Skip to main content

AO will miss next game; optimistic of quick return

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com
Injured Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin appeared to be in a jovial mood when he addressed the local media Tuesday morning, saying he was especially looking forward to eating some nachos, drinking some coke and watching Wednesday's game in New Jersey.

Ovechkin, though, doesn't believe he'll have time to get too familiar with arena food from around the League.

He indicated that his injury, an upper body strain that will definitely keep him out of Wednesday's game, won't shelve him for too long, even though the Capitals say he's week-to-week.

The two-time MVP and the League's current leading scorer even said he will try to be ready for this weekend's home-and-home against Florida. The Caps play in Sunrise, Fla. Friday and come home to play the Panthers Saturday at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin will travel with the team in order to continue to receive medical treatment.

"We'll see how it goes, but it probably is going to be quicker," said Ovechkin, who has 14 goals and 23 points in 14 games. "I'm going to try (to play this weekend), but you never know how it's going to be."

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who suggested two weeks is a reasonable window, still wouldn't be shocked if he had Ovi back as early as this weekend.

"It's Ovi and I mean, he does things nobody else can do," Boudreau said. "I don't know if it's a viable option or not, but we'll make sure he's healthy when he plays. I just know he's very tolerant to pain and he wants to play so badly."

To that end, Boudreau said he's relying solely on the trainers -- and Ovechkin's honesty -- to tell him when the star will be ready.

"I'm taking myself out of this equation," Boudreau said. "The trainers will say he's ready to go and he'll have to pass I'm sure a whole battery of tests and then he'll have to practice. We make the determination at that point."

Ovechkin refused to shed any more light on the injury he suffered in Sunday's game against Columbus other than to say he feels no better today than he did yesterday.

"It's not broken, it's just something," Ovechkin said with a smile on his face. "You think I'm going to tell right now? No."

He also said he's not sure when he got hurt, though Boudreau speculated that the injury in question occurred during a fracas with Jason Chimera and Jared Boll in front of the benches early in the second period.

After serving a two-minute roughing penalty, Ovechkin came out for his next shift, collided with Raffi Torres and immediately skated off the ice. He played 10 shifts totaling 7:43 and had one shot before leaving 6:10 into the second period.

"I will miss one game and we'll see what is going to happen," Ovechkin said. "We'll see. I don't know. Day to day, week to week, month to month, you don't know. Not year, that's for sure."

Ovechkin had an MRI on the upper body area in question, but said he is not sure what it revealed.

"I'm not a doctor. I can't tell you what they show," he said. "I saw some muscles and I don't know."

No. 8 has missed only four games since coming into the League in 2005, and two came early last season when he went back to Russia to be with his ailing grandfather. The Capitals are 1-3 and have been outscored 15-7 in games without Ovechkin.

"You never want to get hurt especially right now when you're in good shape and you feel pretty good about yourself," Ovechkin said. "You get hurt and you take days off, don't skate and don't practice, and it is hard. It is what it is and I hope guys will step up for me and I hope the results will be the same."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com
View More