T.J. Oshie And Dmitry Orlov Return To Practice Lines, Defensive Pairs Changed: Notes From Capitals Sunday Practice


The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Sunday following their 4-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. They will practice again on Monday then have a day off on Tuesday before hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30PM (TNT).

LINES AND PAIRS AT SUNDAY’S PRACTICE

Per Matt Weyrich, Garnet Hathaway (personal) did not skate at Capitals practice today. T.J. Oshie (lower body) and Dmitry Orlov (lower body) did participate. The forward lines and defensive pairs at Sunday’s practice:

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov  – T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson – Lars Eller – Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kudel

Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Matt Irwin, Alexander Alexeyev, Joe Snively
Injuries: Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Carl Hagelin, Connor Brown, Beck Malenstyn.
Re-assigned: Connor McMichael was re-assigned to Hershey on Sunday morning.

The Connor McMichael move (here) opens up a roster spot for the Capitals to activate either Oshie or Orlov for Wednesday’s game if they’re ready.

As noted, the Capitals will practice again at 11AM on Monday, have the day off on Tuesday and then hold their game-day morning skate in Wednesday at 10:30AM.

CLEVER TREVOR  

Through 20 games this season, van Riemsdyk has averaged 2:34 of shorthanded ice time per game, which ranks second on the Capitals. In addition, van Riemsdyk ranks tied for first on Washington in blocked shots (38) and his 6.61 blocked shots per 60 minutes leads the team. (More here.)

With five points (1g, 5a) in 20 games, van Riemsdyk is on pace to record 20 points this season. Should van Riemsdyk maintain his scoring pace, he would establish a new career high in points for the second-straight season (2021-22: 17). van Riemsdyk is six points shy of 100 career points and his 94 career points (18g, 76a) are the 10th-most among active defensemen that went undrafted, while his 476 games played rank eighth among active undrafted defensemen.

STAT OF THE DAY – 4TH LINE PROWESS RETURNING?

The Capitals 4th line, arguably the Capitals best line for creating even-strength scoring chances in recent seasons, has struggled at the start of this season. This is undoubtedly due to the absence of Carl Hagelin and the inability to find a consistent replacement.

However, the 4th line (Marcus Johansson, Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway) has been rebounding in recent games, and posted excellent expected goals for percentages last night against the Avalanche.

DOWN ON THE FARM

Capitals third-round draft pick Alexander Suzdalev has been heating up of the last two weeks. He scored two goals last night against the Winnipeg Ice.

Suzdalev’s second tally came on a 6-on-5. It was his 12th goal of the season and sixth tally in the last seven games. He’s also recorded nine assists over the last seven games for a total of 15 points and extended his points streak to eight games (6g, 10a).

“I think Alex is making really good strides. I think Washington is pleased with him also,” said Pats head coach and general manager John Paddock after the game. “There’s lots of strides to keep making, but he brings an element to the game that you have to have and he’s doing a good job.”

The Capitals selected Suzdalev in the third-round (70th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft. They acquired the pick as part of the trade that sent goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils on second day of the draft.

By Jon Sorensen

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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11 Responses to T.J. Oshie And Dmitry Orlov Return To Practice Lines, Defensive Pairs Changed: Notes From Capitals Sunday Practice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Are we (finally) getting the band back together?

  2. novafyre says:

    Jon, re the recent discussion on having a Finnish scout. What/where do we have scouts and what are the breakout of our prospects by nationality? I honestly don’t pay attention to a player’s nationality unless it is brought up, but the Finnish discussion did make me think about it.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Lavi’s got to solution is to change lines/pairings. Frankly, to me, as often as he does it, that’s a sign of a coach whose system isn’t working. This should be a clue to GMBM. Is it common when you are losing man hours to injury? Sure. But he does it even when that’s not the situation, and way to often.

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