Backstrom Skates Poti Gives The Thumbs Up
The Capitals are skating at Kettler Iceplex again. Doesn't that just have a great sound to it?
As the NHL and NHLPA came to a tentative agreement early Sunday morning, players were more than anxious to get back to skating and going through drills with their team. Although the season isn't officially underway, the Capitals have been able to wrangle quite a few players - around 20 in fact, to Kettler in order to start the shortened season off on the right note. With this "preseason" came a few updates on key injuries. For one, the extent of Tom Poti's injury. Poti has not played an NHL game since January 11, 2011.
Thursday morning, Poti told reporters at Kettler that he thought the initial injury occurred during a game against the New Jersey Devils (presumably in November 2010). "I crashed into the boards with Zubrus, which I think was the first shift of the second period. It was a clean sheet of ice and I skated right into the boards and I felt a little pop." Later on, he mentioned playing for almost two months with the injury, a fractured pelvis and not a groin injury as Poti's motivation for playing hurt was he felt that the team at the time was primed and ready to go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. That was the same year that the Caps (President's Cup winners) lost to Montreal in the first round. Poti's production up until the season ending injury was promising, but he was limited to 21 games during the 2010-11 campaign before being sidelined with injury.
Another familiar face at Kettler on Friday was that of Mr. Nicklas Backstrom, who had recently visited a specialist in Michigan. It was wildly speculated that he visited due to concussion symptoms, since the specialist was the same one who treated Sidney Crosby after his concussion in January 2011, but Backstrom alleviated these doubts by telling reporters it was for a neck injury. He was injured December 21 while playing for Dynamo Moscow during the NHL lockout and was the last time he would play for the club. "I feel good. I am 100%. I know there is a lot of speculation out there and stuff but it was something I wanted to check out. So I went to Michigan and got it checked out. No concussion so we can all be calm, said Backstrom.
Training camp is expected to kick off Sunday, January 13, a day after the player vote on the ratification of the CBA is scheduled to end, with the official start of the abbreviated 2013 season to start January 19. The official collective bargaining agreement will likely not be signed until the end of February.
Special thanks to Lisa G. for setting us up with great pictures from today.