NEW YORK, NY - MAY 7: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals stretches during warm-ups prior to the start of the game against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Backstrom has “what you say — bruised neck”


If the NHL lockout ends soon, the Washington Capitals may have to start the season without one of their top players.

Nicklas Backstrom, who’s spending the lockout with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL, suffered a neck injury on Dec. 26 when he was hit from behind in a game against Slovan Bratislava.

Backstrom’s Swedish agent, Gunnar Svensson, sent an email to the blog, Russian Machine Never Break, expanding on his client’s health issues.

“Nicklas has what you say — bruised neck,” Svensson said. “Hard to say about the recovery time. Day to day, maybe week to week.”

Backstrom has 25 points in 19 games for Dynamo Moscow. His Caps teammate Alex Ovechkin leads the club with 38 points in 30 games.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

1 Comment

In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: