The Washington Capitals made their way to the Motor City Wednesday afternoon in advance of their tilt with the Red Wings tonight. The team held their gameday morning skate at Little Caesars Arena at 11:30AM this morning.
The Capitals announced on Wednesday (here) that they have placed T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Beck Malenstyn on injured reserve and recalled Sonny Milano, Garrett Pilon and Lucas Johansen from the Hershey Bears.
LINES AND PAIRS AT MORNING SKATE
As a result of yesterday’s roster moves, the lines at morning skate saw several changes: [Lines courtesy of Samantha Pell/Washington Post]
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson — Dylan Strome — Anthony Mantha
Connor McMichael — Lars Eller — Aliaksei Protas
Joe Snively — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Dmitry Orlov — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Matt Irwin
The Capitals power play units also saw a few tweaks this morning, although Connor McMichael, who has been stellar on the man-advantage in his career, remains out of the rotation.
Capitals PP1: Ovechkin, Gustafsson, Strome, Johansson, Kuznetsov
PP2: Orlov, Snively, Mantha, Sheary, Eller
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 3, 2022
Darcy Kuemper was the first goalie off the ice this morning, so it’s likely he will get the start tonight. It appears no callups from yesterday will be in tonight’s lineup against the Red Wings. As previously noted, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Beck Malenstyn will all miss tonight’s game.
RIPE BETWEEN THE PIPES
The Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights are the only teams in the NHL to have two goaltenders with save percentages above .910 this season (minimum two games played). [more here.]
In addition, Capitals netminders have the 3rd and 5th best goals differentials in the Metropolitan Division. [More here.]
DETROIT, ROCK CITY
The Capitals visit the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Little Caesars Arena for the first of three meetings between the teams this season. The Capitals have earned points in fifteen-straight games against the Red Wings (12-0-3), dating back to Nov. 18, 2015.
In addition, Washington has won six-straight games at Detroit and have a record of 6-0-0 at Little Caesars Arena. [More here.]
STAT OF THE DAY – SHOTS FIRED
Today’s stat presents each team’s shots differential per game average. The stat simply subtracts each team’s ‘shots against’ per game average from their ‘shots for’ per game average. [Click to enlarge]
The Capitals currently have the seventh-worst average in the league at -5.20 shots per game. In other words, they are yielding 5.20 more shots against than shots for per game.
The Capitals have faced several of the top possession teams in the league in their first 11 games, but tonight they face one of the leagues worst, so we should learn a few things about the Capitals tonight.
Conor Sheary, who was a very late signing by the Capitals before the start of the Covid-delayed season, is currently second on the team in goals and third on the team in points.
Illuminating stat from the estimable Carter Myers: Conor Sheary has been on ice for 11 of #Caps’ 23 goals at evens and he scored their only SHG. No other Caps forward has been on ice for more than six ESGs this season.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) November 3, 2022
Sheary, who makes just $1,500,000 per season, recorded 19 goals and 24 assists last season for the Capitals.
DOWN ON THE FARM
After posting two two-goal games at the end of October, Washington Capitals forward prospect Ryan Hofer is continuing his hot streak to start the month of November. Hofer has recorded four goals in the first two games of the month, including a hat trick against the Branden Wheat Kings on Wednesday night. His goal on Tuesday night was the WHL’s Goal Of The Night.
Welcome back, Hof.
The hometown kid gets us on the board!#ForEverettpic.twitter.com/68auxs7E75
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) November 2, 2022
Capitals 2022 first round draft pick Ivan Miroshnichenko continues to workout with Omsk Avangard VHL club as he approaches his return date.
👋 Ivan Miroshnichenko ✌️ pic.twitter.com/Jggj0s0Z31
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 3, 2022
I was wondering if they would throw Milano into the fire right away. I know they want to get a look, but I guess it’s fairer to him to give him some time to acclimate to the team. Piling I though would go tonight. One goal on one shot in his NHL career.
The Milano buzz train will have to wait another day.
I think the Caps (and probably other teams) tend to let AHL pull-ups get around the team and watch a game or two before going into the lineup. I like that approach, but i am excited to see both Sonny and LuJo play. Challenge is that if Sonny is in, either Snively or CMM comes out. So take it game by game and see who is playing well and who isn’t.
I think, eventually, it will be a referendum on who stays, particularly when Willy returns. Milano, Snively and/or McMichael.
Personally I dont think that the decision on who to keep and who to send down is that hard. If they really believe that Snively has a future on this team then you keep him. If you think Milano is going to be on this team next year then you keep him. That means you send down CMM so he can play regular and play his natural position, not screw with him as the HC has done for 2 years now. Let CMM play in Hershey this year and get a fresh start next year with a new HC!!
Still think that the HC is playing CMM out of position and then he wonders as do fans why he isnt producing. Place him at the C on the 3rd line and leave him there and move Eller to wing. Why keep screwing with a young guy and possibly ruin him just because you dont like playing young players?
He is terrible defensively constantly loses board battles and can’t win face offs. Don’t like playing young guys??? Did you watch at all last year?? 42 played in every game last year and on the top pair and 59 has been in the line up from the start of the year. Yeah he really hates playing young guys. Oh I forgot he played an 18 year old to start the year at center last year as well. The narrative of him not playing “young guys” is a horrible take.
Good take on CMM and the HC. The non stop ‘where is CMM”, ‘why isn’t CMM on the power play’, etc. is interesting. He hasn’t shown the brilliance that many are expecting, perhaps just because he was a 1st round draft pick. If anything, get him playing time in Hershey and see what he can really do. Some will say, he showed what he can do in Hershey. Well, he showed he could float looking for offensive opportunities.
He did a lot more than “float” in Hershey. He dominated, 14g, 13a in just 33 games. He looked bored. He has nothing to gain there.
Dominated is stretching it. CMM was one of the few offensive players they had and had the freedom to “float”. A lot of work went into trying to improve his 200 ft game and approach to the game. Lackadaisical, not bored is closer. Same issue that continues in Washington.
You obviously didn’t pay too close attention to all of last season. He lead the entire team in xGF%. 🙄
Oh no, not another ‘I got a fancy stat and that tells me everything about a player’.