The Washington Capitals have decided to shelve Alex Ovechkin, their captain and leading scorer, for 7-to-10 days to rest an unidentified upper body ailment. Ovechkin joins the ranks of Mike Green, Eric Fehr, Jason Arnott, Tom Poti and John Erskine -- stalwarts all -- on the Caps injury list.
It's no secret Ovechkin has nursed a wrist/hand injury all season long. Back in early January, the Great Eight received a cortisone shot for the injury and continued to play, never missing a game, though coach Bruce Boudreau indicated that Ovechkin had been playing with discomfort "for a while" leading up to the cortisone treatment.
It's unknown if that particular malady is affecting Ovechkin again, or if the Capitals simply saw a chance with the quirks in the schedule to get their best player a week off to heal up the bumps and bruises and get his legs fresh for the upcoming playoffs. The Caps haven't played since Friday night's 3-0 win over New Jersey, and don't play again after today until this upcoming Friday against Ottawa.
In fact, Caps Media Relations wizard Sergey Kocharov indicated as much on Twitter yesterday afternoon.
Ovechkin to miss 7-10 days to heal up from a minor nagging injury. With 1 game in 6 days made sense for this to happen at this point.
It's disappointing that Ovechkin will miss the big game with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, considering the Flyers hold a two-point advantage in the Eastern Conference and the fact the Caps can clinch their playoff spot.
But as with Arnott, the Caps feel it's better to get these players healthy than continue to run them out there with nagging injuries when their playoff spot, and perhaps No. 2 seed, all but assured at this point barring monumental collapse.