ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals got some good and not-so-good injury updates on the injury front on Wednesday, as Tom Wison and Nicklas Backstrom keep taking steps forward while T.J. Oshie sat out again.
Wilson upgraded to a regular jersey on Wednesday, which means he can now take part in contact and start battling physically in practice. Nicklas Backstrom remains in a regular jersey too and is cleared for contact. Both of them were skating on a combination with Alex Ovechkin on Wednesday.
"It's nice to move him up and get him more involved in the compete out on the ice and the battles. It's a first step, but it's nice to see that change," head coach Laviolette said. "We wanted them to get regular practice reps and threw in the extra power-play unit just to get power-play reps, start to increase preparation and get ready."
WASHINGTON CAPITALS NOTEBOOK: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson Line, Practice Notes
There was tough news, though, as T.J. Oshie missed practice again and did not skate. He is still dealing with an upper-body injury he suffered back on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 35-year-old was backchecking and pulled up in visible discomfort and soon left the game, using the boards to help him down the tunnel.
Laviolette said that Oshie will miss the next two games. Instead of sticking with the day-to-day status on the Oshie front, Laviolette said the Capitals will re-evaluate where he is after the Christmas break.
Darcy Kuemper is cleared and a full go and is likely to get one of the next two games. Laviolette said the team is playing things by ear with splitting the games between Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren, but Kuemper said he expects to get into one of the next two in the back-to-back against Ottawa and Winnipeg before Christmas break.
Meanwhile, Alex Alexeyev also got into a regular jersey after having skated in a non-contact jersey following the upper-body injury he suffered on Dec. 9 against Seattle when he took an elbow to the head from Jamie Oleksiak. Martin Fehervary remains in a non-contact jersey but has been skating with the team and staying after to get extra work in. Beck Malenstyn is also in a normal jersey and progressing.