There were no indications at Thursday’s morning skate. Practice lines were the same as the three previous games. The Capitals top line once again consisted of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Justin Williams. Somewhere between Ballston and the Penn Quarter, things changed.
By the time the starting lines were announced at Verizon Center on Thursday night, Tom Wilson had made his way back to the top line. The starting lines for Thursday’s Jets-Capitals rematch:
So what necessitated the change? Barry Trotz told the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan:
So the question remains, why was the change made at seemingly the last-minute as opposed to earlier in the day, say at morning skate. We may never know. Was this strictly a one time deal, in response to Dustin Byfuglien, or could this be a minor tweak to the new lines created in Vancouver earlier in the week? Time will tell.
As for Wilson, he totaled 15:57 of ice time on Thursday night, his third highest amount in 10 games this season. Trotz would revert to “second line Wilson” and “top line Williams” later in the game.
Wilson spoke with John Walton Friday after practice.
— #CapsFightCancer (@Capitals) November 4, 2016
By Jon Sorensen