T.J. Oshie Still Out, Trevor van Riemsdyk Out At Least A Week, Sonny Milano Returns: Notes From Capitals Saturday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex for practice on Saturday following a day off for the team on Friday. They return to action on Sunday when they host the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 1PM.


T.J. Oshie is still out with an upper body injury. Oshie logged six shifts and 6:07 of time on ice in the first frame against the Lightning before leaving with an upper body injury. He’s day to day. [MORE HERE]

Trevor van Riemsdyk is out at least a week with an upper body injury.

Sonny Milano (upper body) practiced in a regular jersey this morning. Milano says he’s feeling better and was cleared for contact today, but hasn’t talked with trainers about his status for tomorrow.

Charlie Lindgren didn’tpractice today due to an illness.


Darcy Kuemper has recorded a 2.47 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage over his last four starts, dating back to March 23. During the four-game stretch, Kuemper has stopped 28 of 32 high danger shots against at five-on-five (.875 HDSV%) and has a high danger goals-against average of 1.03 (per Natural Stat Trick).

Kuemper started 11 of Washington’s 14 games in March and posted a 2.63 goals-against average and .920 save percentage, despite facing the second-most high danger shots against (89) in the NHL (per Natural Stat Trick). [MORE HERE]


Today’s stat of the day is an update on the Capitals defensive pairings deployed since the return of John Carlson (4 games). The graph plots the total time on ice (TOI), offensive zone shift start percentage (OZS%), expected goals differential (xGF – xGA) and expected goals for percentages (xGF%) for each pair deployed during five-on-five conditions.

The Jensen-Sandin and van Riemsdyk-Alexeyev pairings continue to work well for the Capitals. The top pairing of Carlson and Fehervary continue to lag in the negative with regards to goals differential, but they are nearing net zero.

[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]


Ryan Hofer opened his 2023 postseason with a goal in game 1 of the Kamloops Blazers and Vancouver Giants series on Friday night. The Blazers took game 1 by a score of 8-0.

Haakon Hanelt had a primary assist in Gatineau Olympiques open game of their first round series with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The skates worn by Ethen Frank for the “fastest skater” competition at this years AHL All-Star weekend were donated to the Hockey Hall-of-Fame on Wednesday. Frank and the Bears made a stop at the Hall following Wednesday’s 3-1 matinee win over the Marlies in Toronto. [MORE HERE]


  • What main issues will NHLPA’s Marty Walsh tackle first? [TSN]

  • ABC’s NHL viewership continues to outpace last year. [Sports Media Watch]

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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34 Responses to T.J. Oshie Still Out, Trevor van Riemsdyk Out At Least A Week, Sonny Milano Returns: Notes From Capitals Saturday Practice

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Ahoy NovaCapsFans

    Do you think the Caps can scrape up just one more “W” before this dreadful season is over?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Survey says……gosh I hope so. 🙏🤞

    • KimRB says:

      I hope not. The fewer Ws we get, the more of a chance we get at Bedard, Fantilli or Michkov. And finishing in 6, 7 or 8th worst guarantees a highly skilled player.

      • Dave says:

        I’ll take “What is the game against Montreal?” for $1,000, Alex

      • GRin430 says:

        Kim is correct!

        The Caps are out of contention, while the Bears are definitely in, so the last few games for both teams don’t mean anything. The Caps should put anybody with a credible ouchie (including Oshie and his ouchie) on the injured list and call up everybody they can from Hershey to take a look at them for the last 6 games of the season. Send them back down for the AHL playoffs, hopefully feeling good about themselves by having shown the Caps that they can play at the NHL level.

        In particular, Shepard should get a couple of games, as should Mikey — they have both earned the promotion, even if it’s only a few games.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The injury bug really stepping up.

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    So Milano is back. Good to see. I was wondering who’d they call up from Hershey since I had assumed that Milano was still out and I had counted just 11 forwards. At least we’re now up to 12.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      If they play Irwin and don’t callup a defensive prospect in response to the TVR injury, I’m going to really question what is going on in Ballston.

      • KimRB says:

        I think Matt Irwin has compromising pics of Laviolette. Just sayin’

      • Anonymous says:

        Why though? Matt Irwin is literally signed to be the 7th defence man and has played well. The one NHL ready d prospect is Alexeyev who is on the squad. The Hershey Bears have two games this weekend and heading to the post season why disrupt that? Of all the Bear’s d men Iorio is the closest to being a full time NHLer one day and they’ve already had a look at him. Maybe they don’t call up prospects at every opportunity because they’re not quite NHL calibre prospects.

        • GRin430 says:

          How will they know if the kids can play if they don’t give them a good look based on how they’ve performed lately. For instance, McMichael has played his arse off lately… He deserves a chance to show what he’s learned this year.

          Same with Shepard. I’d also like to see Iorio get a few more games, vs. playing Irwin and forcing a lefty to play on his off side.

          The last 6 games are exhibition games… play the kids.

      • Prevent Defense says:

        You’re all over it! The presence of Irwin on the Blueline and Mantha at F delivers the message, “We don’t care” and “We haven’t a clue.” It’s been that way since January. Danny Belisle could coach better than this

      • racingmoose says:

        Many times, teams would rather their prospects get time in the AHL if that team is in a battle for the top spot in their division and prepping for the playoffs. It’s not unusual at all in order to help the player learn in that type of situation and also to help the minor league team when the NHL team is basically out of it.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          While I generally agree. The AHL postseason for the Bears doesn’t begin until after the end of the Capitals season. The Bears have already clinched, so there is little to provide or glean between now and the end of the AHL season.

          • novafyre says:

            Disagree. Staying with the Bears means practicing and playing with the teammates, coaches, and schemes they will be with in the playoffs. Going to the Caps (especially with Lavi as coach) to me means just wasted time, not learning time. Also, I think the Bears locker room is going to be much more positive than the Caps’. Think team building between now and the start of the playoffs. Pulling players out of that does what for them? For the team? They come back and immediately want to know what happened while they were gone.

            • Jon Sorensen says:

              Your logic doesn’t make much sense to me. The goal is to get to the NHL. “Wasted time”? The AHL is a “developmental league”, who’s primary goal is to prepare players for the NHL. If you think McMichael’s spirits will be better in Hershey than back in DC for a bit, I completely disagree . He needs it, wants it and he’s earned it.

              Team building? They have built a ton of chemistry this season in Hershey, but again, the Capitals development comes first.

              This seems like a stretch.

              • novafyre says:

                If we had developmental coaches in DC I would agree. If we knew already that the prospects were going to be Caps come October and this was part of the plan, I would agree. But I don’t see it.

                As racingmoose originally said: “Many times, teams would rather their prospects get time in the AHL if that team is in a battle for the top spot in their division and prepping for the playoffs. It’s not unusual at all in order to help the player learn in that type of situation and also to help the minor league team when the NHL team is basically out of it.” I’m agreeing with him that our prospects will learn more being in Hershey with a team headed to the playoffs (“prepping for the playoffs”) than with the Caps looking at travel brochures.

                • Jon Sorensen says:

                  We have developmental coaches in DC. That’s simply the public narrative. Learning from Carlson on backend or from a forward is much more valuable than playing in Hershey.

                  I disagree with racingmoose’s logic as well.

                  • novafyre says:

                    Not convinced. If the Caps could develop players we wouldn’t be calling for a coaching change.

                    I believe a team is more than the sum of its parts. That is a collection, like a collection of All-Stars. That is not a team. A team practices together, plays together. They interact with their team coaches and each other. And they had better be a bonded team before that first playoff game.

                    • KimRB says:

                      Dallas is on fire with developing their prospects. In just the last few years they’ve brought along Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen, Jason Robertson (93 points this year), Wyatt Johnston and Jake Oettinger. And theyve got a future superstar just about ready in Logan Stankoven. Only Heiskanen of that whole group was a very high draft pick, the others were late firsts or seconds. Dallas is doing something the Capitals are not. If I knew exactly what it was, I’d be asking for the corner office at Medstar Capsplex

              • GRin430 says:

                Exactly right, Jon!

              • racingmoose says:

                Yes, the AHL is a development league. And part of development is learning how to win and experiencing a playoff race and the playoffs themselves. How is it logical to take a player, who isn’t really needed, away from a winning atmosphere and the battle for the top spot in the division and have them play a couple games with their NHL team who is really struggling? In my years of coaching and scouting, the best teams I was involved with looked at everything, not just the idea of someone playing an NHL game.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Keeping a player in the AHL for meaningless games vs. getting games/experience, working and learning from pros at the NHL level (his life goal) makes absolutely no sense. CBJ just called up half their Cleveland roster.

                  Are you saying you worked at AHL/NHL level? I find that hard to believe.

                  • KimRB says:

                    The AHL also expanded their playoff format, with 23 of the 32 making the playoffs. They did that so more of these kids could actually experience playing for, and participating in, a playoff run. So it’s far from meaningless. The Bears are still for position. They’d like #1seed in the conference.

                  • racingmoose says:

                    30+ yrs, but believe whatever you want.

                    You’re also talking about 2 completely different scenarios between the organizations and where they’re at.

  5. novafyre says:

    04-01-23: The National Hockey League has announced that the Washington Capitals have agreed to experiment with new uniform padding being designed in a competition between Michellin and Pillsbury.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if anyone has read Tarik El-Bashir’s piece in the Athletic about the Caps’ prospect tiers this morning. He talked to Chris Patrick about who might make the roster next year and the top two names who had a chance were McMichael and Malenstyn but it was not guarantee. Iorio, Johansen and Lapierre were among those who might get a call up. It sounds like they consider Clay Stevenson ahead of Sheppard in the depth charts in case of injury to Lindgren or Kuemper. Very few prospects make it to the NHL, even first rounders and most of the Caps’ are low first rounders at best, and it’s not because “they don’t play the kids enough” it’s because you’re competing with the best in the world. The point I’m trying to make is that they don’t need to get a look at most of these guys with the Caps, they already know they’re not NHL players. I get that’s not nice and I know all of them work really hard to make it but it’s the NHL, not a rec league.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read it and found it mostly a positive spin piece. The Capitals talking about their own prospects is never gonna be very critical. No way Johansen, Lapierre or Iorio are ready for a full time slot in DC next season.

      I didn’t see where it was said Stevenson was above Sheppard. Sheppard has been excellent this season, so I’m surprised by that.

      • KimRB says:

        I think the OP was referring to this. Not exactly an unequivocal statement that Clay is above anyone, but Tarik evidently believes he’s high in the team’s plans.

        “Both of Hershey’s full-time goalies — Hunter Shepard and Zach Fucale — are free agents at season’s end. It’s probably safe to assume Stevenson will replace one of them.”

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