Connect with us

Capitals Notebook

Capitals Notebook: Ovechkin Eager To Return, Mantha & Carlson Updates

Alex Ovechkin is back with the Washington Capitals and eager to return, while Anthony Mantha is day-to-day and John Carlson continues to skate.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals held a lightly attended optional skate on Wednesday, but they did see a key piece take the ice as Alex Ovechkin made his long-awaited return to D.C. And though his status remains up in the air for Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, he is eager to return as soon as possible.

Ovechkin was away from the team and missed the last four games following the death of his father, Mikhail. He returned from Russia on Wednesday morning and went straight from the airport to the rink. He was in high spirits as he took the ice with Alex Alexeyev, Matt Irwin, Dylan McIlrath, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Nick Jensen, Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren.

"I just want to come back right away, put my mind in a different position," an emotional Ovechkin said after practice. "We're struggling right now, so I just want to try to do my best to bring energy, bring something to the team."

READ MORE ON WHN: Alex Ovechkin Opens Up About His Father, Return To Washington Capitals

Not on the ice was Anthony Mantha, who is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury he suffered on Tuesday in the 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Head coach Peter Laviolette told The Sports Junkies that he hopes that the 6-5 forward won't be out long-term and that the team will continue to evaluate the situation. He is not on the injured reserve at this time.

It is unclear exactly what happened to Mantha, though he did take a big hit late in the first period from Mortiz Seider that sent him hard to the ice. He skated three shifts in the second period before leaving the game.

Meanwhile, John Carlson was on the ice early ahead of his teammates to continue individual skating work with coach Wendy Marco. Carlson recently upgraded to skating in full gear and is slowly but surely progressing as he recovers from taking a slapshot to the face on Dec. 23. He has an important doctor's appointment at the end of this month to determine next steps. However, he is still "a ways away" from returning.

All the Capitals news that's fit to print

Sign up and get all of our stories sent directly to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.