Alex Ovechkin Will Not Play in Philadelphia

ovi-injury-canucks

Photo credit: Rich Lam

After suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury earlier this week, Alex Ovechkin will not play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. It will be the first game the Caps have played without Ovechkin since February 22, 2012.

The precise nature of Ovechkin’s injury is not known. RMNB’s Ian Oland investigated some possibilities on how he might have sustained it.

With 10 goals in 12 games, Ovechkin had been on one of the hottest streaks of his career– one driven primarily by a dependably high shot volume rather than an unsustainable shooting percentage. Missing Friday’s game imperils Alex Ovechkin’s bid to break the single-season shooting record held by Phil Esposito as well as his position near the top of the league’s scoring leaders.

Ovechkin played all 48 games last season, but has not played a full 82-game season since 2007-08. He missed three games in 2011-12 due to suspension and one more due to injury a few weeks later. The Capitals won just one of those four games, losing another in overtime. Those games featured goals by Mathieu Perreault (5), Cody Eakin, Dennis Wideman, and Matt Hendricks– all of whom have since left the club.

The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera shared this photo of Ovechkin doing some sprints with the Capitals conditioning coach.

The Capitals’ lines without Ovechkin look as follows:

Erat – Backstrom – Fehr
Laich – Johansson – Brouwer
Chimera – Grabovski – Ward
Volaptti – Latta/Beagle – Wilson

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  • Hockey Mom

    Time for everyone to bring their A game! Hope Ovi recovers quickly, though,

  • Benjamin Scarbro

    Does this mean whoever scores tonight will be gone in the next year or two?

  • Michael Reschly

    If they would have been happy with Laich as 2C, why is MoJo at 2C/Laich 2L, instead of the opposite.

  • Clint Petty

    I cannot use words to describe how weird those line combinations look to me. Might as well just do it by alphabetical order:

    Chimera-Backstrom-Brouwer

    Erat-Grabovski-Fehr

    Laich-Latta-Johansson

    Volpatti-Ward-Wilson

    Actually, minus Chimera on the top line and the 4th without a center, I kinda like those. Maybe I should be a hockey coach…

  • Freedoooom

    I don’t see anyone that will step up like Perreault.

    Backstrom obviously has in the form of assists in the past, but that required other people to score.

  • Clint Petty

    I agree, keep Laich in the middle. He’s more aggressive defensively and works his ass off to back-check. MoJo is better suited as a speedy winger to start the rush.

  • Benjamin Scarbro

    No Beags?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    so so funny

  • kemiisto

    Erat Era is coming! :D

  • kemiisto

    Disagree. MoJo is natural center. Just a bit to young and maybe a bit too small for NHL. But, I think he just don’t have enough experience.

  • Barry

    Silver lining: we get to see if there’s any magic between Erat and Backstrom, and then maybe Mojo makes a permanent move to 2C

  • Brackaphobia

    Russian Machine Occasionally Breaks?

    Whatever the case may be, I hope we see Ovi in top form before he returns to the ice. It would decay this team even further if he came back without fully recovering from whatever is ailing him (Lookin’ at you, Ersk)

  • Isabella_St

    This is just a scary story for Halloween, right?

  • JH

    Magic between Erat and Backstrom – yes!!!

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Hopefully this will be a blessing in disguise for this team.. Often role players and secondary guys will step up when the star is out.

    I predict TW gets his first NHL goal after a line change where Backstrom is still on the ice and sets him up.

  • JenniferH

    When I heard this, I called up my sister and said, ‘but, but, but… Russian machine isn’t supposed to break!’