Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury and could miss Tuesday’s matchup against the New York Islanders.
Per the NHL’s official website, though, coach Peter Laviolette told radio station 106.7 The Fan on Monday that the forward should be good to go when the Stanley Cup Playoffs open after May 11.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal where people should be wondering if he’s going to be in the playoffs or not,” Laviolette explained. “I don’t think it’s that. I said in the media the other day, sometimes we just don’t know. Somebody does something inside the room and you say day-to-day because you just don’t know. The players, the way we rehab now and the amount of staff, our staff is unbelievable. The training staff, the strength staff, to take players who do something and start to move it back in the right direction, it is just incredible how they work.
“I don’t think it’s anything long-term. I’m not sure if he will be there tomorrow but I don’t think anyone needs to start getting worried about like the playoffs or anything like that. … That’s why I use the word day-to-day. I think we will be OK by then. Guys turn around pretty quick.”
COVID-19 outbreaks and reschedulings have left the exact start of the postseason in question, so Ovechkin may have a few extra days to recover from any lingering setbacks. According to ESPN stats, he is tied for fifth in the league with 24 goals on the campaign.
Washington is in second place in the NHL East standings, one point behind the rival Pittsburgh Penguins and three ahead of the Islanders. The top four clubs from each division qualify for the playoffs.