Peter Laviolette Takes Lars Eller Off Of Capitals’ Power-Play Unit

After the Washington Capitals‘ first scrimmage of training camp on Thursday, the team finally moved towards practicing the power-play. First-year head coach Peter Laviolette opted to take center Lars Eller, who has been a fixture on the second unit for the past three seasons, off.

Laviolette put forward Richard Panik on the unit in Eller’s place. The second unit does not have a natural center with Panik, forward Jakub Vrana, forward Tom Wilson, defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and defenseman Justin Schultz on it.

He also opted to put center Evgeny Kuznetsov back on the first unit after Vrana replaced him there midway through last season.

Despite having an arguably loaded power-play on paper, the Capitals finished last season with a 19.4% power-play efficiency, 17th in the NHL. After December 8, that rate dropped to 15.6%, the fourth-worst. They improved a bit in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 17.9% on the man advantage (12th).

Eller’s six power-play points last season ranked eighth on the Capitals. Panik, who averaged 13 seconds per game on the power-play last season, has only gotten more than four power-play points in a season once in his career (nine with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016-17).

Eller averaged 1:44 worth of ice-time on the man advantage a season ago.

Here are the full power-play units:

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Peter Laviolette Takes Lars Eller Off Of Capitals’ Power-Play Unit

  1. Anonymous says:

    Any changes to improve our dreadful PP is fine. Way too much talent to be so lousy.

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply