Alex Ovechkin Takes Maintenance Day, Zach Fucale Re-assigned To Hershey: News From Capitals’ Tuesday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for practice Tuesday afternoon following their 7-3 drubbing by the Boston Bruins on home ice Monday night.
Captain Alex Ovechkin did not participate in the Capitals practice on Tuesday. The team said it was a maintenance day for him. Laviolette said he’s fine. “We just want to make sure he’s in a good spot going into practice on Thursday.”

The Capitals also announced Tuesday morning that they have re-assigned goaltender Zach Fucale to the Hershey Bears. He stopped 12 of 16 shots faced in a period and a half of work last night against the Bruins. Fucale, 26, posted a record of 1-1-1 with one shutout, a 1.75 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in four games for the Capitals this season.

Laviolette’s Take

Capitals’ bench boss Peter Laviolette met with the media following Tuesday afternoon’s practice. He said the Capitals are looking for more consistency from their two goaltenders.

Shear(y) Madness

Conor Sheary scored two first period goals against the Boston Bruins on Monday, marking his ninth and 10th goals of the season. Sheary has now reached the 10-goal mark in six of his seven NHL seasons. Sheary has recorded 19 points (10g, 9a) in 31 games this season, which ranks fifth on the Capitals. Since joining Washington at the start of the 2020-21 season, Sheary’s 41 points (24g, 17a) in 84 games are the seventh-most on the team and his 1.93 points per 60 minutes of five-on-five play ranks third among Capitals skaters with at least 80 games played (Alex Ovechkin: 2.72; Tom Wilson: 2.23).

With a goals per game rate of 0.32, Sheary is on pace to score 24 goals this season, which would be a new single-season career high (2016-17: 23g). Additionally, Sheary is on pace for a 46-point season, which would mark his highest total since 2016-17 (53p).

Sheary sits four goals shy of 100 career goals and nine points shy of 200 career points. Among active NHL players that went undrafted, Sheary’s 191 career points rank 11th.

Vitek’s Back

Vitek Vanecek returned to the ice last night in relief of Zach Fucale. He told the media Tuesday morning he not only dealt with COVID during his last absence, but he also came down with a case of the flu.

Eller’s Assessment

Lars Eller also met with the media on Tuesday. He discussed the way the team has lost the last four games has been different. But he added every team goes through these stretches where things aren’t going well. He said last night felt awful leaving the rink.

Outside The Nations Capital

Islanders head coach Barry Trotz entered COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday and will not be on the bench when the Capitals visit Long Island on Saturday.

Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today announced that the team has hired Nicklas Lidstrom as vice president of hockey operations.

The Boston Bruins have signed former goaltender Tuukka Rask to a one-year deal.

It sounds like Evander Kane, who was released by the San Jose Sharks earlier this week, will have a new team by the end of the week. The Edmonton Oilers publicly stated on Tuesday that they are interested in Kane.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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