News and Notes from Wednesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Trotz Scratches Another Young Forward


It’s go time! The All-Star break ended yesterday and the Washington Capitals will begin their second half push towards the playoffs tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck drop is at 8 p.m on NBCSN as part of Wednesday Night Rivalry. Prior to this evening’s rivalry game, the Capitals held a morning skate Wednesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex

During Tuesday’s practice, we saw Evgeny Kunetsov fully participating in his regular top six forward red practice jersey. Both Barry Trotz and Kuznetsov confirmed he would be playing in Wednesday’s game. This morning, he had full speed during the rushes.

Taylor Chorney was taking rushes with John Carlson throughout the drills. Chorney had been a regular scratch throughout the course of the season as he’s appeared in just 23 of the 49 games this season.

Here’s what the defensive pairings looked like:


Christian Djoos looked like he was the odd man out.

During special teams drills, there was a bit of a hiccup on the top power play and penalty kill units as T.J. Oshie and Jay Beagle tripped. Don’t worry guys, they’re okay.

Another drill that the Capitals did involved assistant coaches Lane Lambert and Blaine Forsythe passing the puck along the boards to the forwards. One forward would catch the puck with their stick facing the boards and dish the puck out to another teammate. Then that man with the puck came around and got a shot off.

Then the drills came to a close as each player worked on personal aspects of their game. Here we have Andre Burakovsky working on his shot.

As for the defense, all the blue liners left except for Taylor Chorney. Turns out he will be a scratch tonight after all.

The forward that remained on the ice taking the scratch’s skate was Jakub Vrana. Just one week ago from this past Saturday, Vrana was a scratch at the team’s practice but still played in that game the next day against the Flyers. Vrana is in the midst of a 16-game goaless drought and has had just one assist in the last 13 games.

When Trotz spoke to the media, he addressed his reasoning why he’s scratching Vrana:

“We need him to be a little bit more involved in our game. He’s got a real high skill level and the speed that we can use but he hasn’t had much impact. I think his game has fallen off a bit… Sometimes with a young player nothing can have more impact than not being able to showcase your talent. I hope he has to understand that there’s 13 forwards, they’re gonna compete for their ice time and he has to compete for his ice time to get it (his game) back. He will. He’s a good player. He’s been productive, especially early in the season. Now it’s a little adversity for a young player, it makes him stronger and hopefully it makes him better.”

As for the forward lines and the defensive pairs, this is what they will look like for tonight’s game:


Braden Holtby was the first goalie off the ice, indicating that he will get the start tonight against former Capital Michael Neuvirth. The Capitals will look to get their first win over the Flyers this season as they enter tonight’s contest with an 0-1-1 record this season. Not only would a win tonight be a reward for the home fans, it could give the Capitals some extra juice as they head into a big contest on Friday night in Pittsburgh.

By Michael Marzzacco


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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2 Responses to News and Notes from Wednesday’s Capitals Morning Skate: Trotz Scratches Another Young Forward

  1. Anonymous says:

    AC in and JV out?


  2. Pingback: News and Notes from Saturday’s Practice: Will Jakub Vrana Be Back in the Lineup Sunday? | NoVa Caps

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