Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals Are “Working Through Things Inside The Room” Regarding Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov

On Tuesday, Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke to the media following today’s optional practice at Madison Square Garden. He discussed forward Tom Wilson’s $5,000 fine, the status of center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov, his condolences to forward T.J. Oshie’s family after the passing of T.J. father’s Tim, and provided an update on captain Alex Ovechkin.

The NHL Department of Player safety announced on Tuesday morning that Wilson was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for roughing forward Pavel Buchnevich in the brawl during the team’s 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on Monday. Laviolette said, “Tom will pay it and move on.”

Laviolette also said Wilson has to “be careful because just with the attention on him, he gets looked at a certain way…he has to be physical, but in the same sense he’s got to know that eyes are on him as well.”

He said they are “working through things inside the room” regarding Kuznetsov and Samsonov. Both players missed last night’s game due to disciplinary reasons for missing a team function. It is unclear if they will play Wednesday night.

He texted and checked up on Oshie, who missed Monday’s game due to a personal family matter. Oshie tweeted Tuesday morning that his father Tim had passed away. Laviolette expressed his condolences to the family. “It was great that he [T.J.] got to be there with his dad, with Coach, at the end…We wish the Oshie family peace.”

“I do know that your parents have a heavy influence on the imprint of your life as a child,” Laviolette said, adding, “To see [who] T.J. is as a person, and as a teammate, I think speaks volumes to his parents and the way he grew up…In one of the texts from this morning, T.J. said [that] he really enjoyed watching that game last night.”

Laviolette said Ovechkin is “unlikely” to play on Wednesday due to a lower-body injury. Despite feeling well during Sunday’s practice and Monday’s morning skate, Ovechkin felt some discomfort and left Monday’s game after taking one shift in the first period. “Our level of concern is high,” Laviolette said. They want Ovechkin to rest and recover as the team heads into the playoffs right around the corner. He was not on the ice for today’s optional practice.

The head coach thought forward Michael Raffl, who picked up his first two points with the Capitals, was “excellent” in Monday’s win. He mentioned Raffl played all three positions during the game. Laviolette said the 32-year-old has a “real good understanding of the game” and how that’s “important going down the stretch.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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12 Responses to Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals Are “Working Through Things Inside The Room” Regarding Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov

  1. Scottlew73 says:

    To put in simple terms from coach….” It’s a S**t Show here!”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who on the taxi squad showed up on time and wants big club minutes?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think we have salary cap space to call one up unless a current player goes on injured reserve.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        Sadly true. And since Ovi played yesterday, the clock for how long we have to wait got reset. So, if he were put in LTIR, he’d be out for some playoff games, too.

  3. Larry says:

    Kuzy’s days are numbered.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you, Larry. I think Samsonov can be saved, but I’m really scratching my head now on who to protect in expansion draft (Vanecek or Samsonov?)

      • Anonymous says:

        Neither will be available for the draft, they haven’t been in the league long enough

        • Diane Doyle says:

          I thought VV and Samsonov were eligible to be subjected to the expansion draft. I hate the idea of either being exposed since who the heck would be our back up next year. But at this point, VV now has the upper hand on being protected.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      It would not surprise me if Kuzy’s days on the team are numbered. But think it’s more likely he gets protected in the expansion draft and then traded some time afterwards. Losing him for nothing would NOT be good asset management.

  4. Richard Cairns says:

    Kuznetsov is almost like Alexander Semin all over again. Million dollar talent, 50 cent head.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      I don’t think Kuzy’s quite like Semin. I don’t recall this many off ice issues with Semin. And their personalities seem very different.

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