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Barry Trotz "optimistic" about a Backstrom return in these playoffs

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USA TODAY Sports

Barry Trotz "optimistic" about a Backstrom return in these playoffs

TAMPA—Will Nicklas Backstrom return at some point during the Washington – Tampa Bay series?

Coach Barry Trotz said Saturday that he’s “optimistic” the star center will indeed suit up.

As for when, that’s the question no one seems to be able to answer with any precision right now.

What we do know is this: Backstrom did not skate Saturday since the Caps were off following their 4-2 win over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

“He is working out,” Trotz said at the team hotel.

Asked if he thinks Backstrom—the team’s best two-way forward—will see action against the Lightning, Trotz responded: “Optimistic, yeah.”

Since Backstrom left the lineup in Game 5 of the Pittsburgh series, the Caps have managed to pull out a round-clinching win over the Penguins and a statement victory over the Bolts in the ECF. The offense and power play are humming.

That said, the Caps’ lineup is immeasurably better with Backstrom in it due to his ability to make an impact at both ends of the rink.

Backstrom, who has three goals and 10 assists in 11 postseason games, has not joined his teammates for a practice or a morning skate since getting hurt a week ago. He has, however, skated at least once on his own. He’s also in Tampa and watched Game 1 at Amalie Arena.

Trotz typically wants players who are returning from injury to get in a practice or two before playing in a game. On Saturday, though, the head coach made it sound like he’d be willing to make an exception for Backstrom.

But of course, Backstrom has to be close to returning first.  

“I’m not worried about Nick Backstrom,” Trotz said, asked if a lack of practice time is becoming a problem for No. 19. “Nicky is one of those guys that you can throw him in and he’s not going to miss a beat.”

The next update on Backstrom’s status will come following Sunday’s morning skate. 

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Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

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USA TODAY Sports, Marvel and DC Comics

Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Washington Capitals!

It's not hard to picture your favorite athletes as superheroes. What the Caps are able to do on the ice seems almost superhuman at times.

Heck, they even have uniforms!

SEE EVERY CAPITALS PLAYER'S SUPERHERO CHARACTER HERE

But the similarities don't just end with the physical attributes and abilities. When you begin to really think about each player, you can see a lot of similarities between each of them and some well-known superheroes.

If each Caps player was a superhero, which one would they be? Check out each player's superhero character here.

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Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

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USA Today Sports

Dmitry Orlov dazzles his hometown of Novokuznetsk with the Stanley Cup

Friday featured Dmitry Orlov and his jam-packed schedule with the coveted Stanley Cup.

The 27-year-old native of Russia decided to take the Cup to Novokuznetsk (located in the southwest region of Siberia) for a meet and greet with fans by the Ferris wheel at Gagarin City Park.

It should be mentioned that Orlov's day with the trophy was nearly derailed after a travel glitch that sent the Cup to Novosibirsk instead of his hometown. 

Thanks to the ultimate assist from a helicopter, the Cup arrived in style and set up one memorable entrance for the defenseman. 

Orlov released this hype video which highlights his entire day on Instagram: 

Дорогие друзья! Огромное спасибо, что разделили с нами наш праздник! Для нас это значимое и большое событие! Ещё раз приносим искренние извинения за задержку с кубком! И спасибо за понимание, мы старались сделать все максимально быстро! Спасибо за тёплый приём! Нашим родным, друзьям, тренерам, отдельная благодарность! Вы сделали наш праздник, наш день! Мы никогда не забудем этот праздник! P.S. Лена @govor_elena , тебе и твоим родным, отдельная благодарность, если бы не ваша помощь, то не известно когда бы кубок был в Новокузнецке!

A post shared by Dmitry Orlov (@orlov_09) on

Talk about a banner weekend for the Washington Capitals. The Ovechkins welcomed their new son, Sergei Aleksandrovich, into the world and Orlov pulled off yet another spectacular day with the Cup.

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