Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin has missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury and while we don’t know what it is that’s eating the Great Eight, it appears that he’ll be getting back to action sooner than later.
Today, Ovechkin practiced with the team for the first time since going down with his secret ailment. Ovechkin tells Katie Carrera of The Washington Post that he thinks he’s ready to go.
Ovechkin wasn’t sure if he would be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Carolina, though.
“I don’t know. It’s not my decision,” Ovechkin said. “How I said, I’m ready to go, but I don’t know how it’s going to work right now with tomorrow.”
That’s good news on that front because the Capitals without Ovechkin in the lineup to steady their offense have been a bit erratic getting shutout by the Senators and scoring just twice in a 2-0 shutout against Montreal.
As for defenseman Mike Green who’s been out with a concussion suffered against the Rangers, he skated today in full pads for about 25 minutes. While that’s a very encouraging sign, he’s unsure about when he’ll be back to action but at least he’s feeling hopeful that it’ll be soon.
The two-time Norris Trophy finalist said he is feeling better, but acknowledged that he was still experiencing symptoms.
“Here and there, but nothing that’s progressing to get worse — it’s always getting better,” Green said. “We’ve done a great job here with the trainers and the staff of taking the right procedures for me to get better. The unfortunate part is that it does take time. It’s nice to get a good skate and hopefully now I can get back on the ice and back playing with the team.”
The Caps have been playing great in Green’s absence from the lineup but there’s no doubt that they could use his offensive touch from the blue line. Dennis Wideman’s addition has been welcomed and has given them a bit of a lift. Obviously with Ovechkin being close to back in the lineup that’s huge, but getting Green back after he has been out since February 25 to help steady their attack and improve their defense cannot be understated.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer