Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 5 days ago

GM Brian MacLellan said last week that he is hopeful Backstrom (hip) will be ready to play by the start of the coming season, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. "He should be [ready] more than likely...he'll start the year, I'm counting on [it]," McLellan said. "I think his hip surgery went well. He'll be close to starting the year, it looks like...I know [from] talking to the trainer and the doctor that everything's gone well, they expect the rehab to go well. Optimistically, I'd say I'm hoping he's coming back for training camp."

It's good to see that the Capitals are publicly expressing a positive outlook on Backstrom, but the center's availability for the start of the season appears questionable nonetheless. Historically, arthroscopic hip surgeries have produced wide-ranging timetables for hockey players, with most recovery periods lasting 3-to-4 months. Moreover, it typically takes further time beyond that for players to regain their pre-surgery strength, making Backstrom something of a risky investment heading into 2015-16. The Capitals should have more concrete updates regarding Backstrom's health as training camp approaches, but the Swedish center might be best avoided for those in leagues with early draft dates.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 weeks ago

Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington cited a report in Gefle Dagblad, as Swedish newspaper, that Backstrom has returned to Sweden and may be facing a rehab period of five months.

The report cited by Gormley contains a quote from Backstrom where he said the injury began in November, and he has heard five months is a reasonable rehabilitation period, although recovery times do vary from person to person. If true, this would contradict the optimistic press release put out by the Capitals immediately after the May 27 surgery that suggested Backstrom would be ready to go in time for the 2015-2016 season. Three weeks removed from the procedure, it is impossible to tell when exactly Backstrom will be cleared to play at this stage in his recovery, but this situation should be monitored very closely over the summer as Backstrom is critical to the Capitals, not to mention one of the league's finer fantasy players as he 18 goals and an NHL-leading 60 assists in 82 games during 2014-2015.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 1 month ago

Backstrom underwent arthroscopic hip surgery Wednesday afternoon, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports.

The Capitals are optimistic that Backstrom will make a full recovery and be back to 100 percent health by the start of the 2015-16 regular season. Backstrom didn't indicate during his exit interview following the second round of the playoffs that he had been nursing any sort of injury, but perhaps he elected to get out ahead of the hip issue before it became a recurring problem. Backstrom's recently-completed season was a near mirror image of 2013-14, as he finished with the same goal total (18), one fewer assist (60), and played all 82 games for the second straight year.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 2 months ago

Backstrom registered an assist on Joel Ward's game-winning goal in Thursday's Game 1 victory over the Rangers.

Backstrom nearly came away with two points on the evening, but Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist made a nice glove save on the Swedish center's shot attempt on net with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. The 27-year-old would make his mark later on, as he was able to avoid a penalty on a hit from behind on New York's Dan Boyle that eventually resulted in Ward's goal, and a secondary assist for Backstrom, who had been held off the score sheet for the final three games of the first round. Quality scoring attempts may be harder to come by in this series against the Presidents' Trophy winners, but the top line of Backstrom, Ward, and Alex Ovechkin got the better of the Rangers in Game 1.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 2 months ago

Backstrom scored Game 4's winning goal in the third period and added an assist Tuesday in a 2-1 victory over the Islanders.

Since going scoreless in Game 1, Backstrom has lit aflame, scoring goals in three consecutive games and adding three assists. He was driving the Washington offense even when Alex Ovechkin wasn't able to hit the scoresheet, and if that doesn't prove his value to this team -- and to fantasy owners -- nothing will.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 months ago

Backstrom scored his second goal of the playoffs in Sunday's Game 3 overtime loss to the Islanders.

Backstrom temporarily appeared as though he might be the hero in this one as he tied it up with just over six minutes remaining in regulation, but the comeback fell short as the Isles struck early in overtime. Goal-scoring wasn't a regular asset of his game -- with his last regular season tally coming on Feb. 19 -- but the 27-year-old has exploded for four points, including two goals, in the past two games of the series.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 months ago

Backstrom scored his first goal of the playoffs and added two assists in Friday's Game 2 win over the Islanders.

A monster outing from Backstrom, who scored his goal with the man advantage. If the Capitals hope to get past the Islanders, the dynamic duo of Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin will need to be better than the Islanders' top duo of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Backstrom now has 46 points in 59 playoff games and is showing once again why he is one of the best point producers around.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 months ago

Backstrom collected two assists in Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Bruins.

Backstrom has four points in his last four games, and hasn't been far off that pace for the entire year. He now has 18 goals in 81 games, and currently ranks second in the entire league with 59 assists.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 months ago

Backstrom collected an assist on Alex Ovechkin's power-play goal during Washington's 5-4 OT win against Montreal.

The assist gives Backstrom just his second point in the last six games as he's going through a bit of a slump for a player of his offensive caliber, not helped by the fact that he has been centering Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer on the second line for the last three games instead of getting consistent even-strength minutes alongside Alex Ovechkin. Still, the talented Swede is tied for the league lead in assists and is tied for fifth in the Art Ross Trophy race, so he's a must start the rest of the way.

Nicklas Backstrom C WAS 3 months ago

Backstrom collected an assist in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Rangers.

Backstrom set up (who else?) Alexander Ovechkin on a second-period power-play tally, giving the Swedish center his first point in four games. That minor drought shouldn't alarm anybody, as Backstrom is still has an automatic lineup spot on lockdown for his fantasy owners while he co-owns the NHL lead with 55 assists.