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Rehabbing Backstrom will do “more and more” next week

Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a game against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Verizon Center on December 20, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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If the Capitals can hold on to a playoff spot, it’s looking more and more like they could have a huge piece of their roster back for the first round.

Coach Dale Hunter told reporters today that Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) is going to ramp up his rehab efforts next week.

“He’s going to do more and more,” Hunter said, as per the Washington Post. “You’ll see, next week he’s going to do more.”

“More and more” might include practicing with teammates. (Though based on Hunter’s evil-sounding “you’ll see” remark, it might also include taking over the world with a laser-based weapon.)

Backstrom hasn’t played since Jan. 3. He had 42 points in 39 games before getting elbowed by Rene Bourque.