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