News and Notes from Wednesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Update on T.J. Oshie, Prep for Blackhawks, Plus Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov React to Russia Olympic Ban

The Capitals hit the Kettler ice on Wednesday morning to prepare for tonight’s game with the Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight will be the fourth game of a season-long five game homestead for the Capitals. Washington has won five of their last six games and currently sits a point behind the Islanders for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Here are the news and the notes from today’s morning skate, direct from Kettler Capitals Iceplex



Tyler Graovac is a healthy scratch. Chandler Stephenson has healed from his upper-body injury that he suffered on Saturday night and will play in tonight’s game. After Madison Bowey‘s wrist was slashed from Brenden Dillion, Dillion has been suspended for one game by the NHL Department of Player Safety. Bowey was okay the last two skates and will play tonight.

“It’s fine. It’s just a good bruise,” Bowey told the media.

T.J. Oshie won’t play tonight after his head was smashed on the boards by Joe Thornton Monday night. Trotz said that he’s making progress, working with trainers, and is feeling better but there’s no guarantee he laces up his skates and practices tomorrow.

Andre Burakovsky had another good skate with the team today and put in some extra work following the morning skate.

Don’t worry fans, he’s okay. He smiled as he got back up. Burakovsky was a part of the scratch’s skate along with Graovac and Taylor Chorney.

Trotz said after practice that Burakovsky hasn’t been cleared to play yet but there is a possibility that he plays on Friday.

Andre Burakovsky, Chandler Stephenson, and Travis Boyd were the first forwards out on the ice prior to morning skate.

Burakovsky feeding Boyd the puck as he works on puck deflections before the rest of the team comes out.

Braden Holtby is in the starter’s net, indicating he’ll get the nod in goal tonight. Here he stops Nicklas Backstrom.

A closer look at the #2 power play unit. After the unit scored their first goal of the season Monday night, will they find the back of the net tonight?

Here’s the top power play unit.

The forwards worked on traffic around the net. Burakovsky was flying at game speed and scores a goal here on Philipp Grubauer.

The defense worked on their one-timers.

Then the forwards did some backhand shots. Here are some backhanders by Devante Smith-Pelly.

Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana working on their shots.

The Russian Olympic team has been banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has done some investigating and handed Russia penalties for doping. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov weren’t going to participate in the Olympics anyway since the NHL said that players aren’t allowed to but they weigh in after hearing this news regarding their native country.


  • Tonight is the first of two meetings between the Capitals and Blackhawks this season.
  • Washington is 42-41-11-1 all-time against Chicago and 27-15-5-1 at home.
  • The Capitals haven’t committed more than three penalties in game in their past six games. (Brian McNally)
  • Since November, the Capitals are 11-5-0, a stretch that is good for a 113-point pace over the course of a full regular season.
  • The Capitals 22 points since November rank as the third-most in the NHL, and the most in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Capitals have converted on 30.8 percent of their power play opportunities (4-for-13) over their last four games, tied for the fourth-highest success rate during that span and a 9.7 percent increase over the season average prior to the stretch.
  • Since entering the league in 2010-11, Braden Holtby co-leads NHL goaltenders in save percentage at home (.927) and is tied for third in goals against average (2.14) among goalies with at least 100 starts on home ice.
  • Washington has won six of it’s last seven games against Chicago and has posted a 9-3-0 record in it’s last 12 games against the Blackhawks.






Alex Ovechkin is alone on the bench, waiting for morning skate to begin.


Madison Bowey lines up a one-timer.


Devante Smith-Pelly fires at the net.


Jakub Vrana: hockey player and ladies’ man.

The Capitals take on the Blackhawks tonight with puck drop at 8 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network as part of “Wednesday Night Rivalry”. The Caps will return to Kettler on Thursday for practice at 11:30 a.m.

By Michael Marzzacco

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3 Responses to News and Notes from Wednesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Update on T.J. Oshie, Prep for Blackhawks, Plus Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov React to Russia Olympic Ban

  1. Mark says:

    Very nice work on this news and notes. Thanks for all of the videos and photos.

  2. Pingback: A Zamboni Driver and a Youth Hockey Trainer from Gavale, Sweden Watch Nicklas Backstrom and Christian Djoos All Grown Up | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: T.J. Oshie Continues to Make Progress | NoVa Caps

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