News and Notes from Wednesday’s Optional Practice at Kettler: Update on Kuzy and a Surprise Guest at Goalie

Evgeny-kuznetsov-caps-practice.jpg

The Washington Capitals lifted a huge monkey off their backs on Tuesday night by defeating the Dallas Stars on home ice for the first time since Nov. 2006. Their win along with the Penguins loss to the Islanders has put them in a comfortable four-point lead for first place in the Metropolitan Division. On a snowy Wednesday morning throughout the D.C. area, the Capitals held an optional practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex before departing for Detroit. 

ATTENDANCE
Here are the players who were marked present at today’s optional skate:

Forwards:
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Devante Smith-Pelly, Chandler Stephenson, Jay Beagle, Lars Eller, Brett Connolly, Alex Chiasson, Travis Boyd

Defense:
Christian Djoos, Jakub Jerabek

Goalies:
Philipp Grubauer, Scott Murray

KUZY UPDATE
Evgeny Kuznetsov was the first player out on the ice. He has skated the past two days and today he worked on more puck handling and shooting. Kuznetsov was shooting the puck normally and he fully joined his teammates for the practice. This is the most he’s done since his injury.

Trotz told the media after practice that Kuznetsov will go with the Caps on the road trip but there are “no promises” that he will play Thursday night in Detroit.

“We’ll see where he is,” said Trotz.

NEWS
You might be wonder where Braden Holtby is. He didn’t practice today, instead taking a maintenance day. Goaltending coach Scott Murray was in his place. There was a moment last night where Holtby collided with Remi Elie in the third period. He was slow to get up but he still finished the game.

Here is a look at Murray in between the pipes.

Even though Holtby didn’t skate, he was still hanging out at the rink.

Trotz said that Philipp Grubauer will “probably” start in net for the Caps Thursday. With nine games left in the season, Trotz’s goal with his net minders is to keep both guys fresh and active instead of just riding one goaltender. Holtby wasn’t the only guy taking a maintenance day. Trotz said today’s skate was an optional because of some “sickness” going around.

CAPS TODAY

SHAVINGS

  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season on Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars, which leads the NHL. Should he reach the 50 goal mark, he would join Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky as the only players with eight 50-goal seasons (Bossy and Gretzky each recorded nine 50-goal seasons).
  • Ovechkin is also looking to become the second player since the 1967-68 expansion era to lead the NHL in goals at the age of 32 or older (Phil Esposito led the NHL twice in goals just before his 33rd and 34th birthday).

CAPITALS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Best fwends! #GoodBoy #ALLCAPS

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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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4 Responses to News and Notes from Wednesday’s Optional Practice at Kettler: Update on Kuzy and a Surprise Guest at Goalie

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Just what we all need. Holtby needing “maintenance” days. Get well, Holtz.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Capitals Rock Their Way to Detroit to Begin Road Trip Against Red Wings | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: News and Notes from Thursday’s Capitals Morning Skate at Little Caesars Arena: Is Evgeny Kuznetsov “Hot-N-Ready” for Game Action? | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: News and Notes from Wednesday’s Captals Practice at Kettler: Shane Gersich Could Make NHL Debut Soon and More Goalie Madness | NoVa Caps

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