The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for practice on Saturday following their 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. They depart for Minnesota Saturday afternoon in advance of their tilt with the Wild Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Alex Ovechkin didn’t practice with the team today. Capitals said it was a maintenance day.
Nick Jensen (upper body) also didn’t practice on Saturday after not playing on Friday night against the Blues.
Darcy Kuemper left practice early, possibly dealing with an injury. The Capitals later reported it was an upper body injury for Kuemper.
Darcy Kuemper is leaving Capitals practice early. He looked like something was bothering him, spoke with trainers, went back out to stretch but headed to the locker room after Peter Laviolette went and talked to him.
— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) March 18, 2023
Caps coach Peter Laviolette didn’t have an answer as to whether Kuemper will be available to play in Minnesota tomorrow. Still being evaluated.
John Carlson practiced in a non-contact jersey once again on Saturday. Carlson (skull fracture, severed temporal artery) said he’s yet to be cleared but…
“I would like to play soon. That’s my goal. That’s what from earlier on had in mind. I think the major hurdles are behind me certainly and I think my expectation would be to play soon.”
STAT OF THE DAY
Today’s stat of the day revisits the performance of each and every Capitals line deployed in the 2022-23 season, and includes total time on ice and the expected goals for percentage (xGF%) for each line. Lines with players traded at the trade deadline have been removed. [Click to enlarge].
[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
Alexander Suzdalev scored his 37th goal of the season on Friday night. The tally came on the power play in the third period against Moose Jaw. Suzdalev also had two assists in the game.
Alexander Suzdalev with his 37th goal of the season. Comes on the power play. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/7hT9E3kCFB
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 18, 2023
Ethen Frank scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season Friday night at Lehigh Valley.
Ethen Frank with his 26th goal of the season. Bears lead 1-0 after 20. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/gbr9Eg9fw7
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) March 17, 2023
Tonight the Hershey Bears will induct their 2021 and 2022 classes into the Hershey Bears Hockey Club Hall of Fame. The Class of 2021 is comprised of Barry Ashbee (player), Frederic Cassivi (player), John Henderson (player), Myron Stankiewicz (player), and John Travers (general); the Class of 2022 consists of Keith Aucoin (player), Brian Dobbin (player), Don Foreman (official), and Gregg Mace (general).
- Blackhawks captain ‘seriously considering’ retirement, sources say [Daily Herald]
- How The NCAA Tournament And Frozen Four Works. [Pension Plan Puppets]
- And finally, a reminder today is the 17th Annual Northern Virginia Game Worn Jersey Expo in Sterling Virginia. [NoVa Caps]
The Northern Virginia Game-Worn Hockey Jersey Expo is underway! Some beautiful displays and a lot of Caps gear available.@NoVa_Caps pic.twitter.com/QOPatMlg31
— KMack Sports (@KMackSports) March 18, 2023
Now Darcy is down. It never ends.
So the Bears have a Hall of Fame. Tampa starts its HoF tonight with Martin St Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and first owner and GM (and now part time radio color guy) Phil Esposito. I believe I read that St Louis is starting their HoF this season. I wonder why the Caps don’t have one. I don’t believe that they have raised a number since 2008. To me, that’s missing a lot of marketing opportunities. Are they waiting for Ovi’s retirement, feeling that they will need memories to celebrate then?
Completely agree, Fyre. Seems like a missed opportunity on so many fronts. St. Louis is a great choice to get it started to TB.
Then again, the Blues have existed a few years longer than the Caps. If the Caps start an HOF in four years, it would actually be “earlier” in their history than when the Blues had started. But TB certainly starting an HoF relatively early in franchise history.
Looking at the list of Bolts nominees, I think there is a real desire to recognize those whose work established the club in the hockey wastelands while they are still alive.
And why no jerseys raised for 15 years?
Hopeful that Snively and Frank both come up to the big league next year.
Hopefully PL is gone, so we don’t have this lunatic way of calling up youngsters, and sitting them for weeks, or only playing them 8 minutes, or less
I think last night was it (for me) couldn’t get his team ready to play a .400 team.
There was an excellent article here on possible candidates to replace PL. Now that I’m thinking about it, lemme throw a dark horse candidate into that group. And by dark horse I mean:ain’t gonna happen, but nice to think about. Joel Quenneville. Yeah, he has more baggage than a Kardashian on a weekend get away, but I like to give people second chances. And he has a Capitals connection, from his playing days. He’d have to get Bettman’s permission to return to the NHL. But again, does that Cup history translate into future success?
Just a thought
I guess we’ll find out tomorrow which Hershey goalie gets the call up to be backup.
Ovi maintenance day — we saw that movie earlier this week and I didn’t like it the first time. (Ovi certainly hasn’t looked “right”, as of late.)
Funny they basically listed Jensen as a scratch yesterday and didn’t say “injured” but we all knew he was injured on Wednesday, with leaving the game early and the lowest ice time among our defenders that day. (We know he didn’t suddenly go from the top of our depth chart to the bottom overnight.)
Meanwhile, over in Toronto, they called up Woll in goal. Sammy dealing with a minor ailment and about to become a dad.
To tank, or not to tank….that is the question
As Yogi Berra said: When you come to a fork in the road…..take it
Dang, the Yogi was a wise man!
HOF for the Caps would start with Iafrate and Langway, Labre, Green, Gartner, Hunter, Riggin, Christian, Beaupre, Ciccarelli, Kolzig, Hatcher, Stevens, Bondra, Holtby, Gonchar, Maruk. I am not including any current players.
Currently I see the Caps as a shadow of what it used to be and no longer a legitimate Cup threat or even a serious playoff contender. As long as Gollum (Ted) sits in his box holding the NHL record book saying “My precious…My precious….must have NHL scoring record…..My precious!”; this team will be where it is and nothing more.
And Yogi never took the fork…..instead he took a spoon and had soup!
Not too bad a list, but too many. Which Green do you mean: Rick or Mike? Subtract Riggins, Beaupre, Iafrate, Ciccarelli (great player, but not here long). Add Bengt Gustafsson, and probably Larry Murphy, though he may hold a grudge against Caps fans
This is a good idea for a post. Kim, can you get on that? 😁
Druid should do it. He posted the list. There probably should be a minimum threshold, like 5 seasons with the team, or minimum games played
Both of us forgot a really big, and obvious name: Calle Johansson. Michal Pivonka is worth consideration too. How about Ace Bailey, since he died in the plane that flew into the World Trade Center? Does it have to be players only? Some non-players: longtime trainer Stan Wong, longtime equipment manager Woody Leydig. And a non-Washington Capital: Neal Henderson, coach of the Fort Dupont Cannons. That man deserves sainthood.
I’d probably look at taking Maruk off too, now that I think about it, since he wasn’t here long, but he still holds the team record for points in a season. Labre you probably have to have, since he’s the only link to the early team
Criteria needs to be defined. That’s the tough part.
For players: 300 games played, 200 for goalies, works for me. For non-players: made a significant contribution to the Washington Capitals organization, or hockey in the Washington DC area.
Bailey wouldn’t fit either criteria, but he’s a sentimental pick for me.
Add Abe Pollin in the non-player category. Team wouldn’t exist without him, and he battled hard to get them going, since the NHL was resistant to expansion at that time, due to the WHA.
To me, the difference between raising numbers and a HoF is that a HoF is not limited to players. Criteria is what they did for the Caps. Not for hockey. Not for being a nice person. Not for work after retirement.
Do you set categories and allow a certain number per category or a certain total number per year? Tampa had limit of 4, inducting 3. Nominating committee came up with a list of nominees and then fans voted.
Why do we need another post, Jon? We’re covering everything right here! 😊
If they do have a non-player category, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see it include former team president Susan O’Malley, if only for political reasons. She was the architect of the “O’Malley sellout” buy two cans of soup at Giant, get a free ticket. I ate a lot of soup, and went to a lot of games, those years, but it didn’t do anything for the team. Leonsis stopped that gimmick, in order to not devalue the product.
I know, you’ve already written it. But another post would help raise the visibility just a tad 😁