SAN JOSE, Calif. | Nicklas Backstrom wasn’t on the ice for more than two minutes before he swapped a white practice jersey for a gray one. White indicates players on the Washington Capitals’ fourth line or the team’s forward who won’t be in the lineup; gray indicates a spot on the second line.
That was just one indication, and his mannerisms and words a couple more, that it looks like he’ll play Saturday night at the San Jose Sharks.
“It’s looking good but we’re still evaluating,” coach Dale Hunter said. “But he looks good.”
That evaluation was ongoing Friday, causing Backstrom to miss the first 15 minutes of practice. Any kind of head injury requires a certain amount of precaution, but the 24-year-old didn’t have any issues during the Caps’ workout at HP Pavilion.
“I feel pretty good today,” he said. “I think I don’t have anything but it’s up to the doctors to tell us.”
If it’s up to Backstrom, he’ll play against the Sharks.
“I feel pretty good, actually,” he said. “I think I’m ready to go. That’s my thoughts.”
Obviously it will be up to the team’s training staff to make the decision.
“It’s how he feels, so we’re still evaluating him,” Hunter said. “It’s an evaluation.”