The Washington Capitals hit the ice for practice after losing their fifth straight game in regulation to the Detroit Red Wings. Present at the skate for the first time in over a week was Caps captain Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin has been away from the team since February 14, following the hospitalization and tragic death of his father, Mikhail, at the age of 71.
Wednesday was Ovi’s first day back at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
Getting their captain back would be a step in the right direction for the Caps but they may have already dug their hole too deep this season. Their first chance to and rally will come against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.
NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti reports that head coach Peter Laviolette said he would go back into the room and discuss with Ovi about potentially playing against Anaheim. The Great Eight arrived at practice straight from the airport.
#ALLCAPS Alex Ovechkin has returned to @MedStarIceplex
His return to game action remains TBD#Caps host #Ducks tomorrow pic.twitter.com/eYt5qAAbeg
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) February 22, 2023
Ovechkin has recorded 54 points (32g, 22a) in 54 games for the Caps this season. He leads the team both in goal-scoring and in overall total points. The team lost all four games they had to play without him. Going back to April of 2022, the Caps have gone 0-8 when without their superstar leader.
They averaged just 1.75 goals per game in this most recent stint of him being unavailable.
Welcome back, O ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FCt7GEZEUt
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 22, 2023
The practice was optional so Ovechkin did not take any sort of line rushes nor were any lineup changes from Laviolette showcased.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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