The Washington Capitals returned to work on Friday for an optional practice before departing for New York. They next face the Islanders on Saturday night at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM.
NOTES FROM OPTIONAL SKATE
The status of the Capitals injured defensemen remained the same. Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen both skated in regular (full contact) sweaters, again. John Carlson skated, still wearing the non-contact jersey.
Quick spin with dad on the ice#CapsDads pic.twitter.com/JvJioaeOYu
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 10, 2023
Connor Brown, who injured his knee if the 4th game of the season, was spotted skating at MedStar this morning.
Brownie sighting this AM ☺️ pic.twitter.com/g04ya7II5v
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 10, 2023
Brown last played on October 17 against the Vancouver Canucks. Following a hit from Canucks’ defenseman Noah Juulsen, Brown slammed awkwardly into the boards in front of the Vancouver bench. He limped away and headed directly down the Capitals tunnel.
Connor Brown goes into the boards awkwardly after a hit from Noah Juulsen and comes up limping. Elias Pettersson tries to help Brown to the bench but the ref intervenes. Brown immediately heads down the #Caps tunnel. #Canucks pic.twitter.com/XIITGo7vAy
— Lachlan Irvine (@LachInTheCrease) October 18, 2022
Washington acquired Brown on July 13 from the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick. The 28-year-old scored 10 goals, 39 points, 50.26% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 48.58% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 48.81% scoring chances-for percentage in 64 games last season.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Bogdan Trineyev recorded the primary assist on Dynamo’s first goal today. Their KHL postseason series with Nizhny Novgorod is tied 2-2.
Bogdan Trineyev with the primary assist on Dynamo’s first goal. Series tied 2-2. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/BPEMl1IlNR
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 10, 2023
- Flyers fire Fletcher as GM after lackluster trade deadline. [ESPN]
- And finally, assorted unpleasantries from Tampa last night.
ALL HELL breaks loose between the Golden Knights and Lightning 🥊
122 total penalty minutes handed out 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ABDEyiwz6G
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) March 10, 2023
Most of the Bolts game was boring. Coop was fine with the scrum. Laughed about it. We think of him as the well dressed lawyer behind the bench with natty coat and tie and french cuffs and cuff links, very soft, well spoken. But he has been ejected for arguing with the refs and admits to liking physical hockey.
Fyre, what’s going on with the Bolts?
That’s Uncle Gary’s salary cap for ya, Jon. Hard to keep a dynasty together these days. Losing Coleman, Palat, McDonough and others, is gonna hurt.
Hmmm, who was the last team before Tampax to go to the Finals 3 years in a row? Was it the NYI, or am I forgetting someone?
Pretty sure you’re right, it was the Islanders 80-84.
It’s not just the salary cap and losing players, but the staff and core have played 3 completely full seasons going into this year (Maroon 4 and maybe Perry 4). That’s a lot of games, not much down time.
Yeah, there’s a lot of mileage on that Tampa core. They also went to the Finals in 2015, and conference finals in 2016 and 18. That’s gonna take a toll too. There’s nothing quite like the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two solid months of putting your body through a meat grinder.
Vasy this year is human. When you depend too much on your superstar driving the team and that superstar has just a normal year, others have to step up. Defense hasn’t.
Penalties. Tampa is the most penalized team in the NHL averaging over 12 minutes per game. This has not only removed key players from the ice but has disrupted their lines, their plans. And so many of the penalties have been dumb, unnecessary ones. (Also the refs are biased against Tampa but that’s a given for the Caps as well.)
Like the Caps, the Bolts have too often looked for that perfect shot. They are 15th in shots per game – and it has been getting worse.
Turnovers, missed assignments, dumb penalties, mental mistakes. Tampa has been playing like a pickup team – a lot of talented individuals, but not a team. They have lost a lot of very talented players over the past 4 years. Each time they have managed to meld the new players into the team. This year has felt different – all year long I have been waiting for this team to gel and they haven’t.
The final thing I can’t explain – their road record sucks. Seriously. Cooper has not been able to explain it. Home ice used to mean something when NHL rinks were different from place to place. They’re pretty standardized now. No weird health restrictions. No diverted flights or other bad travel events. But away from Tampa, they have sucked.
Point has 41 goals, 3 players are in the 20s and 1 has 19. But most games they are having to dig themselves out of a hole, often because of a turnover and/or missed assignment. Mental errors. And they are just not yet a ‘team.’
Tampa traded for two players. Don’t mind giving up those they gave up, but question the ones they got. I expected them to go for defense but they didn’t. Jannott is like Garnet Hathaway. During the 25 year old’s career he has averaged almost 1.5 minutes per game in the sin bin. Tampa doesn’t need any more help in that area.
23 year old Eyssimont is a speedy center and seems to be fitting in well. I just don’t feel he fits their more immediate needs. I was hoping that they could get Luke Schenn back.
Great to see Connor Brown skating! It’s been a minute since we’ve seen him. Oh, what might have been.
He’ll be UFA this summer, but I heard a whisper that the Caps might be interested in resigning him. There’s a right wing spot or two open. Weak UFA market for wings. JVR, Pacioretty, and Tarasenko are the biggest names
Roger that, Mark. I feel bad for the guy. He is a UFA this summer, and chomping off of a major knee injury can’t be good for business.
In his first (and only) few games for us he was pretty underwhelming. -5 in 4 games? Wasn’t going well for him in Ottawa or Toronto either.
Not sure Brown would’ve made much of a difference here.
Certainly plausible his contributions would have been negligible. We just don’t know. There is certainly no body of work with Caps that says we should re-sign.
True on no body of work but may want to resign, and might get a discount due to injury, to not have tossed a 2nd down the tubes.
There is no need to bring Carlson or Brown back as after being out so long they will not be up to speed in 16 games. Better to give them the summer and wait for training camp. Also that means more line changes and we all know that Carlson is a declining talent and will be on the #1 PP unless someone else raises their game. The dilemma is that Hershey is making a playoff run which negates bringing up some players to see how they would perform.
I agree on not brining back JC74. Let him take the time. We can cover for him with what we have in Washington now.
Brown on the other hand… there is value is seeing him play a few games if he can go. He will want that. Caps will want that. Might as well see if he can fit in. And Brown wants to prove he can play before he hits UFA. That said, I’m not sure he’ll be healthy enough to play before the season ends.