Business is about to pick up in the nation’s capital.
The Capitals got a surprise at this morning’s practice when they got word Nicklas Backstrom was cleared to participate fully with no restrictions, as reported by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com. With the season coming to an end in just a couple weeks and the playoff push going hard in Washington, getting the team’s best playmaker back to close out the year would give them a huge advantage.
Backstrom has been out of action since early January after taking an elbow to the face courtesy of then Flames forward Rene Bourque. Curiously enough, Bourque and his current team, Montreal, play in Washington on March 31. With how Backstrom has progressed in his concussion recovery, it’s not outside the realm of possibility he makes his comeback by then.
For a season that’s had a lot of drama already, Backstrom returning against the player that knocked him out would amp things up a bit in the middle of a playoff push.
Marner’s brilliant passing powers uplifting night for Leafs
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: