Dagblad in his native Sweden about his recovery efforts and it's not promising. Thanks to Capitals blog Japers Rink, here is a translated version of what he had to say.

"I don’t know when I will be able to play again, but I hope I will be ready for the playoffs," Backstrom said. "I’m getting better, but it takes time."

Hoping to be ready for the playoffs is not what anybody wants to hear. Even a couple of months down the line isn't certain. Of course we know that timetables are virtually impossible to set with concussions, but you would hope that they were a little more optimistic.

More importantly, there is no guarantee that there will be a playoff season to get ready for. While the conventional wisdom is that the Caps should be fine when it comes to making the postseason, they really are in a dog fight with less than 30 games to go. You'd have to like their odds a lot more if Backstrom were back playing with the team.

Backstrom tried at one point to begin the comeback, but shut things down after three minutes of skating.

"Two weeks ago I tried to get on the ice for a practice, but I got off after three minutes. It didn’t work. I just wasn’t ready."

As for the hit from Bourque that put Backstrom out and landed Bourque a five-game suspension? Backstrom isn't a fan of it.

"It was an unnecessary hit," he said. "I feel like he could have just skated by me instead."

Before his injury, Backstrom was in the middle of another very good season for the Capitals. He had 13 goals and 29 assists in 38 games. On a team whose offense is down, he was one of the few still making things happen. Not to mention he is that all-important top-line center.

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Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:32 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

Its tough to think about, but the Caps (as well as I) have to think he is out for the season. He hopes to be back for playoffs? Well I hope we make the playoffs! It will be interesting to see what GMGM does when the trade deadline appraoches. He has made moves almost every year when they were assured of the postseason, but what will he do with us currently on the outside looking in (albeit it be one point).

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:26 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

But what if Alex Ovechkin hits some bum 4th liner who is an injury call up from a rival team?  If I'm the owner of that team and the team doctor wants to stay employeed by me, my "hurt" players is done for the year.  If not longer....

It's good in theory, but I don't think it would work out.   An if Bourque hits some other player like that maybe he doesn't miss a shift.  So then is it no suspension?  You have to suspend the act. Not the result, imo.  

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:00 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

I think the only way to stop players from taking cheap shots and injuring other players is to suspend them based upon the length of an injury... example if a player elbows a guy and said player is out with a concussion for say two months, well then that guy doesn't get back on the ice until the player he hurt is playing again.  Maybe that will make players think twice before they take a run at someone.  Just a thought!

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:07 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

So crazier things have happened.


Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:40 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

Hey dont forget, the Giants were a 7-7 team at one point too.  So crazier things have happened. 

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:52 pm

Capitals' Backstrom hopes to be ready by playoffs

great! if the team can manage to make the playoffs. 

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