The Washington Capitals held their gameday morning skate Friday morning at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The Capitals battle the Blues tonight with puck drop set for 8:00 PM ET. (NBCSW, NHLN).
The team announced on Friday morning that Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie did not travel with the team to St. Louis. They will miss both games this weekend and were both placed on injured reserve.
Although both Backstrom and Oshie practiced on Thursday, neither traveled with the team to STL, and neither will play in this weekend set of back-to-backs. #ALLCAPS https://t.co/EqZgXcI4Bo
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) January 7, 2022
The Capitals also announced that Martin Fehervary and Dennis Cholowski have been returned to the active roster and Michal Kempny has been re-assigned to the taxi squad.
#ALLCAPS defensemen metrics and goals differentials (5v5) thru the first 34 games. The Orlov-Jensen pairing continues to lead the way.
Caps/Laviolette testing Kempny with plenty of TOI and defensive zone starts, but with mixed-to-negative results. Cholowski holds current edge. pic.twitter.com/KHr5bUa4eK
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) January 7, 2022
Ilya Samsonov will get the start tonight in goal. Samsonov and Zach Fucale were the only netminders on the ice for this morning’s workout. Vitek Vanecek did travel with the team but did not skate this AM, per team.
Ilya Samsonov and Zach Fucale are the only two goalies on the ice this morning for the Capitals.
No sign of Vitek Vanecek (technically still in Covid protocols though he’s been practicing with the team).
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) January 7, 2022
According to Laviolette, Connor McMichael will be a healthy scratch tonight.
Battling The Blues
The Capitals begin a two-game road trip tonight when they face the St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. CT. This marks Washington’s first game against St. Louis since Oct. 2, 2019, a 3-2 overtime win at Enterprise Center.
The Blues have the league’s best power play. The Capitals have the better possession numbers and ‘goals for’ differential. The Blues have the better ‘goals against’ differential.
The Capitals have a 10-3-3 record on the road this season and their .719 road point percentage ranks tied for second in the NHL (Carolina Hurricanes: .750; Pittsburgh Penguins: .719).
Through 16 road games, Washington has scored 3.44 goals per game and have allowed 2.63 goals against per game, which rank third and sixth in the NHL respectively. The Capitals are one of three teams to rank in the top six in each category (Toronto Maple Leafs: 3.38 GF/GP ranks tied for fifth, 2.62 GA/GP ranks fifth; Pittsburgh Penguins: 3.38 GF/GP ranks tied for fifth, 2.25 GA/GP ranks first).
The Capitals have earned a point in 11 of their last 13 road games (8-2-3) dating back to Nov. 4 and own the NHL’s top road record since the start of the 2020-21 season (29-10-5, 63 points). Additionally, The Capitals have won four of their last five games on the road against the Blues (4-1-0).
By Jon Sorensen
Back on IR eh? More good news:(
When the heck will this team get to be This Team?!?!
Boohoo as usual 😡😢
I’m with ya, Leslie. It’s been never ending. Hopefully it’s retroactive and they (Backstrom and Oshie) will return after this weekends games.
Just wondering who gets the start tonight? And if Samsonov, then does Fucale get the start on Saturday? The one bright spot about the injuries is all the rookies and young players getting vluable playing time and on different lines. This will only help the team not only the rest of this season but in the years to come. Having the young guys play well might make it a bit easier to make a trade of a player and get back only picks and not ahve to take on any salary. Speaking of young guys do you have any idea what the Caps plans are for Rait, Sutter, Snively, Gerisch, Pinho and Malenstyn? Seems like we have a lot of young guys who will be UFA or RFA after the season and maybe they could, if not in the Cpas future plans, be traded for mid levelpicks or am I shooting to high?
Just announced, it will be Samsonov. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fucale gets the nod for tomorrow, depending on the actual status of VV.
VV is at least off Covid protocol, I thought. Of course, the question is … how good of shape is he in.