Following a much-needed day off after a bounce back 3-2 win over the Senators on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals returned to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to prepare for their big game on Saturday night. Thursday’s practice almost mirrored Sunday’s session for Tom Wilson.
Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer along with goaltending coach Scott Murray and a couple forwards were out on the ice early before practice began. Former goaltending coach Mitch Korn has also been in town this week, possibility to help Holtby get his confidence back as he’s dropped his last six games.
A big storyline for the Stadium Series on the Capitals side is who will get the start in goal. Will it be Grubuaer, who’s played out of his mind lately, or Holtby. Trotz said he’s made his decision but hasn’t told the players and won’t make it public just yet.
Tom Wilson left the ice in the middle of practice with a team trainer. That’s the second time he’s left practice early this week, having done so on Sunday. Wilson left Sunday’s practice due to a maintenance issue. He still played in both Capitals games that week despite that issue. The Capitals said that the issue Thursday was once again maintenance related. Trotz would confirm that Wilson had “an irritant” and that he’s fine for the game Saturday.
- Saturday’s Stadium Series game between the Capitals and Maple Leafs will be the first NHL regular season outdoor game to be played at a service academy.
- This contest will be the third NHL outdoor regular season game both the Capitals and Maple Leafs have participated in. Both teams go into Saturday’s Stadium Series game 2-0-0 in the great outdoors.
- Saturday’s Stadium Series game will be a rematch of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, the first ever postseason matchup between the two clubs. That series took six games with the Capitals coming out on top 4-2. Five of those six games were decided in overtime.
Originally, both the Capitals and the Maple Leafs were each going to hold a practice on Friday morning/afternoon at Navy-Marine Crops Memorial Stadium, the site of the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. With the threat of possible rain and high winds in the forecast at Annapolis, those teams will tentatively practice indoors.
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The Capitals will practice at Kettler at 10:30 a.m. The Maple Leafs will practice at McMullen Ice Arena at the Naval Academy. Both teams would then tentatively have a morning skate on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
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We’ve got the call for you of #StadiumSeries #CapsLeafs on @CapitalsRadio Saturday night from Annapolis, hear it live on 106.7 The Fan, 1500 AM, Caps Radio 24/7, Sirius/XM Channel 91, and https://t.co/a3x0n9PPFc pic.twitter.com/SJV5uUpCiF
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Senior Airman Brianna Myre serves in the United States Air Force, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, based in southeast Asia. She will be rockin’ the red this Saturday when her Washington @Capitals take on the Toronto @MapleLeafs in the 2018 @CoorsLight NHL #StadiumSeries. pic.twitter.com/fArqaRwLag
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By Michael Marzzacco