“We’re Excited to Get Them Going”: Peter Laviolette Talks Addition of Joe Snively, Connor McMichael to the Lineup Ahead of Game Against Ottawa


Last season, the Washington Capitals saw their organization get hit with the injury bug relatively early in the season. With key players such as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson already out while recovering from offseason procedures, an injury to first-year Capital Connor Brown and a one-game suspension to Evgeny Kuznetsov has left the team in a position that is less-than-ideal.

With much of their key special teams players sidelined, Head Coach Peter Laviolette inserted Joe Snively into the second power play unit during Wednesday’s practice and Lars Eller was elevated to the first-line; in addition, Conor Sheary was placed on the right wing of the first-line in place of Brown.

“I think both units have worked well, he’s [Sheary] playing extremely well”, Laviolette said after Wednesday’s practice, “But both units have worked extremely well, no change to the first unit that remains the same, but once somebody goes out, we have to replace it.

“Well there’s no Kuznetsov, there’s no Backstrom”, the Caps’ bench boss responded, addressing the addition of Eller to the top-line, “So Lars is a veteran player that I think he’s going to do fine in a situation like. I really like [Dylan] Strome with [T.J.} Oshie and so there was a connection there. So just trying to keep a little bit of what we had…together. But again, with guys going out of the lineup…you’ve got to try some new things…”

The addition of Snively (who made his debut with the Capitals’ last season to become the first Virginia native to suit up for the team) and Connor McMichael, both of whom have yet to see regular season game action, figures to give each an opportunity to contribute.

“For us, well his whole life, he’s been a good offensive player so it translated to the American Hockey League”, Laviolette said of Snively, a Herndon, Virginia native who recorded seven points (four goals) in 12 Games Played last season before suffering a wrist injury that kept him out for the rest of the season outside a conditioning stint to the AHL. “It translated here for us as well, so he scored goals, made plays, had a good exhibition camp, exhibition games, now he’s gonna get an opportunity, so it’s a chance for him to step in and show what he can do.”

Both McMichael and Snively will be expected to step right in to form when the Caps take on the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Laviolette also expects them to make the most of their insertion into the lineup.

“You’ve got young players, now they’re in the lineup, we’re excited to get them going. They both had good training camps, just based on numbers, they start by sitting out the lineup, now it’s their time to shine.”

“I don’t think there’s any easing in, that’s now how we do it here. These guys have both played on our team, it’s not like we’ve got an 18-year old playing his first game, we’re unsure what to expect, Mikey’s been here the whole year, and he’s a real good player. Snively had a tough injury last year, it’s a chance for him to come back and pick up where he left off last year, so there’ll be no, we won’t be hiding them or sticking them somewhere. These guys are good players, they’re excited to play, we’re excited to have them in the lineup, it’s a great opportunity for them.”

The Caps travel to Ottawa to take on the Sens at 7:00 ET; the game can be heard on the Capitals Radio Network and watched on NBC Sports Washington.

By Michael Fleetwood


About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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17 Responses to “We’re Excited to Get Them Going”: Peter Laviolette Talks Addition of Joe Snively, Connor McMichael to the Lineup Ahead of Game Against Ottawa

  1. novafyre says:

    We’ll have to see what the TOI after the game tells us.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Roger that.

    • Jonathan says:

      TOI means nothing if you don’t serve on a PK or PP. Lavi had an opportunity to move McM up to PP, but he chose Snively over McM. That is telling. Don’t expect much TOI out of McM. He’s got to earn it like everyone else on the team, including Snively.

    • Anonymous says:

      First it’s complaining they aren’t in the lineup now it’s let’s see what TOI is after the game. Which one is it? Why does this fan base think Mcmichael is the next best thing since slice bread? He played a decent amount last year and didn’t really produce much or show he deserves more ice time (68gp 18pts). Is he a good young prospect sure but let’s stop making him out to be a top young player in the NHL.

      • steven says:

        I think the answer to your question is !0 he was a high draft pick and 2) he has not spent a lot of time at his natural and best position. Is he or will he ever be a top line player, I dont know but I feel he could be a solid 2nd or 3rd line center. I think his value will come in about 2 -3 years when Dowd retires and he takes him place on the 4th line. Lapierre will become the #3 enter if they resign Strom.

        • Jonathan says:

          Who cares if he is a high draft pick!!!

          Do you realize that the Caps have had 8 (eight—that’s four plus four) first round draft picks that have never played more than 21 NHL games in their career and NO LONGER PLAY.

          • Jonathan says:

            Those 1st round draft picks were:

            Reggie Savage, Trevor Halverson, Alexander Volchkov, Alexander Kharlamov, Brad Church, Mikka Elamo, Sasha Pokulok, and Joe Finley

      • Jonathan says:


        I believe that McM is a good prospect, but he deserves to earn a place, not be given one, fail to live up to your expectation, and then be trashed as a failure. Let him earn what he is capable of doing, than you guys will love him for his performance. Not what you THINK he can do but hasn’t shown it.

      • novafyre says:

        It’s not just picking a good tool but the right tool for the right job. A player’s productivity can rise or fall (or fail) depending on line, linemates, spot on line, how and when and how that line is used. McM might never live up to expectations. But if he’s never put in a position which utilizes his strengths, we’ll never know. To me, Lavi has too often tried to force the player to the position. Then, when the fit isn’t good, the player sits.

        • Jonathan says:

          You totally discount last year as if it didn’t happen. McM was given a golden opportunity last year; coming into the league, being given more minutes than he otherwise would have been given; showing what he can do as a center. The team doesn’t have the COVID issues this year, is deeper, and McM has to compete against better competition. Patience is called for. It’s great for McM. It’s great for the team. This is the way it should have been last year, but he’s already ahead of the curve with time on the ice. More ice time than he would have had. That will help him, but he must continue to grow, and work. And there are better centers on the team. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow as a player if he takes advantage of it. Including improving his defense, learning to play wing, battling for the puck, improving a physical presence.

          There are a lot of 1st round draft picks that would have done better if given a chance to ‘play their natural position’ but that doesn’t mean they were NHL players, or deserved ice time over someone else. This isn’t rookie camp. McM is limited, and must work on his game to become more valuable.

          My preference would be for him to play more in Hershey where he would get more experience in game, but that’s not what we have here. He’ll have to take advantage of working on his game with NHL coaches to watch and work with him.

          As I said, when he gets his chance, he needs to show he can belong. You say he’s better than someone else, well that’s not true until its proven on the ice. Till then it’s called potential (assessed by others, not proven by the player). Potential never won a game or a title.

          • Jonathan says:

            Potential is Semin never fulfilling what he could have been or being a champion because he couldn’t play defense, or created bad penalties, and didn’t see the big picture.

          • novafyre says:

            It’s not just minutes but where those minutes are. It’s the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner. The minutes need to be potentially productive minutes. I feel that Lavi misused him most of the time last year. But I also believe that Lavi did not make best use of our prospects last year. He used them but didn’t make best use of them.

            But I do agree with you that sitting does not do him any good. I too would rather see him playing in Hershey than sitting in DC. We know that those sitting do not practice with the team but practice separately. So not only isn’t he gaining game experience, he’s also not gaining team experience in practice.

            • Anonymous says:

              If we want to talk about minutes and linemates etc. Snively had 7 points in just 12 games and played on similar lines as Mcmichael did and also roughly had the same amount of ice time as him. He was frankly more productive when he was in the line up. We want to make excuses about his usage or line mates or his time on ice but at the end of the day the player has to produce or be noticeable in the game. Mcmichael wasn’t a “high” draft pick he was 25th overall who was beaten out last year by an 18 year old to start the season and was beaten again this year by a 3rd pick to start the season. That 3rd pick doesn’t care where he plays or who he plays with he just shows up on a nightly basis and is getting rewarded for it.

  2. DC Scappeli says:

    we’ll see how that goes tomorrow. gotta get the young guys more experience and see what they can bring!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s time for Joe SNIPELY! 🎯

  4. DWGie26 says:

    Clearly Lavi thought enough of McM to choose to put him on the roster rather than Leason. I personally would have sent McM down to Hershey and kept Leason but I am not the GM/coach.

    One thing is for sure… both Snively and McM will get an opportunity tonight to bring their best. If they do, they will likely get more ice time.

    So far this year, the box scores show a pretty even distribution of TOI for all lines with Hathaway getting the least on Monday (which was surprising to me). I fully suspect McM to play more minutes per game (when in) versus last year.

    Let’s go youngins. Time to step up! Rooting for both to make an impact.

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