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Posted at 9:33 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Swedish report: Nicklas Backstrom has a fractured thumb

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals declined to comment on whether Nicklas Backstrom would miss time with what the team's No. 1 center told a Swedish news outlet was a fractured thumb after he was slashed by Pittsburgh's Kris Letang on Monday night. The team said Backstrom is day-to-day but did not disclose any details of his injury.

A partial translation of a Swedish report from Aftonbladet posted on Japers' Rink this morning said that Backstrom wasn't simply in pain from the slash and that he has a minor fracture in his thumb.

The cause of the injury was a slash from Kris Letang that the referees didn't blow the whistle for. After the game the X-Ray showed a fracture in the thumb.
[Backstrom:] "Yes there is a little fracture. It's too bad that it happened but I don't think it feels that bad."
If the young Swede ... will have to watch from the sideline's is unclear at the moment.
"I don't know I think I'm day-to-day and right now. I feel ok, but we have to wait and see how it feels in the next couple of days."

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  Injuries, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Next: Hershey signs Dmitri Orlov to a pro tryout contract


curse curse curse! drat! Letang better watch his back! I totally did not mean to rhyme but whatever!

Posted by: capscoach | February 22, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Just when the team seems to be clicking...the Caps can't afford to lose their #1 center. They don't even have a clear #2 or 3.

Speedy recovery Nicky!!!

Posted by: instinct227 | February 22, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Umberger and Nash? Is that even possible? For who?

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 22, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

This puts the Caps in even a more desparate position to acquire a 2nd line center this week. Even if Backstrom's injury is minor, I'd assume he would miss a few weeks for it to heal before the playoffs. GMGM should be making some serious inquiries to NJ about Arnott and Dallas about Mike Richards.

I saw the play in which Backstrom was slashed and was surprised there was no call. Backstrom did punch Letang with his glove on late in the game along the boards so I assumed it wasn't too bad.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 22, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Shittsburg gets away with the most holding, hooking, slashing, interference and just all around stickwork in the entire league. Matt Cooke gets his teeth rattled and draws a penalty. That goon has done much worse and the NHL looks the other way for the most part. Good job Brad!!!

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 22, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Umberger and Nash? Is that even possible? For who?

I would guess that Columbus would ask for Semin and Backstrom.

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 22, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't sound serious, chill people.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 22, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

For Nash and Umberger, maybe Semin, one of our goalie prospects, either Eakin or Kuzy, and our 1st round pick. Thats what i would guess.

Posted by: capstrade | February 22, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Columbus would want A LOT more for Nash. He's the face of their franchise. Kuzy, Eakin, Semin and multiple picks plus one or two NHL'ers for Umberger and NAsh would be more like it.

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 22, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

So Orlov signed a try out contract for the Bears. If he ends up playing really well, can he play for the Caps?

Posted by: jakopz | February 22, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. The team's recent better play on this road trip was perhaps a reason not to rock the boat too sharply in re a trade, but the Backstrom injury no matter how serious makes acquiring a center a priority and will be seen as such by the players as well.

So, I think now we are in win-win mode in re a potential deal.

Unlike the funk the team fell into after the Fleischmann trade I think this time the team will receive a jump start.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 22, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Kris Letang was one of the few Penguins I didn't actively despise, because he's an extremely gifted player and seems to be a fairly decent human being. But hurting Backstrom? Yet another reason to hate everything about Backstrom.

Glad to see D.J. King out there last night, although I was really hoping he'd get a chance for an extended visit with Matt Cooke. Kudos to Matt Bradley for reminding Cooke that the Caps haven't forgotten his hatchet job on Ovechkin last time out.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | February 22, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Yet another reason to hate everything about Backstrom? WTF?

Posted by: jakopz | February 22, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

yeah really, DC2Dallas...

Tell me that is a misprint. Letang hurts Backie and you hate Backstrom for it? Huh?

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 22, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Well I guess this means the Caps need to make a move NOW and I mean this SECOND.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to sound like a broken record but can anyone please tell me if can use Orlov if he does well in Hershey?

Posted by: jakopz | February 22, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@jakopz your answer is in the next thread

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 22, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse


Nope. He hasnt signed an NHL contract. And he wont do so because they dont want him playing 15 games in Hershey and it counting as a year of his contract. That is why he signed the PTO contract with them. At least that is my understanding.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Something else to be concerned with... Matt P. limped off the ice last night in the third too, and I didn't see him back on for another shift. If the Caps are down two C's, we may have to dig deep. Obviously, we've beaten the 2nd Line Center to death but if both Backy and Matt P. are both injured, it CRITICAL we pick up at least one Center, and they'll likely shift Laich onto the dot.

Posted by: Snow-Ape | February 22, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

MP was skating after that incident.

Posted by: jakopz | February 22, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Semin/Holtby to COL for Stasny/Budaj & a 2nd

Posted by: KAS2 | February 22, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I meant Neuvirth, not holtby

Posted by: KAS2 | February 22, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Caps will get Tim Connolly from Buffalo, we will give up a 3rd roung pick and a low level prospect...GMGM likes trades that allow him to keep is assets, Connolly won't take much to get him from Buffalo.. I guess he is an upgrade, I am not really a big fan, I would put $20 it happens before Friday. Zherdev might be an option as well if the Caps are looking for some scoring depth at RW, but not really a need...

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

If this doesn't convince GMGM to get a agressive and get a center I don't know what will. He's the only reliable center, much less true center we've got.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 22, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@ CapsBaby

Concur. Like it or not, the easiest and quickest option is Connolly. At least he can play and has playoff experience. I don't see the Caps re-signing him, however. Strictly a rental. Shouldn't give up much for that.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 22, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Connolly coming to the Caps will be a upgrade over what we have.. MJ, is the 2nd line center of the future, just not ready this year...

The one player I am impressed with and hope is back next year is Hannan, that guy has been a leader.. Ever since that 8 game losing streak he has been out most steady D-Man...

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Connolly coming to the Caps will be a upgrade over what we have.. MJ, is the 2nd line center of the future, just not ready this year...

The one player I am impressed with and hope is back next year is Hannan, that guy has been a leader.. Ever since that 8 game losing streak he has been out most steady D-Man...

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@ jakopz

Good to hear... thanks. I didn't see him.

Is Connolly really a possibility with Buffalo sitting at #9 with 2 games less than most of the leaders? Is Arnott out of the question? I haven't seen much of the guy but he seems like a seasoned guy that might be a good choice.

Posted by: Snow-Ape | February 22, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Even with Buffalo sitting in 9th, I think they would take just about anything for Connolly, he has been pretty much a bust for them this season. He wont be back in Buffalo, so at this point I think Buffalo would trade him... I think a 3rd rounder would get him, with a prospect...I think Arnott is in play still, as hot as the Devils have been I don't think they will get in the playoffs... I would take Arnott in a second, but that would depend on what the Devils are asking for him

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Snow-ape, you didn't notice Perreault because he is inconsequential until he proves the old adage true: "Even a blind squirrel can find a nut."

You know why Letang slashed Backstrom? Because he knows he'll get away with it. Boudreau doesn't know how to use an enforcer and doesn't care to protect his players. That's what he thinks the power play is for. Hence why we have had so many preventable injuries during his tenure. Teams aren't scared to taking liberties with our guys. Cooke is probably still laughing that no one even did anything about his knee. Yes, I know he got bodychecked pretty hard. Isn't that what real hockey fans call "playing hockey"?


Regarding second liner centers: Connolly is garbage, softer than most of the regular Caps. He is also more injury prone than Mike Green or Alex Semin. Stupid idea. Put it out of your heads.

Obviously everyone talks about Arnott or Brad Richards. But is this our year? Not a chance with Elmer Fudd coaching us. So why go after a guy who we can't resign? What about guys whose contracts expire after 11-12? Jokinen or Grabovski, namely, because it's a very short list. Or after 12-13? Roy, Weiss, or Antropov.

All the good, relatively young or prime aged 2nd line centers are wrapped up or are on definite playoff teams as core players(Bergeron, Fisher, Pavelski, Kesler). Richards is a top liner who won't be back, and Arnott isn't worth what we'd have to give up to still flame out early with our terrible coach. We don't have any real centers in the system, so we're going to have to part with developed players and top prospects/1st rounders to get an already developed player. It'll be costly. And we still won't win it this year.

I know you guys love Johansson, but he's not the answer and he'll never be. 2nd liners need to be able to play physical hockey. Look at the Jordan Staals or Ryan Keslers of the league and compare them to MJ. You should laugh at yourselves for thinking an average offensive guy who doesn't hit or really do anything physically except stick check pretty well is going to ever be a 2nd liner on even a fringe playoff team.

Perreault, Fehry, Dave Skeleton, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan, Chimera, and possibly Jeff Schultz should all be exiting soon, and Bradley, Knuble, and Gordon should be allowed to walk after the year. The team has no grit with scoring ability up front other than Ovechkin. And even he's been vilified on this board.

We're not going to win many playoff games taking point shots. Not going to win many playoff series without a strong, physical forecheck. Dan Bylsma put it best last year after losing the opening game to Ottawa: "We started off a series with the Flyers with the Kunitz hit on Timonen in the corner that sent him butt over tea kettle. ... We're not going to worry about winning Game 1. We're going to worry about winning the series."

Posted by: timKosecki | February 22, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

gwens coach needs to apologize to neuvy for saying on 24/7 that he was no good. said it more then once..i guess it evens out because he has now shut them out more then once. also, stahl is a coward. bradley reminds cook he better watch his himself out there and they commend stahl for coming to his defense. he tackled him from behind and wrestled him to the ground and he had plenty of time to man up and face bradley but that coward didn't want to take that beat down. sticking up for your teamate means at least facing the guy doesn't it? what did bradley do when the pens goon came after him, he dropped his gloves and fought like a man. stahl is a fake! typical gwens hockey. cry about penalties and fights as they lead the league in fighting majors and game misconducts! I am praying we play them in the playoffs and get rid of these front running babies for good!

Posted by: klangley69 | February 22, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse


You have some good points, but MJ is only a rookie, and has tons of potential.. I will agree with you on Connolly, he sucks, but will be cheap. We all know GMGM likes players he can get without giving much up. How can you say this current team cant win a cup? They are 1 point out of first in the SE, they have a new system, and if you watched last nights game, the play by play guys raved about how good the caps played..I am just getting annoyed with all the negative Caps fans.. We will see how this new system plays out in the playoffs.. Caps will win SE and be 2nd seed in

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that the game seems to be devolving into it's pre-lockout clutch and grab low scoring affairs.

It's time for the refs to start calling penalties again.

Posted by: SuperG5 | February 22, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

don't want to rain on the parade, but has Backy really been playing like a #1 center over the last three months? i get it, he's on the first line, but really? Johansson has been our best overall center in terms of consistent play, and Steckel is a machine on the draws.
TSN Canada has been reporting for weeks that Semin is really the only chip the Caps have been floating around the circuit. At this point, especially after last night, I don't see GMGM moving Varly or Neuvy, so that leaves Holtby. Unless a team is willing to go for a Semin + goaltending prospect + draft picks, I don't see much happening before the deadline.

Posted by: erico31us | February 22, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

i get it, he's on the first line, but really? Johansson has been our best overall center in terms of consistent play, and Steckel is a machine on the draws.

you're truly a MORON if you don't think they will miss Backs who is the most IRREPLACEABLE player on the team.

LOL you really think MaJo will take his place??? Maybe 2 or 3 years from now but now? NOT a chance.

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are missing one key Center, but have been very lucky so far with injuries to their best offensive players. To make a comparison, the Pens are missing three Centers (Crosby, Malkin, Letestu), who were three of their top five scorers, at the time of their injuries last month. In addition, Asham & Hunitz, along with defensemen Martin & Gologoski (traded yesterday) are all out. The Pens played last night with more than 1/2 their Wilkesboro team in the lineup. Even a few of their recent offensive call-ups (Jeffrey, Nick Johnson & Tangradi) are down with injuries. Along with Goggard (suspension) and Neal (has not arrived from trade), they were missing a dozen players from last night's lineup. Imagine the Caps playing without Ovie, Semin, Backstrom, plus a 1/2 dozen other players out of the lineup. The formula is to play good defense and have a strong goalie. The Caps did that last night and will have to play that way in the playoffs.

Posted by: bullyboy | February 22, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I would think a center would need his thumb to hold onto his stick. Not good.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | February 22, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse


Funny story. Since its inception in 1998, the Southeast has only had one team other than a division winner win a single playoff series. That was the 08-09 Carolina CamWards. Literally every other time the division sent two or more teams to the playoffs, the lower seed has lost in round 1. We have a God-awful division and always have. Winning it means nothing.

MJ has potential, sure, but I see him being more of a third liner on a good team or second on a bad one. He is a great skater and has a good hockey head, and plays the puck well on both sides, but he isn't physical by any means and isn't going to get himself in position to score good goals very often. He's a perimeter offensive guy and we don't need any more of them. If he gets 25 goals in any single season I'll eat my hat. 25 goals is a fair benchmark for a great 2nd line pass-first center, and some guys here are actually lauding him as a top liner.

Joe B and Craig L ALWAYS rave about the Caps. They are paid by the team to make the team sound good. Even though Joe B is a world class announcer, he is still in their pockets and has to make the team sound good.

If the playoffs started today, and we were magically placed in the #2 spot, we'd face NYR. A team we've always struggled against on the road.

This is not a playoff team, folks. Sorry to bust chops.

Posted by: timKosecki | February 22, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"But is this our year? Not a chance with Elmer Fudd coaching us."
Posted by: timKosecki
Absolute classic!

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 22, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

No trading Neuvy. I think he's the one with the long term potential.

Posted by: fmjk | February 22, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: duckyjimpond | February 24, 2011 2:07 AM | Report abuse

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