Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals Goaltender Situation is “Up In The Air” For Tuesday’s Game Against Columbus

Screencap: @Capitals

On Monday, Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke to the media following today’s practice. He provided updates on players and mentioned there is a different mentality coming out of the All-Star break with the push for the playoffs on the horizon.

Goaltender Vitek Vanecek (upper-body) did not practice today; however, he did work out off the ice. His status for Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington) is noncommittal.

Ilya Samsonov also did not practice. Laviolette mentioned that the Capitals netminder situation is “up in the air” for tomorrow. “We’re going through things in here and from some of the guys that weren’t on the ice I have to go back and find out where everything sits now with these guys with more testing going on.”

On right-wing T.J. Oshie (upper-body), Laviolette said he is doing well and did some off-ice workouts today, but has not skated. Left-wing Anthony Mantha (shoulder) is hoping to resume skating as he is progressing lately, according to Laviolette. Defenseman Michal Kempny (COVID-19 protocol) is expected to return to the lineup.

“I think it depends on how he feels,” he said on captain Alex Ovechkin, who entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on February 2. “Last time he was out for ten days and you weren’t going to keep him out of the lineup. I would imagine only being out of the lineup  for six days he’ll want to jump back in.”

Following Tuesday’s against Columbus, the Capitals head up north to face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Center on Thursday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). Ovechkin will be unable to play due to Canada’s COVID restrictions.

Laviolette said “one of the positives” about Ovechkin’s absence is that “he caught it through the All-Star break” versus a stretch of four or five games. “While it was disappointing for him—I know he really wanted to go and have some fun—you can look at the flip side of it and say, ‘Okay, he didn’t miss many of our games’…he did catch a break, he got some rest, and [got] a chance to reset a little bit.”

The Capitals head coach knows there is a different mentality after the All-Star break as teams make their push for a spot in the playoffs. He said, “Every team starts the season with the same objective. They have their eyes on one prize and by this time, some will be a reality and some won’t be a reality…now you start looking where you are, how you’re playing, your health, how many games are left in the season, and where you sit in the standings.”

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 comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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4 Responses to Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals Goaltender Situation is “Up In The Air” For Tuesday’s Game Against Columbus

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is horse 💩. Vanecek has the better stats across the board and yet Laviolette is still trying to get Samsonov to fit. How much longer will this go on, Peter?

    • Nick says:

      VV has better stats across the board *this season*….. It is well known that Sammy needs a few games to get in his groove, but once he gets there he is the superior goalie. Lavy has not given him the chance to get into that groove since November, when his numbers were at the top of the NHL. He had the best record of any goalie with a bunch of rookies at his front. VV only does well when teams don’t have grwat shooters. He gives up 30 foot rebounds and is a garaunteed goal in a 2v1 rush. VV is a huge reason why we are so low in the standings due to his inability to pull off a win in OT. Not saying Sammy is the answer either. We need a veteran at trade deadline or we can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

  2. Leslie Galen says:

    So Vanny has an injury so did not practice, but did workout.
    So Sami did not practice either, because….? Because why actually??

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