ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) – A week into training camp, and still no sign of Nicklas Backstrom for the Washington Capitals
On Monday, Head Coach Peter Laviolette said he understood that is something they’ll have to prepare for; with the regular season fast approaching.
Backstrom’s injury is currently listed as week-to-week, with no immediate timeline for return yet. But his absence could put a strain on the Caps’ roster, and their cap.
Without Backstrom, the challenge to step up, create opportunities, and maintain consistency falls back on players like Lars Eller, who highlight the challenge ahead.
“Like I said, we’d love to have him back, and we’ll be better when he is back.” said Lars Eller, “But until then, I’ll be happy to try and keep his seat warm, and fill his shoes, and I look forward to that challenge.”
Eller left practice at Training Camp on Monday with a lower body injury, but maintained on Tuesday that it was out of precaution, and he felt better.
When asked about the prospect of playing ahead of younger players on the third, and fourth line; he acknowledges it will be a challenge for the team as a whole.
Head Coach Peter Laviolette explained that even with the option of placing a younger player on the lines, there’s still a challenge with evaluating fit, experience, and how each individual player would perform.
“You guys asked about [Conor] McMichael, and [Hendrix] Lapierre, we go back and look at it, there were some good things that they did, and there’s a lot of things that we showed them, just to show them things they could have done differently.” said Laviolette, “Their young kids, and we continue to coach them up, and see if they’re better next game.”
The Capitals will host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night, for a 7pm puckdrop.