News and Notes from Wednesday’s Capitals Practice at Kettler: Trotz Talks About his Goalie and Defensive Plans

The Washington Capitals are about to embark on a stretch of three games in four nights, all against teams within the Metropolitan Division. First up is a back-to-back affair against the New York Islanders and then a Sunday evening contest against the Philadelphia Flyers. The first round of the back-to-back with the Isles is Thursday night in Brooklyn. Before the Capitals hit the road, the team held a practice Wednesday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Here are the news and the notes direct from the rink. 



Brett Connolly and T.J. Oshie flip-flopped lines. Connolly was skating on the third line with Lars Eller and Jakub Vrana. Oshie is now on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky. Here is Oshie below in the initial line rushes at the start of practice.

Yesterday the Capitals sent Madison Bowey down to Hershey, leaving the team with seven defensemen. Bowey has served as a healthy scratch for the last nine games after the team acquired Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek via trades. Head coach Barry Trotz spoke more on the recent move.

“He’s done a great job. The thing that I see for us right now is Bows (Bowey) hasn’t played for a long time and I look at the window that Hershey has and where we are and I know that we’re gonna use Jerry (Jerabek) and Djooser (Djoos) in these coming games here so Bows is not playing again. I need to give him all the tools. He’s doing a tremendous job, has a tremendous attitude right now. He is working his you know what off, he’s doing a good job and getting better but what we’re not giving him is that game feel,” said Trotz.

Bowey will play with the Bears for the next two weekends and Trotz said that they’re planning on bringing him back. Thats their plan.

Trotz also announced that Philipp Grubuaer will start Thursday’s game against the Islanders while Braden Holtby will get the nod on Friday. Grubauer will be starting his fourth game in a row after Trotz decided it would be best to rest Holtby as a mental break so he can break out of his slump.

“Gruby has been playing well. It gives Braden an extra day or two foundation-wise and then we come back with him so that’s how I sort of approach this one (back-to-back set),” explained Trotz.


The Capitals continued their work on net front presence and puck deflections.

Dmitry Orlov breaks up a 2-on-1.

Then it was time to change rinks as the Caps headed from the Arlington rink to the Capitals rink to work on more team-centric drills.

The team held a full-rink five-on-five scrimmage for a little bit.

Before closing practice with some special teams work.

Finally here’s a happy Jakub Vrana to brighten your hump day.


  • Tom Wilson assisted on Alex Ovechkin’s 600th goal Monday night to record his 30th point of the season (11 goals, 19 assists). That marked the first time Wilson reached the 30-point mark in his career.
  • Of Wilson’s 30 points this season, 28 have come from even strength while one has come on the power play and another shorthanded.
  • With his most recent assist and his 164 penalty minutes, Wilson became the first player since the 2011-12 season to record 30 points and 160 penalty minutes.


By Michael Marzzacco

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