News and Notes from Capitals Optional Morning Skate in Colorado: Grubi Doobie Doo

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals held an optional morning skate in Colorado this morning ahead of their Thursday night contest with the Avalanche. After a tough loss to Nashville and another loss on the blueline, the Caps look to turn things around in their final game of their brief two-game trip before coming home for the (Thanksgiving) holidays

Christian Djoos is ruled out tonight as he is day-to-day with an upper body injury with no timetable. Even though today’s morning skate was an optional, attendance was good with a majority of the defense present as well as Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Philipp Grubauer was in the starter’s net and will start tonight. Grubauer is still searching for his first win of the season. He played the third period Tuesday night in Nashville after a rough outing by Braden Holtby. Against the Avalanche last season, Grubauer is 2-0-0 with a .943 saver percentage, 1.50 goals-against average and a shutout.

Jakub Vrana, after losing his spot on the second power play unit yesterday, is a healthy scratch for tonight. Vrana had just one point in his last seven games this month which came on an empty net goal against the Penguins, a decline from his six point month of October (three goals, three assists). Brett Connolly will be in Vrana’s place on the third line with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson. Don’t expect this to be a promotion though. Trotz said he’s sending Connolly a message as well. Trotz wants him to step it up.


The Avalanche are 8-7-1 (17 points) and sit in last place in the central division. They’re coming into tonight having dropped back-to-back contests against the Ottawa Senators by identical scores of 4-3 over in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the 2017 NHL Global Series.

Before the international showdown, both of those teams along with the Nashville Predators took part in a three team deal. The Avalanche gave up forward Matt Duchene to the Senators and received top Predators prospects Samuel Girardi, Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second round pick. From the Senators, Colorado received prospect Shane Bowers, goalie Andrew Hammond, a 2018 first round pick, and a 2019 third round pick.

During their practice Wednesday, center Carl Soderberg returned to his normal spot on his line with Blake Comeau and Matt Nieto after missing the Avs last two games awaiting the birth of his third child. During the team’s morning skate Thursday, defensemen Tyson Barrie was practicing in a red (non-contact) jersey and won’t play tonight as he recovers from an upper-body injury. Nakita Zadorov will replace him.

Former Capital and hero of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, Semyon Varlamov will get the start in net. After spending three season’s in Washington, he was traded in July 2011 to the Avalanche and has played for them since. Tonight will be Varlamov’s 300th career game with the club.



  • The Capitals haven’t dropped consecutive contests since Oct. 21-26, when they fell at home to Florida and on the road five days later at Vancouver. (Mike Vogel)
  • Washington has won six straight games over Colorado including three consecutive in Denver. (Mike Vogel)
  • The Capitals are 41-30-9-1 all-time against the Avalanche.
  • Dmitry Orlov led the Capitals in ice time (27:07) against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 14. That marked his third-hightest ice time total of Orlov’s career and the third time this season that he led the team in ice time a game.
  • This season, Orlov’s 51.5 shot attempts percentage at five-on-five (344 shot attempts for, 324 against) ranks third among Capitals with at least 10 games played this season.
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded eight shots on goal on Tuesday against the Predators. The eighth shot marked Ovechkin’s 4,629th shot of his career, and on his first shot of the game, Ovechkin passed Joe Sakic (4,621) for 11th place on the all-time shots list.
  • John Carlson recorded two assists against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. This season, Carlson is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen in assists (13) and tied for sixth in points with 15 (two goals, 13 assists) through games played Nov. 14.


By Michael Marzzacco

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2 Responses to News and Notes from Capitals Optional Morning Skate in Colorado: Grubi Doobie Doo

  1. Pingback: News and Notes from Capitals’ Saturday Morning Skate at Kettler: Vrana Back In | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: After Getting Scratched from Lineup in Colorado, Jakub Vrana is Playing Like He Belongs | NoVa Caps

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