News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Practice at Kettler: T.J. Oshie and Travis Boyd Updates and Both Goaltenders React to Trotz’s Decision

philipp-grubauer

After an optional practice on Monday, the Washington Capitals squad was out for their first postseason practice Tuesday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. With just over 48 hours to go until the puck drops for Game 1 Thursday night, we finally found out for who will start in goal. Plus we’ve got updates on Jay Beagle, T.J. Oshie and Travis Boyd. Here are Tuesday news and notes direct from the rink. 

NEWS
T.J. Oshie practiced on Tuesday after missing the last three practices (two of them optionals) due to a nagging lower-body injury. He was skating at his familiar spot on the second line with Andre Burakovsky and Nicklas Backstrom.

Travis Boyd didn’t practice as he’s still recovering from a sickness. It’s the third straight practice he’s missed. Jay Beagle didn’t skate with the team but did come out later in practice and worked on his skating over on the Arlington rink. Chandler Stephenson was centering the fourth line.

LINES

Forwards
Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Burakovsky-Backstrom-Oshie
Vrana-Eller-Smith-Pelly
Connolly-Stephenson-Chiasson
Defense
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niakanen
Orpik-Jerabek

THE DECISION
After practice came the moment of truth, who did Barry Trotz pick as the starting goalie for Game 1? Philipp Grubauer revealed to the media that he is indeed the Game 1 starter, which Trotz told him yesterday.

“It’s a privilege to start for sure but it’s just like any other game. You treat it as Game 1 or Game 82, it’s not gonna change any of my approach,” said Grubauer.

Trotz explained the reasoning in his decision and admits that it was a tough one.

“I just think that Gruby deserves the opportunity. I think the body of work, especially this year, presented itself. Trust me, it wasn’t an easy decision. I put a lot of factors in. Braden’s been “the guy” for a long time and his body of work, especially since I’ve been here. I’ve talked to him yesterday I said ‘that weighed heavily on me’ because he’s done so much for us,” said Trotz.

Braden Holtby also spoke to reporters on Trotz’s decision.

“My job is to just focus on my game and getting it to the best I can get it too. Coach’s decision on who plays doesn’t have anything to do with me. So I’m focused on one practice at a time. Trying to be a positive influence around the team and go from there,” said Holtby.

PRACTICE VIDEO
3-on-2’s. The team looked fast and game ready all morning through the drills.

Congrats to Alex Ovechkin on leading the NHL this season with 49 goals and winning his seventh Rocket Richard Trophy.

One of the biggest keys to a series victory over the Blue Jackets will be winning the special teams battle.

Half rink drills. Yeah they’re still flying!

The school of props was back in session as players skated around gloves on the ice.

SHAVINGS

  • Evgeny Kuznetsov will play in his seventh career playoff series when the Caps host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. In 39 career playoff games, Kuznetsov has 19 points (11 goals, 8 assists) including two game-winning goals.
  • With 83 points this season (27 goals, 56 assists), Evgeny Kuznetsov became the 16th player in franchise history to reach the 80-point mark and the first player other than Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom since Alexander Semin in the 2009-10 season (40 goals, 44 assists).
  • Kuznetsov’s 27 goals this season were a new season high, while his 56 assists were one off his single season mark set in the 2015-16 season.

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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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One Response to News and Notes from Tuesday’s Capitals Practice at Kettler: T.J. Oshie and Travis Boyd Updates and Both Goaltenders React to Trotz’s Decision

  1. Pingback: On the Eve of Game 1, Capitals are “Chomping at the Bit” to Get Going | NoVa Caps

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