Ovechkin Moved to Third Line In Practice

With the Capitals trailing 3-1 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, head coach Barry Trotz has decided to make a few changes, at least for Friday’s practice.

Friday morning Trotz moved captain Alex Ovechkin to the third line and replaced him with Andre Burakovsky on the first line.

Trotz also made a few tweaks to the defensive pairings at Friday’s practice. The new pairings:

Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Carlson
Schmidt-Shattenkirk
Alzner-Chorney

Ovechkin admitted after Game 4 that he was struggling and did not play well in the Pittsburgh games.

The move, should it hold for Game 5 on Saturday night, may provide a more favorable matchup for Ovechkin and the Capitals. Ovechkin was asked about the line changes following Friday’s practice:

The move could also be beneficial to the third line, which has struggled in the playoffs, as Lars Eller has been fairly quiet in post season play.

The new line configuration reunites Ovechkin with Tom Wilson, who had a pretty good game in Game 4. Ovechkin remained on the top power play unit.

Andre Burakovsky skated extremely well in Game 4, but has yet to tally a goal in the playoffs, and has just 3 goals in 33 career post-season games.

Barry Trotz was asked about the changes following Friday’s practice.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
This entry was posted in Coach, Coaching, Lineups, Management, News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Ovechkin Moved to Third Line In Practice

  1. Doug Hosier says:

    well – based upon how fast he was moving in game four this seems like an appropriate move.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is clearly hurt right now… or playing stoned… so I will go with hurt… I would not be surprised if the Kadri hit really messed something up and he is playing through it…

    • blong11588 says:

      Well Eller and WIlson seem to by flying around. Not sure how that dynamic will shake out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Meh… Ovie is clearly playing hurt right now. I do not see this as a demotion as much a way to manage the lines, and motivate the players (gotta change something). Especially since we are likely only playing with 11 forwards and 7 D. (by the way where is Carlson in the pairings above?) But if the staff is seriously thinking of pairing Alzner and Orpik (pylon #1 and pylon #2) then we deserve more break-way goals… that’s crazy! I would personally sit Orpik for a game and start 12 forwards. Connelly deserves another chance and lord knows Orpik is nothing but a liability against the Pens speedy forwards…

  3. Dennis Daugherty says:

    At what point does Trotz sit Orpik!? He can’t skate with the Pens at all! I know senior leadership counts for something, but he hasn’t really helped us much where it counts the most….. I wonder if coach Trotz is willing to bet his job on Orpik’s performance???

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ovi was saying how he didn’t play well in game 4! Looked like he took the night off! It’s the flippin playoffs! How can anyone not be ready, pumped, and willing to leave it all on the ice? Maybe that’s why lord Stanley’s cup never runneth over in DC!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he’s playing hurt. Seems to be able to keep his speed in straight lines, but otherwise he seems to slow down.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whic -to me at least- implies that hit by Kadri hurt his knee a little more than he let on.

  5. Pingback: Capitals Daily Report: Ovechkin is Moved to Third Line, Crosby Could Return for Game 5 | NoVa Caps

  6. Pingback: Capitals Daily Report: Not In Our House | NoVa Caps

  7. Pingback: Game 6 Preview: Capitals @ Penguins | NoVa Caps

  8. Pingback: Andre Burakovsky Practices on Top Line with Backstrom and Oshie | NoVa Caps

Leave a Reply