The Washington Capitals are preparing for a short-term stint without their number one centre, Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom suffered a thumb injury during a game versus the Penguins in February, but it came to a painful head on the weekend, leaving Monday's game against the Lightning early favouring his hand. The Capitals are not expecting to have Backstrom in their line-up for at least one game, likely two, possibly more.
The 2011 season has been somewhat underwhelming, in terms of Backstrom's scoring record, especially after such an amazing 2010 season. In 67 games this season, Backstrom only has 55 points (17 goals and 38 assists), which is much less than the scoring rate that he had in 2010, where he finished the season with 101 points in all 82 games.
The mention of a new defensive system may be considered the leading cause of the downturn in scoring.
In the draft, Backstrom belongs to Peter H., taken 3rd overall in October, a direct result of such a great scoring record last season, unaware of the defensive posturing that would be taken to help improve the Capitals play in the playoffs. Not having Backstrom in the active line-up will likely continue to hurt Peter's team this year, who is only 6 points up on 15th spot going into Wednesday's action.
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