PHILADELPHIA | While there were many questions and few answers at the Washington Capitals’ morning skate at Wells Fargo Center, the best continuation of a good news story came back at their practice facility.
Nicklas Backstrom skated for the ninth time in the past 10 days, for about an hour this time, a team spokesman confirmed.
On Wednesday, coach Dale Hunter said Backstrom will continue to do “more,” which could include taking part in team practices maybe even as early as next week.
“We all know he’s a special guy, special player. We always like to see him come back; he’s skating. But he feels good about himself,” Hunter said. “The worst thing you can do to a player is don’t put him on the ice. It’s tough. He’s back skating, he’s feeling better and it’s good for the Washington Capitals and for Nicky.”
Tomas Vokoun doesn’t seem anywhere near ready to return, but Thursday marked progress for the 35-year-old goaltender as he tries to come back from the first groin injury of his NHL career.
Vokoun took the ice in Philadelphia a little late, skating around and testing his groin for several minutes before taking shots from his Caps teammates. Afterward, he said his groin is feeling a lot better than it was even a few days ago, when he lasted only 30 seconds on the ice in Detroit.