Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein
As the Washington Capitals prepare to face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals this week, they may get one of their walking wounded back, as Joel Ward took part in practice Monday morning. “I’ve upgraded from the baby blue [injured practice jersey],” Ward joked with reporters after practice at Kettler. “I was pretty excited to get out of the jersey quickly.”
Asked if he thought he’d be ready for Game 1 Thursday, Ward replied, “I’m hoping to. Obviously we have to see how the next couple of days go, but in my mind it feels pretty good. It’s just getting on [the ice] with the guys and muck it up real good. I think the next couple of days will be a good test.”
“He went out there and had a good practice,” Adam Oates said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow morning.”
Oates also discussed Brooks Laich and his sports hernia surgery from earlier this month, saying that they won’t rush Laich back knowing how badly the player wants to be back on the ice.
“He’s on the way to recovery right now and as soon as he can recover we’ll get him in,” Oates said. “You know how he is, he’s trying as hard as he can to get there and we’ve just got to be careful.” Oates didn’t discuss a timeline but did say that the Caps expect Laich to be available at some point in the playoffs, though he has not started skating at this point.
You can hear more discussion of the injuries, along with the players’ reactions to playing the Rangers once again in the playoffs, at the links below.