Updates from Saturday, Jan. 25
Mike Vogel of WashingtonCaps.com provides a synopsis of Capitals head coach Adam Oates discussing Alex Ovechkin's availability for tonight's game:
Kate Carrera of The Washington Post previously provided a synopsis of Ovechkin discussing his potential return to the ice:
Alex Ovechkin, who has missed the past two games with a groin injury, is out on the ice at Bell Center for an optional skate.— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 25, 2014
Ovechkin said he feels better, ready to go tonight but said decision wether he plays is Oates’s.— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 25, 2014
The Capitals official Twitter feed officially confirmed that Ovechkin would return on Saturday:
Updates from Friday, Jan. 24
Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reports that Ovechkin might miss Friday's game:
Just got to Prudential Center where signs point to Alex Ovechkin missing a 2nd game with a groin strain. #Caps— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 24, 2014
Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin will miss a second consecutive game Friday against the New Jersey Devils.
Ovechkin was on the ice for the beginning of his team's morning skate at Prudential Center on Friday in preparation for the New Jersey Devils.
However, he appeared to only take a few laps around the ice before heading off, and Mike Vogel, senior writer for the Capitals website, confirmed Ovechkin will not play Friday. Coach Adam Oates will speak to the media following his team's skate.
Updates from Thursday, Jan. 23
Mike Vogel of washingtoncaps.com gives the latest update on Ovechkin's status:
Ovechkin stepped on ice briefly in shorts, t-shirt & sneakers about 30 mins before #Caps began practice. But he's not on ice for practice.— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) January 23, 2014
Adam Oates updated Ovechkin's status after practice (via Katie Carrera of the Washington Post)
“Tough to say right now [whether Ovechkin will face the Devils]. We’ll have to see how he feels in the morning, if he could skate tomorrow we’d consider putting him in,” said Oates, who said he would consider playing him but with limited ice time. “It depends on how he feels, I’d put him out there maybe selective minutes. Power play, etc.”
Ovechkin was seen walking the hallways at the Capitals’ practice facility in Arlington and did not have a pronounced limp or other impediment, but he was not made available to reporters.
Oates said Ovechkin suffered the injury in the second period against the Rangers, but didn’t detail a specific play. Replays of the contest, however, show that with 9:45 remaining in the second period, Ovechkin absorbed a hit from Dan Girardi on the forecheck that caused him to fall, land on his right knee and then struggle to stand.
“I know he got banged up, I think in the second period,” Oates said. “But because he was warm enough still he was okay for the rest of the game.”
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will miss time due to a lower-body injury.
Katie Carrera of The Washington Post first reported that Ovechkin was not out on the ice for the Capitals' pregame skate:
Alex Ovechkin is not on the ice for warmups. He will miss tonight’s game with a lower-body injury. #Caps— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 21, 2014
Ovechkin was considered a game-time decision for Tuesday night's contest. Carrera reported earlier in the day he had not participated in the morning skate after suffering an injury against the New York Rangers on Sunday.
“He got a little banged up against the Rangers,” coach Adam Oates said. “He knows his body, he’s been hurt before. He knows whether he can go. We’ll decide tonight, he’s been getting treatments. [We'll] come in tonight and see.”
The Russian winger will miss a game in which Washington will try to stop its six-game losing streak against the Senators and a five-game losing streak overall. The Capitals' recent run of bad luck has them hanging on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, where their 52 points through 49 games put them right behind Columbus' same total through 48 contests.
In all, the Capitals are part of a six-team cluster within three points of one another for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Oates seemed to indicate that the injury was minor—if it were major, Ovechkin likely would have been ruled out sooner—but did not reveal the nature. Still, even a precautionary absence will hurt the Caps' goal-scoring prowess.
Ovechkin leads the NHL with 35 goals, lighting the lamp eight more times than any other player. The last two years have been something of a renaissance for Ovechkin, who drew criticism after consecutive disappointing seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12. But since the NHL returned from last season's lockout, he's been the league's most dangerous goal scorer and seemingly motivated for most of his time on ice.
No other Capital has more than 13 goals, so it will be interesting to see how the touches are distributed—especially on the power play, where Ovechkin typically excels.
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