Capitals Continue To Experiment With Forward Lines

Left-wings Joe Snively and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, right-wing Brett Leason, and centers Aliaksei Protas and Henrik Borgstrom skated as a taxi squad before the Washington Capitals began Monday’s practice, hinting where all five players stand within the organization at the moment.

The Capitals continued to experiment with their forward lineup as right-wing T.J. Oshie bumped down a line, left-wing Anthony Mantha shifted to the right, center Connor McMichael skated on center Dylan Strome’s left side, and Conor Sheary took center Nic Dowd’s left wing.

Head coach Peter Laviolette stated that players not in the main group will continue to get opportunities and they are not done making personnel decisions. The team wanted to avoid having 17 forwards in practice since it prevents the regular ones from getting their necessary repetitions in line rushes.

Protas gained 10 pounds over the offseason and now weighs 235.

Laviolette also added that goaltender Darcy Kuemper will play Wednesday’s entire game against the Detroit Red Wings (7 PM, NBC Sports Washington) but declined to say whether he will in Friday’s preseason finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Blue Jerseys

The Washington Capitals will wear their third jersey, modeled after the team’s 2018 NHL Stadium Series jersey, for 10 home dates during the 2022-23 season.

Monday, Oct. 17 vs. Vancouver Canucks  
Tuesday, Nov. 1 vs. Vegas Golden Knights 
Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Monday, Dec. 19 vs. Detroit Red Wings
Sunday, Jan. 8 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 
Sunday, Feb. 12 vs. San Jose Sharks
Tuesday, Feb. 23 vs. Anaheim Ducks
Thursday, March 9 vs. New Jersey Devils
Wednesday, March 15 vs. Buffalo Sabres
Monday, April 10  vs. New Yok Islanders

The jersey debuted during the 2020-21 season. The large W on the front of the jersey serves as a tribute to Washington, D.C., with the Washington monument structure peaking in the middle of the W. The “W” stands alone as a Capital Letter to symbolize the strength of the nation’s Capital. The color scheme is aligned with the United States of America’s flag; with each color also representing attributes displayed by Capitals fans: red stands for dedication, white represents loyalty and blue honors community. The Three Stars represent Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Current Roster

The current training camp roster can be found below:


NHL News

* Blue Jackets release UFA RW James Neal from PTO.

* The NHL announced debut of Digitally Enhanced Dasherboards that will launch this season. (more here.)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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22 Responses to Capitals Continue To Experiment With Forward Lines

  1. novafyre says:

    Argh. Like that Protas, Snively, Leason, and AJF are close, but really, really don’t want to see them just sitting and not getting any ice time whether with the Caps or Bears. They need game time, game experience. Separate practices and game sitting does not do anyone any favors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is, Snively, Leason and AJF would have to clear waivers.

    • Agree and especially think all of them have potential to be bigger contributors than just extras. Snively and Protas in particular. Really wish the team would have stuck with their statement on getting younger this season. I get opportunities in regards to acquisitions come up, but would like the younger players to get more opportunities than they have.

      • novafyre says:

        I doubted it when management said that they were going to get younger and lost all hope seeing their acquisitions. But the Pits and Bruins also bailed on their younger promises.

        Maybe one day someone will write a book on the Ovi Era and we’ll get more insight into some of their decisions.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caps have to cut six more! 😬 Who’s it gonna be?

    • steven says:

      OK roster at 32 and 3 (Wilson, Hagelin and Backstrom go on LTIR) so we are at 29; 1st to go will be Stevenson, not going to carry 3 goalies, and now there are 5, think the next will be Clark and now there are 4, MoJo and now there are 3, now come the hard ones……as CMM can be sent down without waivers he is gone for now so we are at 2, one from the D has to go as we are not going to carry 8 so thanks for the time Irwin and now we are at 1, So that leaves Eller, Leason and AJF on the blocks…….now the big shocker arrives……get ready…..Eller gets traded and CMM is brought back and Sheary gets cut to keep 2 younger players under team control for sevral years with low salary.

      • novafyre says:

        Except I can’t see Lavi or our GM trading a vet like Eller unless they got an incredible deal for him.

  3. Jonathan says:

    This lineup is a message, but I don’t know if it’s been comprehended. It’s McM’s last chance to show he belongs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has he really been outplayed by 90 or Eller. Not sure why we expect so much from him but settle for so little from others.

    • steven says:

      I think part of CMM problem has been being in and out of the lineup, up and down in the lineup and is he a wing or a C. The young man needs stability at 1 position and on 1 line (except in the case of injury) and not moving around players just to move them and make it look like the HC is doing something. For young players in development that is not helpful. Having said all that I agree with you that this might be his last shot especially if Lapierre goes to Hershey and sets the place on fire.

      • DWGie26 says:

        No doubt a contributing challenge for CMM. But as a young player, you just have to do play where the coach tells you and you earn you spot as you get older (which is probably why Eller keeps a center spot). Not sure if you saw the quotes from Protas (and Lavi), but basically he said I’ll play wherever coach wants me. Coach said “smart kid”. I’m rooting for CMM because I’d like to move Eller for assets before he becomes an UFA.

        • novafyre says:

          Some players are Swiss knives. Others aren’t. I don’t think that MCM is as flexible as some. Just as I don’t feel he is a good 4th line candidate.

  4. Lance says:

    Is Borgstrom a sleeper to make this team?

    Possible 6 cuts: LuJo, Irwin, MoJo, AJF, Clark (another darkhorse?), Leason.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Borgstrom has impressed me in the preseason.

      • Lance says:

        I’ve noticed him, too, out of the corner of my eye. Is he a 4th line LW? A 3rd line C/LW? An extra forward only?

        Maybe they’re willing to lose Snively. I love Snively’s offensive skills but I can’t say his skills will work well enough at the NHL level. He was injured last year. I love his skating and O skills but he may or may not be able to handle the NHL game.

        I want to see what Snively can do, personally.

        • DWGie26 says:

          Borgstrom is an interesting one. I think he ends up in Hershey (if he clears). I still believe Snively is a lock. He has played well this camp/preseason. Personally I would like to see him in the lineup and not a 13/14 forward. And I like Sheary on 4th line… have been calling for that. He is a perfect fit on that line and can move up the lineup if injuries necessitate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I want Protas on line 1 RW. Put Strome and Brown together as they looked in in exhibition. Put Mantha on their left. Sheary and Oshie as 3rd line wingers. Eller and CMC fight for the center position. Loser can play 4th line or CMC to Hershey. Leason goes back to Hershey. Snively and AJF are extras. Mojo is shipped to Ukraine. Don’t care for which side.

  6. DWGie26 says:

    Well, this is full on veteran lineup (including CMM who is now a veteran from last year). But this is what Lavi said he was going to do… use the last two games with regular season lineup. Now the youngsters know who they need to beat out.

    There will be another practice tomorrow. But agree with thought that you want the “starters” to get full line rushes. Will be interesting to see who takes rushes tomorrow. I didn’t see practice so if there was something Lavi didn’t like that could cause someone else to move in.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Trading Eller would move money to the blueline… hes not just getting nothing in return…. I hope Joe S and AXL stick….

  8. Brian says:

    My lines would be as follows:

    Ovechkin Kuzy Snively
    Brown McMichael Oshie
    Sheary Stromme Mantha
    AJF Dowd Hathaway

    Extras Protas Eller Johansson
    Sent to Heshey – Leason
    Trade potential is Eller.

    Snively worked well on the top line last year and has no concern about shooting the puck himself which is needed on that line to open Ovie up more.

    The speed of AJF and PK helps place him on the 4th line.

    Martha and Stromme have chemistry

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