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Capitals Camp Notebook: No Problems For Backstrom, Kuznetsov Banged Up



Spencer Carbery walks through a diagram with Group A during Day 1 of the Washington Capitals' 2023 training camp. (Jared Serre/Washington Hockey Now)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Washington Capitals training camp kicked off at MedStar Capitals Iceplex Thursday, ushering in the start of more than seven months of hockey action.

Here are the key news and notes from Day 1.

Carbery: “There’s a lot of work to be done.”

Much like any first day of training camp, there’s nowhere to go but up. Even more so with almost an entirely new coaching staff.

“There’s a lot to a lot of work to be done,” head coach Spencer Carbery said Thursday. “We’ve got a lot of structure, implementation from a staff perspective, some things that we need to address, so we’ll get through that but also there’s a lot of getting guys caught up to speed physically and in the pace part. It’s a good start, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Thursday marked the first of three camp sessions for the Capitals before the team’s first preseason game, scheduled for Sunday. A full camp schedule has yet to be announced, but the Capitals will likely be on the ice approximately 20 times before the start of the regular season.

Hip Not A Concern For Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom didn’t have much to say Thursday, but what he did say is that he feels “way better” than he did a year ago.

Backstrom is 15 months removed from a hip-resurfacing surgery to address lingering problems in the area. The procedure has had mixed results among active NHL players, with Ryan Kesler — the most recent — never returning to the ice after having the surgery in 2019.

Last season, Backstrom tallied 21 points — 7 goals, 14 assists — in 39 games.

Kuznetsov Banged Up

Evgeny Kuznetsov showed signs of a leg injury at camp, struggling to keep up during the skating test. He says it’s no big deal.

“It’s all good, I’ll be fine,” Kuznetsov said. “It’s a process [a] little bit. And, you know, I’m pretty sure that there is a lot of small things that bug people during the summer. So it’s something that I’ll probably fix in the future in a couple of days, probably.”

Kuznetsov added that he played through a minor injury toward the end of last season, but that it wasn’t a big enough deal to publicize.

Lines On Day 1

Throughout camp, the Capitals are split into three separate groups. Groups A and B are a primarily composed of NHL and AHL players, with Group C consisting of a handful of players a little further away.

Here are some of the lines Carbery ran with on Group A:

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Anthony Mantha – Rasmus Sandin – John Carlson

Ivan Miroshnichenko – Michael Sgarbossa – Matthew Phillips – Chase Priskie – Hardy Haman Aktell

Beck Malenstyn – Nic Dowd – Aliaksei Protas – Alex Alexeyev – Dylan McIlrath

Alexander Suzdalev – Ryan Hofer – Alex Limoges – Aaron Ness – Logan Day

Here are some of the lines Carbery ran with on Group B:

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.