The Washington Capitals held their gameday morning skate at 10:30 this morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. They next host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Capital One Arena in the second game of a three-game homestand. Puck drop tonight is set for 7PM.
Alex Ovechkin will play tonight, according to Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette.
Anthony Mantha did not participate in the team’s morning skate. He remains listed as “day-to-day”. The Capitals placed Mantha on IR and activated Alex Ovechkin off Active Non-Roster.
The Capitals didn’t conduct normal gameday line rushes at Thursday’s morning skate:
Capitals did not do line rushes or D pairs at their morning skate.
No Anthony Mantha (upper body, day to day)
These might have been line trios when they did initial drill
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 23, 2023
Caps PP1: Gustafsson-Ovechkin-Oshie-Backstrom-Kuznetsov
PP2: Orlov, TvR, Wilson, Strome, Johansson
Charlie Lindgren was the first goalie off for Capitals this morning. Looks to be starter vs. Ducks tonight
Head coach Peter Laviolette confirms Alex Ovechkin will be in the lineup against Anaheim during morning skate media availability. #CapsDucks | @SociosUSA pic.twitter.com/vVX3OGGhHk
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 23, 2023
The Capitals host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Capital One Arena for the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The Capitals and Ducks will conclude their season series on March 1 in Anaheim. Washington has earned at least one point in four-straight games versus the Ducks (3-0-1). [MORE HERE].
THE GUS BUS
Erik Gustafsson has recorded seven assists in his last seven games, including his 27th assist of the season on Tuesday versus Detroit. Gustafsson ranks second on the Capitals in assists, trailing only Evgeny Kuznetsov (36), and leads the team in plus/minus (+9). Fourteen of Gustafsson’s assists have been primary assists and nine have come on the power play. [MORE HERE].
STAT OF THE DAY – EXPECTED GOALS UPDATE
Today’s ‘stat of the day’ revisits the Capitals rolling expected goals for percentage through 59 games played so far this season. [Click to enlarge].
The Capitals currently sit at 51.15%, the lowest the average has been since mid-January.
[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, MoneyPuck and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]
DOWN ON THE FARM
Ryan Hofer added two more goals to his season total Wednesday night against the Swift Current Broncos. His first tally was the first score of the game 11:52 into the first period.
The Ryan Hofer one-t machine is fully loaded.@blazerhockey | @Capitals pic.twitter.com/vWLAJ9RKOe
— The WHL (@TheWHL) February 23, 2023
Hofer hitched his second tally of the game 15:01 into the second period, giving his team a 5-0 lead. The Blazers would eventually go on to win, 6-3.
One is never enough, just ask Ryan Hofer 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/I6mLO9xcHr
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey) February 23, 2023
Hofer now has 36 goals and 21 assists for 57 points in 51 games played so far this season. He’s shot the puck 231 times for a shooting percentage of 15.6%.
Dru Krebs had a nice primary assist against Alexander Suzdalev and the Regina Pats on Wednesday night.
Need a helping hand?
Call the Medicine Hat office of Krebs Wiesblatt, Inc.
They’ll pass the puck, not the buck.@tigershockey pic.twitter.com/oRu2cZiFdl
— The WHL (@TheWHL) February 23, 2023
- Jakub Vrana was re-assigned to the Red Wings AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins. According to Frank Seravalli. the move isn’t to accrue additional cap space but to reduce the number of days on the roster before waivers might be required again.
- The current odds to win the Conor Bedard sweepstakes, according to MoneyPuck. The Capitals currently sit at 1.8%.
I might watch the game tonight for a bit but honestly these lines are not that special anymore or interesting to watch. The only reason to watch this team is to see Ovie score and climb the ladder for the scoring title. Ted, the GM and the HC have done a great job of destroying this team. Just admit that the season is lost and bring up some of the young men from Hershey and let they play as they cannot do any worse that the ones playing tonight!
Protas – Dowd – Hathaway probably should be the 4th line. Sheary has earned a healthy scratch, move Eller to 3rd or 2nd line, and I think that is our best team possible even with a healthy Mantha.
I’m not sure why, but I feel like tonight will be the 180 we’ve been hoping for.
Agree! And the stats back it up. I think Caps are using Protas as the easy roster management tool, up until the trade deadline, but I fully expect to see that line in place after trade deadline.
1.8% to win the Bedard sweepstakes?!
Not much, but improving by the day. If we can’t have him, then I can hope for Michkov. Nice consolation prize
The Caps either have to lose a lot more than Moneypuck thinks they will, or else doctor some ping-pong balls…
The losing is more likely to happen than the doctoring… but either would be fine by me at this point, as long as they lose with mostly kids in the lineup after cleaning house before next Friday. We need to see what the kids can do over the last 1/4 or so of the season when they will be playing a lot of games against teams in/pushing for the playoffs.
I agree. Trade Eller, Orlov, Jensen and Hathaway, bring up CMac, Hendrix, Johansen and Protas, Alexeyev can take the other D spot
And sign Frank and bring him up too…
Agree and from what I have read they could get some decent returns for players like Orlov, Hathaway, Eller, Jensen and TVR. Outside of Orlov and Eller not losing a lot of salary however they are getting rid of age and UFA’s and now can bring up several young players from Hershey to see how they do for the rest of the season. One more I would toss in there that I have not see on the block is Kuemper and bring up one of the goalies from Hershey and let Lindgren be the starter. They could then rotate Fucale and Shepard to see if they resign one or both after this season as they both are UFA’S and maybe one of them will be the backup next year.
Depending on what management does the next few days will show if this team has a slow or long rebuild and I hope that its not as long as the Panthers (since 2010), the Coyotes, Ottawa and Sabers are other examples of long rebuilds.
Put a right handed D on top of the power play. The PP is orchestrated for a RH Defenseman on the top (In Carlson’s Place). Just looks awkward and out of whack with Gustafson on there at the point. Put TVR in there.
It’s not that it looks awkward with Gustafson, it’s that a left hander can’t take a pass from the right dot, fake a one-timer, and slap pass to O. But Jensen and TVR are also not serious enough threats, so the d can overload on O. This power play set-up needs a legit right-handed shooter at the point.
However, you have to play with the cards you’re dealt, so they should probably use a different set-up since they don’t have the right personnel.