Capitals Daily Report: Changes in Lines and Collisions… Oh my!

Photo: @Capitals

Today was a wild morning skate at the Air Canada Centre, to say the least. Once again, Braden Holtby collided with a teammate and Barry Trotz shook up the forward lines. The Capitals will look to right the ship and even the series at two games apiece tonight with a win in Game 4. Puck drop is at 7 PM

MORNING SKATE
Today was a full morning skate in preparation for Game 4, not an optional. Andre Burakovksy cut his hair so no more Ace Ventura look. He did say that he promised Marcus Johansson that he wouldn’t cut his hair until after the season so perhaps he must’ve changed his mind for superstition purposes. Everybody was present for the morning skate except for Karl Alzner. Alzner would later come onto the ice following the practice session to skate around. He will be out for Game 4 and Trotz said that there is no update or timeframe for his return.

Trotz changed up the bottom forward lines. Tom Wilson was bumped up to the third line while Brett Connolly moved down to the fourth line. This is how they looked:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Johansson-Kuznetsov-Williams
Burakovsky-Eller-Wilson
Winnik-Beagle-Connolly

Defense
Schmidt-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Shattenkirk

Trotz wants to see more production out of his third line. When asked what Tom Wilson would bring to the third line, he stated:

“Tom Wilson. Everybody knows who Tom Wilson is. That’s what he brings”

There was a bit of a scare during one of the drills. Marcus Johansson bumped hard into Holtby and the Holtbeast was down for about 20 seconds. Everybody in the building was silent. He would later get up and appear okay. He, along with Johansson, confirmed he was alright after practice.

When asked what the mood of the team is right now, Trotz said, “I think we’re pretty focused right now. I like what I’m hearing from our guys. They’re fairly loose, not too tense so it’s always a good sign as a coach.”

The most clutch player in the playoffs that’s on the Caps’ roster said it best.

“I think the whole favorite thing or expectations are things that are certainly put on ourselves more than anyone else. Everyone will talk about them but when you feel you have an opportunity, and I know this very well, you want to seize that opportunity because you really don’t know how many more you’re going to get,” said Justin Williams. “It’s very rare that you can waltz your way through these playoffs. Seeding doesn’t matter. We have a tough test here and sometimes you gotta man up and win some games. Certainly, this is a big one.”

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Maple Leafs line combinations and defensive pairs are the same as they were for Game 3

Forwards
Komarov-Kadri-Brown
Martin-Boyle-Kapanen
JvR-Bozak-Marner
Hyman-Matthews-Nylander

Defense
Rielly-Hunwick
Gardiner-Zaitsev
Marincin-Carrick

Toronto head coach Mike Babcock told the media that Roman Polak had surgery on his leg yesterday and it went well. He will be in the hospital for a couple more days and has a long road to recovery ahead.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals original third line combination of Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, and Andre Burakovsky has 17 shots in this series but could only muster one point (Burakovsky assist on John Carlson’s power play goal in Game 2). (Tarik El-Bashir/CSN)
  • Justin Williams earned an assist on Monday at Toronto, extending his point streak to three games this series (two goals, two assists).
  • Nicklas Backstrom registered two points (one goal, one assist) on Monday at Toronto, marking his 14th career postseason multi-point game.
  • Alex Ovechkin’s power play goal on Monday passed Peter Bondra (13) for first place on the Capitals’ all-time playoff power play goals list.
  • Braden Holtby has posted four shutouts, a 1.93 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in 49 career playoff games.
  • T.J. Oshie recorded two assists on Monday at Toronto, marking his third career postseason multi-assist game and sixth career multi-point game.
  • Washington has won three of its last four Game 4s when trailing 2-1 in a series.

DAILY LINKS
Game Notes at Toronto, 4/19/17 (Capitals PR)
Caps Look to Regain Home Ice Advantage in Game 4 (Mike Vogel)

INTERVIEWS
Alex Ovechkin

Justin Williams

Kevin Shattenkirk

Barry Trotz

By Michael Marzzacco

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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One Response to Capitals Daily Report: Changes in Lines and Collisions… Oh my!

  1. Pingback: Tom Wilson: Hero in Washington, Villain in Toronto | NoVa Caps

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