July 9, 2020

Caps Morning Skate: Backstrom to injured list; Kundratek in lineup

The Washington Capitals placed center Nick Backstrom on the injured list, retroactive to last Tuesday, with concussion-related symptoms.  He can be activated at any time.  Backstrom has been out since sustaining an elbow to the head from Calgary forward Rene Bourque, who received a five-game suspension for his actions.  Backstrom leads the Caps in scoring this season with 13 goals and 29 assists, for 42 points.

Backstrom and Mike Green (groin) did not participate in today’s skate. 

The Caps recalled defenseman Tomas Kundratek (6’2″, 200) from AHL Hershey, and will be in tonight’s lineup, sending healthy veteran d-man Jeff Schultz and John Erskine to the bench.  Kundratek, a 21-year old Czech native, recorded eight points (six goals, two assists) and 14 penalty minutes in 21 games for Hershey this season.  He was acquired from the New York Rangers  for Francois Bouchard in a Nov. 8 trade.  Kundratek, who will wear No. 36, will be paired with fellow countryman Roman Hamrlik in his NHL debut.

Tomas Vokoun was the first goalie off the ice after today’s morning skate, indicating he will probably start tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

Comments

  1. How do you go from one of the best plus/minuses in the league for all players, from the d-line no less, to barely getting ice time in just two years?

    • Dave Nichols says:

      It’s interesting, isn’t it. Schultz defintely has his strengths and weaknesses, but it’s become apparent that the current coaching regime sees very little benefit in Schultz’ game. I would not be shocked to see him traded in the upcoming days. Kundratek is an interesting defensman, but he’s a d-first type of guy, just like you’d think of Schultz and Erksine. Today’s move is a big slap in the face to these two veterans.

      • I understand Erskine since he has been in the lineup regularly and gets a day off now and then because he throws his body around pretty hard. Schultz I just don’t understand. He has to have value, I agree maybe they should trade him but he’s not even getting a chance to showcase himself.

        I do like to see Erskine play when Matt Cooke is around, hopefully Hendricks gets a sweater tonight.

        • CAPSrabbi says:

          Anyone who wants Schultz in the CAPS line up, has no clue about HOCKEY!!! Schultz only had a great +/- due to the fact he played with the top scoring line in HOCKEY for the past three yrs. He has no value to the team at all… He doesn’t dish out hits, he doesn’t stick up for other players, he handles the puck like a Gentle “slow” giant… He’s worthless… There is not one player in the NHL that fears going up against him, even though he is a big man… Erskine, on the other hand is very valuable to our team due to his grit, strength, and speed on the puck. One of the CAPS biggest weaknesses year in and out, is they don’t knock anyone off the puck, or get opposing players away from our crease. Schultz is by far the worst offender when it come to allowing players to “TAKE” his ice… So please stop trying to talk HOCKEY, when your a “ROCK THE RED” fan and not a FAN of the sport… So many of you, so called CAPS fan are only into it cause everyone else is, and it’s fashionable…

          • Dave Nichols says:

            CAPSrabbi, thanks for the comment. but no need to trash talk here, please keep it civil.

            you may not appreciate Schultz’ contributions, and you’re certainly not alone in that opinion. what Schultz does, with his big frame, is take up a LOT of space. that in and of itself is valuable in the defensive end. true enough, he does not dish out punishing checks. but he doesn’t take them either, and is pretty good at holding his ground. i think most people’s disappointment comes from his lack of physicality, and I can appreciate that. but to dismiss him entirely is wrong-headed, IMO.

            I’m not suggesting he’s a top pairing defensman in the league, but to get leap-frogged by a relative unknown younster from the A that isn’t on anybody’s top prospect list is jarring, to say the least.

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