The Washington Capitals hosted an optional, Trade Deadline day practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex – a day after their 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Several of the Capitals’ injured depth players returned to the ice including TJ Oshie and Nic Dowd according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir.
Oshie suffered a lower-body injury against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 17 after awkwardly attempting a stop near the end boards. The team said Oshie was out day-to-day due to the injury. Oshie has missed two consecutive games, Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes and Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars.
When asked if it was a good sign Osh skated, Peter Laviolette wasn’t sure and suggested he did not know what the right wing’s timeline would be coming back.
“I think it’s still too early to tell,” Laviolette said. “You might get a better read tomorrow when you see him come out here and how hard he pushes and whether he’s in the mix with the lines. And even from there, you have to go in and talk to the trainers and see how he does from those things.”
Oshie has missed 36 of 64 games this season with a myriad of issues including previous lower- and upper-body injuries, COVID, and the flu.
Meanwhile, Dowd wore a navy blue non-contact jersey during the skate. He was injured in Friday’s game against the Hurricanes after being caught by a counter hit by Brendan Smith. Dowd missed Sunday’s game against the Stars. Eller replaced Dowd on the “fourth line” while Connor McMichael centered the all-rookie line (that was essentially benched the entire game).
— julia (@casadoresdean) March 21, 2022
Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was injured against the Hurricanes, and John Carlson did not participate in the skate. Carlson was slammed heavily into the end boards by Jamie Benn at the end of the Capitals-Stars game.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby got some attention for missing Monday’s skate, but Laviolette didn’t think the press should make much of his absence.
“It is an optional,” Laviolette said. “Optional means optional. I didn’t just go ‘only you five guys [don’t skate] with minutes.’ Again, guys could be dealing with things inside the room. They might choose to stay off the ice today. Optional for me is optional. I don’t care whether you’re a first or second-year player or a 20-year player. If it’s optional, you can stay off.”
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