The Washington Capitals have announced that team captain Alex Ovechkin is out day-to-day with a lower-body injury. This injury probably does not threaten the team’s position in the East Division, but it is something to watch as the postseason approaches. Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic provided the update Friday morning.
Ovechkin has a lower body injury and is day-to-day, per the #Caps. Team is scheduled for an optional practice on Long Island.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) April 23, 2021
Capitals Alex Ovechkin Out Day-To-Day
The 35-year-old Ovechkin remains one of the league’s best players even as he reaches an advanced age. He has 24 goals and 42 points in 43 games. He is second on his team in total scoring behind Nicklas Backstrom, but the 24 goals is fifth-best in the league this year behind a handful of other stars. While it is concerning to see Ovechkin’s Corsi For drop to 48.1 percent with a -1.6 relative Corsi, there is little doubt the Russian is still a top player.
The Caps originally drafted Ovechkin with the first overall pick in the 2004 Draft and have watched the 6′-3″ forward produce a career worthy of the Hall of Fame. Ovechkin has 730 goals and 1,320 points in 1,195 games while winning numerous awards. He has been an All Star 12 times, won the Calder Trophy in 2005-06, the Hart three times, and claimed the 2017-18 Conn Smythe for his efforts during the team’s Stanley Cup run. It’s truly one of hockey’s superlative careers.
How Washington Replaces Ovechkin
There is no obvious replacement for Washington’s superstar leader. However, they do have temporary options that should be fine. Anthony Mantha could move to the top line after joining the team at the trade deadline. The former Detroit Red Wings forward already has four goals and five points in his first five contests with the Capitals. The team can easily backfill Mantha’s spot with Conor Sheary or another wing.
Fans should absolutely remain calm with this injury. Yes, nobody wants to see a player of Ovechkin’s calibre get hurt. However, Washington still has plenty of firepower to handle the situation. It also doesn’t seem severe enough to affect what could be another deep postseason run.