The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex Friday morning following a day off for the team on Thursday. They begin a home-and-home set with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Capital One Arena.
LINES AND PAIRS AT MORNING SKATE
John Carlson, who has been out since the Nashville Predators game on October 29, looks to return to the lineup tonight. He participated in line rushes and specials teams practice on Friday. He is officially a game-time decision.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Anthony Mantha — Lars Eller — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway
Erik Gustafsson – John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin – Trevor van Riemsdyk
Extras: Dmitry Orlov, Alex Alexeyev, Joe Snively, Connor McMichael
Injured: Carl Hagelin, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, Connor Brown, T.J. Oshie
The Capitals will have to make a roster move to activate Carlson from IR, but can simply move Orlov to IR retroactively and he’d still be eligible to play Sunday.
LAVIOLETTE OUT THIS WEEKEND
The Capitals announced before morning skate that head coach Peter Laviolette is in COVID protocol and he will not be on the bench for either of the Capitals games against the Lightning.
The Capitals conclude their season-long four-game homestand tonight when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Capital One Arena for the first of three meetings between the teams this season.
John Carlson is on ice at Morning Skate and came out with the rest of the team. Looks to be moving pretty well. His status is worth watching for tonight. @NoVa_Caps #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/Ch2hE5e9lp
— KMack Sports (@KMackSports) November 11, 2022
Washington will complete a home-and-home set with Tampa Bay on Sunday when they visit the Lightning at Amalie Arena. The Capitals are 18-5-5 in their last 28 games against the Lightning and have earned points in five-straight home games versus Tampa Bay (3-0-2). More here.
The Capitals have killed off eight straight opposing power plays, including all three of Pittsburgh’s power play opportunities on Wednesday. The Capitals have killed off 28 of 31 power plays (90.3 percent) over their last 10 games, dating back to Oct. 22.
Another sign that Carlson will likely be back for Capitals tonight:
PP1: Carlson, Ovechkin, Johannson, Kuznetsov, Strome
PP2: Gustafsson, TvR, Sheary, Mantha, Milano
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 11, 2022
During that span, Washington’s 90.3 penalty kill percentage ranks second in the NHL. Through 15 games this season, Washington’s 82.2 penalty kill percentage ranks eighth in the NHL. More here.
STAT OF THE DAY – THE CURIOUS CASE OF NICOLAS AUBE-KUBEL
Today we return to expected goals for percentages (xGF%) in order to examine the play of newly acquired Nicolas Aube-Kubel. It’s only been two games, but he has the best xGF% on the team.
That’s great…but that’s not the interesting part.
The interesting part is that Aube-Kubel has one of the three lowest offensive zone shift percentages (28.57%) on the team (more on that here). That’s impressive. That means he’s starting a 71.43% of his shifts in the defensive zone, but flipping the ice, and creating more expected goals for than any other Capitals skater.
But there is even more.
Aube-Kubel logged a team low 8:51 of ice time against the Penguins, as a third liner. My question is why? Was he injured? Why would someone who is looked to for defense, but is also provided good offensive numbers be playing just 8:51? The Laviolette Mystery Tour continues…
DOWN ON THE FARM
Alexander Suzdalev, the Capitals third round pick in the 2022 draft, notched his 8th goal of the season on Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Alexander Suzdalev with his 8th of the season. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/S9EFo0YpyI
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 10, 2022
Suzdalev has not started but a handful of games on the same line with phenom Connor Bedard, but the two have found their way to the same lines as recent games have unfolded, particularly in the 3rd period.
OH MY 😬#ALLCAPS prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko hit on Riyaz Galiyev. 💪 #MHL pic.twitter.com/zO1U1CMLdf
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) November 11, 2022
Capitals first round draft pick Ivan Miroshnichenko continues to work his way back into playing shape. Today he showed he can lay the wood in a game against Riyaz. He also added a goal later in the game.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
🚨 Ivan Miroshnichenko #ALLCAPS
2-0 Omskie Yastreby #MHL pic.twitter.com/scJJsfoYnT
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) November 11, 2022
Miroshnichenko remains with Avangard’s MHL (Junior) squad, but it’s expected he will return to ten KHL team at some point this season.
[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick. If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary.]
By Jon Sorensen
“The Laviolette Mystery Tour continues…”
“Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector’s item in its own way—not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspended in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare.”
First you give us The Twilight Zone, now it’s Night Gallery. Nice!
That’s not fair! There was time now!
As I get older, that is what clutters up my brain. Old TV shows and song lyrics. What was old is new, it all comes around again.
It seems to me someone should’ve been sent to Hershey to make room for Carlson.
I count 24 names on that roster so I think you’re right, if he comes back, someone has to go.
You are correct, however, they can move Orlov to IR, retroactive, and cover it that way.