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Capitals Notebook

Capitals Camp: Injuries & Skate Test Results, Ovechkin In ‘Great Shape’



Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

ARLINGTON, V.A. — Doubled over, the Washington Capitals lined up on the goal line, eyes focused on the other end of the ice. At the whistle, they dug their blades deep into the rink, pushing themselves to their limits. Several names stood out, and there were quite a few updates to boot.

The biggest headlines included updates on quite a few injured names, specifically Carl Hagelin. The 34-year-old Swede, who had been working his way back from a ruptured choroid, is now out indefinitely with another lingering lower-body injury. Meanwhile, T.J. Oshie revealed that he underwent a core procedure to resolve an upper-body injury and missed skate tests. He will be back on the ice Friday and there shouldn’t be any questions about his availability for Game 1.

Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson also spoke to the media about their recoveries.

Backstrom revealed that since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, he is free of chronic pain and can function better in his daily life. He is making progress off the ice as he rehabilitates and works his way back to on-ice work, as he revealed he is doing cardio and working on the bike. He is not back to running or skating, though he is working out with his teammates and is around the facility.

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Wilson, meanwhile, is ahead of schedule with regard to his recovery. He said when he tore his ACL in Game 1 against the Florida Panthers, he was doing exercises that he shouldn’t have been able to do and had been doing what he can to return to the lineup. Wilson underwent surgery this offseason and is recovering, though he is not skating yet and is progressing off ice with training and work with the strength and conditioning team. There is no concrete timeline for his return, though.

As for on-ice work, players took part in the infamous skate tests on Thursday. There were quite a few players who used the testing to make a statement, and it started off with two roster players making an impact. Everyone ultimately passed.

RELATED: Group A Skate Tests, Results For Washington Capitals Training Camp

Lars Eller led the pack in the Group A skate tests, which consisted mainly of the roster players. Eller has been working a lot with skating coach Wendy Marco this offseason and also coached, and he is looking to rebound after a challenging 2021-22 that saw inconsistencies and two bouts with COVID-19. Meanwhile, according to head coach Peter Laviolette, Alex Ovechkin made quite an impact and crushed his skate test as well.

“He looks great. You wouldn’t know the difference from my time here from when I got here and the way he looked now. The skate test today, he knocks it out of the park and comes to camp in great shape. And watching the way he started last year, he was on fire,” Laviolette said. “That is just a credit to him and the way he trains and what he puts into it and how much this means to him.”

In Group C, which consisted of mainly prospects, Aliaksei Protas, Hendrix Lapierre, Henrik Rybinski and Haakon Hanelt led the pack. Protas looks like he put on a lot of muscle and now weighs in at 225 pounds. All four led their respective groups in testing.