The Washington Capitals returned to work for practice on Friday following their 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night. They next host the New York Rangers in the final game of their three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon. Puck drop is set for 1PM.
The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs at practice on Friday, courtesy of Tom Gulitti/NHL.com:
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Nicklas Backstrom — Conor Sheary
Lars Eller — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Matt Irwin – Dylan McIlrath
Craig Smith, acquired from the Boston Bruins on Thursday, has not yet made his way to Washington.
Devante Smith-Pelly is in town for tomorrow night’s ceremonial puck drop to celebrate black history month. He stopped by MedStar Capitals Iceplex this morning.
Devante Smith-Pelly is here at Capitals practice today. Here he is chatting up Alex Ovechkin on the bench. pic.twitter.com/L7HvimKZn9
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) February 24, 2023
It’s good to see the Stanley Cup Champion back at MedStar.
👋 DSP pic.twitter.com/KjsISWqHap
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 24, 2023
Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin met with Rangers’ Artemi Panarin and Vladimir Tarasenko before practice. The Rangers practiced at 1PM at MedStar.
Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were catching up with Rangers Russian players before practice. Rangers practicing here later pic.twitter.com/exztXFXJDG
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 24, 2023
STAT OF THE DAY – SHOOTING PERCENTAGE…AGAIN
Today’s stat of the day revisits the Capitals team shooting percentage at five-on-five after 60 games this season. [Click to enlarge].
The Capitals led in shots on goal 43-21 and shot attempts 64-38 against the Ducks on Thursday night. Unfortunately only two of those shots found the back of the net. As a result, the Capitals shooting percentage continues to plunge, now at 7.77%, which is 25th in the league.
[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
Ludwig Persson was recently called up to Frolunda in the SHL, and recorded his 100th minute at the SHL level before being returned to BIK in HockeyAllsvenskan league.
Ludwig Persson är tillbaka i BIK Karlskoga igen, men igår nådde han 100 miunuter i SHL med oss! pic.twitter.com/E9My1o6SFc
— Frölunda HC (@frolunda_hc) February 22, 2023
- Today the Capitals invited film producer Kwame Mason, artist Rob ZIlla and Devante Smith-Pelly into the room to talk about the importance of celebrating Black history in hockey as well as debut this year’s new gear and theme song.
Today the Capitals invited film producer Kwame Mason, artist Rob ZIlla and Devante Smith-Pelly into the room to talk about the importance of celebrating Black history in hockey as well as debut this year’s new gear and theme song. #ALLCAPS | #BHM pic.twitter.com/bL3EskEyzM
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 24, 2023
I think a lot is being said about the NHL readiness of Alex Alexeyev at this point. He is basically on the roster just because the team doesn’t want to risk him to waivers.
Yeah, he’s not ready, obviously. It’s a shame, he could have used the year in Hershey. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, going into next season.
IF the season is lost why does the GM not relieve the HC of duties and let Scott Allen take over for the rest of the season and at the same time tell him to play AA and others that might be brought up. Or are what we going to see the rest of the season is more of last night loosing games and fights to show they are tough and let out lots of frustration since they cant beat up the HC who along with age has made this team what it is.
Unless the owner and GM plan on having PL back next season it really makes no sense at this point in keeping him. If the goal of the owner and suppose to be a team goal also is to get Ovie the scoring title, and he needs 85 to pass The Great One, it may take him 3 years with this team and coaching staff to get there; IF he does. Sad to say the hopes I once had on Ovie getting the scoring title are diminishing daily.
I would rather see the Caps go the Canucks route and bring in a new coach now to get started on the rebuild or retool or whatever you want to call it. But they don’t like to fire people (or Blaine would not still be there). Even Wizards coaches outstayed their welcome. Not in their DNA. But sacrificing productive players now, watching Lavi’s press conference, not hearing him talk about goals for next year, I just think one way or another he is a lame duck. We selling off parts of Lavi’s team to lay the groundwork for someone else’s team next year.
If this is a sell off/rebuild, how come we aren’t seeing major callups, Alexeyev in lineup, etc. is there a disconnect between Lavi and Mac?
I think Lavi is marking time until his contract is over.
That’s gotta be the only answer. Lavi is still trying to win games.
But he’s not trying to innovate, to do new things, to play prospects, try new schemes. He’s just taking whatever hand the GM is dealing him and going with it. He has his honor, wants to win, but I just don’t see the spark, the enthusiasm. He’s trying to keep his head above water, but his race is over.
Rays lost 4-0 tonight. Clay was backup. Bear had 6 sog, Benton 3. I am assuming Has was a healthy scratch.
Who would you call up though? We still have enough NHLers on the roster. In the meantime Connor McMichael is getting more playing time in all situations in Hershey and Hendrix seems to have hit a bit if a rookie wall playing a whole season. Plus the Bears will most likely make the playoffs and that would be really good experience for the kids.
If you want to sell off more UFAs you have to play the UFAs to showcase them. I’ve seen Eller, Johanson, Sheary, TVR, Jensen and Gustavsons names coming up in trade speculation. If some of those guys are gone by the trade deadline, then there might be room to make some call ups.
TVR, Jensen and Gustavson ? Who will be left then ?
Marty and Hershey 😂
TVR is no go in trading for me
There is no disconnect as Lavi owns BM. At this point if they are admitting they are not a playoff team then its time to play the younger players and as far as I’m concerned if the GM had any balls or authority he would tell the HC that is what he is to do or walk out the door and dont come back, take you paycheck and go home!
I don’t agree. GMBM just screwed Lavi out of two productive players that Lavi was playing every game in order to make changes for next year. If GMBM has written off this year, I feel that means that he has written off Lavi as well.
How much less ready is he compared to Irwin and Mac. Neither as shown anything.
Is Smith getting flipped, or does the team plan to use him?
From what I have read online, I think he would be another Mantha.
I don’t know what that means, and Smith is a UFA after the season.
Pierre Lebrun is reporting the Caps are now negotiating with Gustafsson and Jensen on extensions.
I’m really not convinced yet that this is a full-out rebuild. If you trade two players, that weren’t gonna be resigned anyway, then that qualifies as a retool. If you resign two vets, then that doesn’t point to a rebuild. The next week will tell.
I’m officially announcing the Bring Back Gabby club, to replace PL. Anyone else in?
I want entertaining hockey and Gabby’s hockey is certainly that. Not winning the Cup is fine as long as I can enjoy the season.
I’m im but not sure Gabby would want to come back here and coach again.
He gets some core players he knows (like Ovi), gets to work with young up and coming players, works near home in Hershey, and he did studio work for NBCSW before the Canucks job so he has been around the Caps. Granted, there are some negatives but I think he is much more likely to be interested than Trotz.
I dont see Trotz ever coming back to Washington after the way he was treated by Ted. Gabby I could see but not sure he would want to be here however you are right he does make sense. But do the Caps, if they make a coaching change go with a retread or get in someone new like Allen, Carbery, Nelson, Louis Robitaille, just to name a few. And while you are at it how about a new GM: John Ferguson Jr, Chris MacFarland, Kevin Weekes, Scott Mellanby, Derek Clancey, Mathieu Darche and Eric Tulsky. Thime for some new people in seats of power in Wash and new blood brings new thought and new players. This all should start NOW and be done just after the season ends so that there is plenty of time for GM, HC and scouts to evaluate current players in the organization at all levels and work on a great draft plan!!
Totally agree on Trotz — bad feelings on both sides. New GM? New VP or President? Other staff?
To me, the big issue is Ovi. How is he going to relate to a young coach? Halpern was his linemate.
The Caps have gotten lazy, complacent. I also follow the Bolts and their marketing is relentless. Today, in their 30th year, they are starting a Hall of Fame, inducting the two players whose numbers they have retired plus original owner. Last number the Caps retired was in 2008. Bondra and Kolzig not good enough? No need for a Caps Hall of Fame? If we go with a rebuild, Caps will need to rebuild their marketing as well and stop coasting on Ovi’s records and 2018 Cup. Exciting fast offensive hockey could help.
Ovi always has to factor in when considering coaches. My only hesitance in fully leaning into Spencer Carbery
I don’t remember there being any bad feelings when Gabby was fired in 2011. There were certainly bad feelings when Trotz left. He felt he was being lowballed by the Caps, and disrespected, for a coach that had just won the cup. But Gabby was fired simply because the players were tuning him out. As a longtime hockey guy, I think he’d know that that was simply a business decision. Bringing Gabby back makes sense for several reasons: he’s a great coach, familiarity with the organization, and his uptempo style should help Ovi with the goal chase. And no team could treat him worse than Vancouver did!
Let’s do it, Leonsis!
To throw another name into potential HC race: “In Ryan Warsofsky’s first season as head coach in 2016-17, South Carolina won 40 games in the regular season, and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals where they fell to Colorado in four games in a series where every game was decided by one goal. The next season, Warsofsky coached in the 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic, and led the Stingrays to a 48-16-8 record, while the team set league records for fewest goals allowed in a season (153) and lowest goals-against average per game (2.13).
Warsofsky’s quick ascent continued for the 2018-19 season when he was hired as an assistant coach for the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers. Success followed him as well as the Checkers captured the Calder Cup as AHL champions.
After one season as an assistant coach for Charlotte, Warsofsky moved back into a head-coaching role after Mike Vellucci joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coaching staff. Warsofsky added a second Calder Cup title to his resume last season with the Chicago Wolves, where the Hurricanes had moved their affiliation prior to the 2021-22 season.
Fast forward to 2022-23, and the now 35-year-old has reached the National Hockey League, in his first season as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.”
From ECHL article by Joe Babik
You are THE ECHL information pipeline, Fyre. It’s greatly appreciated. 👊