News and Notes from Saturday’s Practice: Will Jakub Vrana Be Back in the Lineup Sunday?


After the Capitals fell to the Penguins, the team took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to prepare for a Super Bowl Sunday matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. One of the biggest storylines of the afternoon was whether or not Jakub Vrana would be taking line rushes or taking the scratch’s skate. 

Vrana was a healthy scratch for both Wednesday’s game against the Flyers and Friday’s game against the Penguins. Barry Trotz explained his reasoning of scratching him following Wednesday’s skate.

“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.”

When the line rushes began at practice, it looked like Vrana would be able to get a chance to showcase his talent in front of the best team in the Western conference as he was skating on the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly. Here is what the lines looked like:


Vrana is looking to end a 16-game goalless drought and a stretch where he’s had just one assist in 13 games.

“There’s a good chance he’s (Vrana’s) back in (tomorrow). I think it’s been a pretty good learning moment from him. A. He’s gone a little bit dry and I think he’s forgotten he has to compete for his ice time and with no production, said Trotz. “It’s a good teaching moment for any young player, not only Jake but anybody in the locker room is that your ice time.. you gotta earn it and you’re in a competition with your teammates even though you’re trying to help your teammates. You’re in competition for your ice time and you’re in competition with them.”

As a result of the line rushes Chandler Stephenson was a healthy scratch despite scoring two goals the other night in a comeback win over the Flyers. Dmitry Orlov practiced and looked okay despite slamming into the dasher boards the night before. Trotz also told the media that Philipp Grubauer will get the start in goal.

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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3 Responses to News and Notes from Saturday’s Practice: Will Jakub Vrana Be Back in the Lineup Sunday?

  1. Pingback: Game Preview: Golden Knights @ Capitals | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: T.J. Oshie and Barry Trotz React to Fine | NoVa Caps

  3. “As a result of the line rushes Chandler Stephenson was a healthy scratch despite scoring two goals the other night in a comeback win over the Flyers…”

    This is just plain dumb and illustrates why Barry Trotz never extracts as much from the younger players on his roster (the very ones who he needs to develop if the Capitals are EVER going to make it past the second round of the playoffs during my lifetime…). Chandler Stephenson played a damned good game on both sides of the puck, kept his skates moving and scored two goals in a winning effort against a division rival and his reward was to be a DNPCD just one game later?? What sense does that make??? If Trotz meant what he said about ice time being based on performance, (and if the Caps still have trouble with lower line scoring punch), then why on earth did Trotz sit Stephenson down?

    Frankly, I think Trotz doesn’t know how to relate to OR develop young players. I mean, THINK about it: Jon Cooper’s Tampa Bay Lightning have four youngsters in Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, Brad Nemestnikov and Tyler Brown who ALL have 18 goals or more. Contrast that with the relative (lack of) production of Washington’s four youngsters Connolly, Burakovsky, Kuznetsov and Vrana–they’ve scored 32 FEWER goals than their counterparts in Florida.

    Now do you think the Lightning youngsters are THAT much more talented, inherently, than Washington’s? Or do you think, like me, that Tampa Bay’s coaches do a much better job of helping their players get the most out of their innate ability?

    Something is wrong with the Capitals’ coaching, their system, or the players they pick…

    I’m not sure what else to conclude…


    Santa Monica


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