The Washington Capitals were back to work Monday afternoon following their 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday at Capital One Arena. The team will depart for The Music City this afternoon in advance of their tilt with the Predators in Nashville Tuesday night.
Lines And Pairs
Vitek Vanecek and T.J. Oshie were once again non-participants in practice on Monday. Here are the lines and pairs.
Capitals lines at Monday practice:
Goalies: Samsonov, Copley
No Vanecek, No Oshie
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) February 14, 2022
Coach Peter Laviolette said Vitek Vanecek will travel with the team on their upcoming two-game road trip. T.J. Oshie will not. Neither practiced today.
Laviolette met with the media following practice, where he discussed his first trip back to his former city.
New Years Blues
2022 has been a struggle for the Capitals so far this season. In fact, many of the team’s key stats show a change in direction immediately after the Capitals faced the Red Wings in Detroit on New Year’s Eve. The Capitals were 20-6-7 in 2021 and are 6-9-2 so far in 2022.
The Capitals shot differential, which is the difference in shots taken per game minus shots against per game (SH/GM – SA/Gm) has been dwindling downward since Detroit.
Nicklas Backstrom scored a power play goal on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators to record his 80th power play goal of his career. Backstrom became one of 36 players in NHL history and one of three active players (Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby) with at least 80 power play goals and 300 power play assists (322a).
Since Backstrom’s rookie season in 2007-08, his 402 power play points rank second in the NHL, only trailing Alex Ovechkin (425). The Capitals will play their next four games on the road, starting with their matchup against the Nashville Predators tomorrow night. It will mark Caps head coach Peter Laviolette’s return to Nashville after leading the Predators to 248 wins in six seasons.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned on his regular weekly radio hit this afternoon that the Capitals could make a run for Pavel Zacha, the Devils center. The 24-year-old has 12 goals and 11 assists in 46 games played so far this season.
Elliotte Friedman on Van interest in Pavel Zacha – I think the Canucks have interest in him but also keep and eye on Van and Washington, they are really struggling up front, could be something there.
Donnie and Dhali
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) February 14, 2022
Next stop: Nashville#ALLCAPS | @Ticketmaster pic.twitter.com/90J3a2m30P
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 14, 2022
Outside The DMV
- The Vegas Knights announced on Monday that Jack Eichel will make his debut for the team on Wednesday.
Zacha is nice. Would think a prospect and a 1st round pick would have to go out to get that done.
Yep, not sure on return. He’s 24 and only makes $2.5 mill AAV. Seems low.
We ahve backy, Kuzy, Eller and Down and then Protos, McMichael, Snively and Lapierre waiting toplaycenter along with Pillon adn Pino. Dont think we need a young overpaidcenter with a -19. We dont ahve a player with that now so why get one? And the cost in draft capital and/or players with his salary will be way to high. This team needs all its picks and could use a few more in this dep draft.
Way to expensive for the Caps especially considering the real needs of this team. Besided they ahve a slew of centers on the team playing out of position. The Caps cannot afford to give up prospects to get average players. Instead they should be sellers of their older players for picks or younger players. This team needs to get younger and faster and lose some of the cap. No need to think of the playoffs especially when they will be done in the first round again. Finally think this team needs a new GM and HC. Time to go outside the organization for a GM who is not a clone of GMGM like GMBM is. And time for a younger HC and coaching staff. Sorry to say this guys but if Ovie doesnt like the change he can ask for a trade and remove the trade restrictions or he can retire and go to Russia to play and forget about his chase for the scoring title. He is and always will be a coach killer. Time to start a rebuild not wait until he retires in 4 years when this team has nothing but a bunch of older and slower players and it takes 8-10 years to get things back on track.
That must have been one heck of a New Years Eve shindig after Detroit game.