The Washington Capitals got quite the sight for sore eyes on Saturday morning as they prepared to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Legendary center Nicklas Backstrom took the ice for the team’s morning skate in a regular white practice jersey.
To this point, all of his on-ice work has occurred in a dark blue non-contact sweater.
The 35-year-old pivot has yet to play in a game this season after undergoing a complicated hip resurfacing procedure over the summer. He has been ramping up his rehab activities since mid-November when he practiced with the rest of his teammates for the first time.
— Katie (@That_WriterGirl) December 17, 2022
This news comes just a day after Caps head coach Peter Laviolette commented on Backstrom’s current injury status. First, Laviolette started a bit more vague as he lumped also injured forward Tom Wilson into the equation.
“They’re ramping up right now and eventually, like I said, these jersey colors will change and there will be a process that goes to that next step where they’re now involved in contact and in the battles more and the physicality of it,” Laviolette started. “Certainly to see them out here competing as hard as they are, that’s a really good thing.
“The trainers make sure they’ve gone through the right steps and not done too much,” he continued. “They’re ramping up now. One day could follow another tough day. It’s not like they have to go backwards or they have to slow it down. Some days they do slow it down but that’s part of the plan. So it’s not been a setback. Everything’s been a good steady progression moving forward with these guys.”
The veteran bench boss then narrowed his thoughts on solely Backstrom.
“Just the smile on his face,” Laviolette said when asked how he evaluated the Swede’s comeback. “He doesn’t seem to be carrying pain. He seems to be moving free. He’s working hard to get back in shape. He looks good to me out there. His skating looks good, his hands always look good, his hockey sense is always great. The skating looks good to me. It’d probably be a better question for him and seeing how he feels about things.”
good morning to nicklas backstrom in a normal practice jersey pic.twitter.com/DaW5pecPai
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 17, 2022
Recently, Backstrom and Wilson traveled with the team on the Caps’ quick two-game road trip to Winnipeg and Chicago. There, Backstrom was one of the first to take part in the postgame locker room celebrations after his good buddy Alex Ovechkin scored the 800th goal of his NHL career.
It must be noted that Backstrom did not factor into the eventual practice line combinations set to take on the Maple Leafs but swapping a non-contact jersey for a regular jersey is still a sign of huge progress.
Headline photo: @That_WriterGirl/Twitter
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.