More Line Tweaks, Conor Sheary And T.J. Oshie Flip Spots: News From Capitals Tuesday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to work Tuesday morning for one final practice before they host the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. A reminder that the game broadcasts move to the national networks for the next five games, beginning with the Lightning game on Wednesday on TNT.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette continued to tweak the lines in Tuesday’s practice. Conor Sheary and T.J. Oshie flipped right-wing positions on the first and third lines.

It appears that Connor McMichael and Axel Jonason-Fjallby continue to be the extra forwards. Matt Irwin and Michal Kempny remain the extra defensemen.

T.J. Oshie

Trevor van Riemsdyk 

Killing It

The Capitals currently rank tied for 10th in the NHL in penalty kill at 81.1% after finishing last season as the fifth best penalty kill team in the NHL at 82.4%. Since March 1 – a span of 14 games – the Capitals have killed 33 of 39 penalties and rank tied for third in the NHL in penalty kill percentage at 84.6%.

Nick Jensen leads all Caps defensemen with 40:09 of penalty kill time during that timeframe while Tom Wilson leads all forwards at 29:04. With Evgeny Kuznetsov on the ice during that same span, the Capitals are allowing 49.32 shot attempts per 60 minutes of penalty kill time and just 36.16 shots per 60.

Among the 135 forwards in the NHL with at least 18 minutes on the penalty kill since March 1, Kuznetsov has the lowest shot attempt rate and the seventh-lowest shots allowed rate in the NHL.

Masters Predictions

The boys gave their picks for this weekend’s Master’s tournament.


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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16 Responses to More Line Tweaks, Conor Sheary And T.J. Oshie Flip Spots: News From Capitals Tuesday Practice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round. 🚌

  2. David says:

    I know we’ve had injuries, but this has to be a record for different lineups in a season, right?

  3. novafyre says:

    Are McM and AJF subject to waivers? If not, send them back to Hershey and give them game time. Bears could use the help right now.

  4. Lesliej427 says:

    Sooooo, still busy tweaking eh? My $ is on changing the lines until the first Playoff game, and probably all the way through, ugh:(:(
    I’m no coach but sure thought that getting all the guys nice and cozy with their set line mates was the way to go 🤷‍♀️. Obviously new guys coming in, injuries, etc, forces changes throughout, but it seems apparent that Line Changing seems to be the top hobby and signature of our organization.
    Does anyone really think that switching Oshie and Sheary is gonna cure the unbelievable pileup of ills we suffer from right now? Tough ass changes to the culture of this team should have been demanded a LONG while back, but never do occur, do they.
    And we still suffer the same idiotic interviews where our guys tell us with deadpan serious expressions :” We tried to do our best”…”we have to work harder next game “, blahblahblah.
    Sorry, I’m a major fan who is addicted to her beloved boys, but this is just way past unacceptable 🤬😢

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s time to get rid of players! We won’t get threw the first round! Time to get rid of big contracts! Oshie, Orval, should be the first to go this off season! Eller is on his way out! It’s time to get some young blood in the Caps organization! The Caps are stuck with old players like the Stars! The 2 oldest teams in the league!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think that will happen this off-season. Players like Schultz, Johansson and Kempny are likely gone. Could be others.

      • steven says:

        Was thinking maybe they will see what they can get for Eller and Carlson also. Also see Larsson leafing as he is a UFA and would rather put younger legs in there.A decision on which goalie to keep and which to trade has to be made. I can see a situation where they sign one and sign and trade the other. Also Samsonov body of work is not worth a raise from his current $2 Mil. One thing I would like to see would be a new HC and gm and coaching staff. Someone young to go along with the rebuild that is going to have to happen and should start now.

        • Diane Doyle says:

          We’ll see what happens next year, too. The UFA’s (MoJo, Kempny, Schultz) will be gone, as you pointed out. But then if the team gets off to a bad start, I would not be surprised to see some of the older veterans sent away, like Eller, Carlson, or even Orlov.

  6. Dan Murphy says:

    Orlov has been one of our best defensemen. I don’t think we should be getting rid of him.

    • steven says:

      I agree but can they aford to keep him and Carlson. After next Season Orlov is a UFA and is currently making $5.1 mil and dont know if they can afford to have not only 2 D man adound 8/9mil a year but 4 D men over 30. And although Orlov has done great this year Carlson looks old and tired and Jenses and TVR are not spring chickens either. I do love his old fashioned hip checks!

  7. SoCalSteve says:

    Just a reminder: The Caps record today and their record at this time in 2018…when they won the Cup…are almost exactly the same. Keep hope alive.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What I would give to know what the players really think about Ovechkin. He gives maybe 25% on the ice when he’s out there. He’s no leader. He doesn’t play defense. He’s great on empty netters and the occasion PP goal. He’s a supremely accomplished puck watcher. But face it, when he’s out there, it’s usually a 5 on 4 advantage for the other team. He routinely turns the puck over with errant passes, tries unsuccessfully to skate through people and is a shell of his younger self. His skill set is embarrassing. He’s chasing a record at the expense of being a good teammate.
    You never hear him being called out for any of this by the guys in the booth. There must be a clause in his contract that says he’s above criticism. The other teams all know that he doesn’t give it up on defense and how to exploit that.

    • novafyre says:

      When I watch other teams, they often use their star sniper as a decoy or paired with another who isn’t afraid to shoot. This splits the goalie’s attention and he has a harder time deciding whom to cover. Caps are too one sided — it will always be Ovi.

      The other thing I noticed with the other teams is that the one not shooting ends up in front of the net looking for a rebound. Again, this just doesn’t seem to happen as often with the Caps. Maybe Ovi’s shot is too hard or different angle. And it doesn’t always work for the other teams. But it seems to work more often.

      I agree with you that Ovi’s puck management has gotten worse. I have joked at times that maybe he needs glasses.

      To me, Ovi is still an asset, still a contributor. But they are playing him wrong.

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