The Washington Capitals returned to work on Tuesday following an optional practice on Monday. The team will have the day off on Wednesday and travel to Montreal in advance of their tilt with the Canadiens on Thursday night.
T.J. Oshie (upper body) did not participate in today’s practice. Oshie logged six shifts and 6:07 of time on ice in the first frame against the Tampa Bay Lightning before leaving the game last Thursday.
Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body) was also absent from the ice at Capitals practice this morning. The Capitals announced on Saturday that van Riemsdyk would miss at least a week.
Charlie Lindgren (illness) returned to practice. Today’s forward lines and defensive pairs courtesy of Tom Gulitti/NHL.com.
Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Tom Wilson
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Craig Smith
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Aliaksei Protas
Anthony Mantha — Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Matt Irwin
Peter Laviolette said after practice that Oshie and van Riemsdyk (both upper body) will not be traveling to Montreal for Thursday’s game.
The Capitals face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday in their lone visit to Bell Centre this season. The Capitals have won three-straight games in Montreal and have earned at least one point in 19 of their last 20 games at Bell Centre (17-1-2, .900 points percentage), dating back to Nov. 28, 2009. [MORE HERE]
The Capitals took their 2022-23 team photo prior to today’s practice. They’ll add owner Ted Leonsis in open spot in front row via photoshop.
It’s team photo day at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. Here ya go: pic.twitter.com/mnNn1Jcd1q
— Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_Cadeaux) April 4, 2023
Alex D’Agostino from Capitals PR subbed for Connor Brown in the team photo today (second row, second from right between Carl Hagelin and Nick Jensen). Brown’s face will be photoshopped in later.
John Carlson recorded two assists on Sunday against the New York Rangers, marking his seventh multi-point game this season and the 141st of his career.
Carlson’s 141 career multi-point games are the sixth most among active defensemen (Erik Karlsson: 186; Brent Burns: 181; Kris Letang: 156; Victor Hedman: 148; Roman Josi: 143), while his 87 career multi-assist games are the seventh most among active blueliners. [MORE HERE]
STAT OF THE DAY – BLUELINE PERFORMANCE W/JOHN CARLSON
We have been closely following the performance of the Capitals Blueline since the return of John Carlson (five games) with the understanding that the players now on the roster are very close to what the team will lineup on opening night in October.
The following graph plots the time on ice (TOI), expected goals differential (xGF – xGA) and expected goals for percentage (xGF%) for each and every defensive pair combination deployed at five-on-five since Carlson returned. [Click to enlarge].
The Alexeyev-van Riemsdyk pairing continues to be the top performing pairing that has played for any significant amount of time since Carlson returned, closely followed by the Carlson-Fehervary pairing, who have rebounded significantly in recent games.
[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]
CAPITALS PLAYOFF ELIMINATION SCENARIOS
The Capitals will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
A PIT win (@ NJD) OR
A FLA win (vs BUF)
DOWN ON THE FARM
Connor McMichael scored his 16th goal of the season for the Bears Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Monsters. He now has points in 10-consecutive games.
Connor McMichael and Joe Snively go full “Harlem Globetrotters”. McMichael with the finish for his 16th goal of the season. He has points in 10-straight games. #HBH #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/JFEq7HoCV0
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) April 2, 2023
Alexander Suzdalev is off to a hot start in his first postseason on North American soil. Suzdalev recorded four assists for the Regina Pats in their 6-5 overtime win on Sunday night. Suzdalev’s last helper of the game was setup the game-winner in overtime. It came on the power play at 2:05 of the 15-minute extra frame.
Alexander Suzdalev with the nice backhand feed for the game 2 game-winner. Pats lead first round series 2-0. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/6stL9mBhTU
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) April 3, 2023
Suzdalev has five assists in the first two games of the Pats first round series with the Blades.
Jake Karabela scored his first postseason goal Sunday night against the Sarnia Sting.
The @Storm_City get their first lead in the third period! ⚾️@Capitals prospect Jake Karabela knocks one out of the air into the back of the net… it is baseball season after all! 🎥#OHLPlayoffs | #SARvsGUE pic.twitter.com/tMUnO0YygX
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) April 2, 2023
Unfortunately the Storm fell to the Sting, 5-4 in overtime, and now trail in the series 2-0.
- NHL insiders debate week’s biggest game, Bruins’ toughest foe. [ESPN]
Connor Bedard’s most underrated trait? [Daily Faceoff]
Marchand jokingly backs Binnington: ‘He makes me look like a good guy’ [the Score]
What’s at stake tonight: Will clock strike midnight for Washington Capitals? [Daily Faceoff]
- NHL debuts new tracking tech from Hawk-Eye. [Sports Business Journal]
- And finally, 10 years ago yesterday:
Reports indicate the #Capitals have sent Filip Forsberg to #Predators for Martin Erat and Michael Latta #nhltrades #hockeynight
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) April 3, 2013
So much photoshopping for this years team photo.
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I wonder i they will give Conner Brown another look next year
The Washington Capitals are moving up, by moving down. They are tied for 9th worst record in the NHL, with St. Louis, but “lose” the tie breaker, by virtue of fewer wins. That now gives the team a 5% of winning the Bedard Sweepstakes, and 5.4% chance of 2nd pick, 64.4% chance of staying in 9th, 23% chance of being pushed back to 10th, and 1.7% chance of 11th. Philly can come within 4points by winning their game in hand, Vancouver can tie by winning theirs, but the Canucks will win the tiebreaker. The Caps can finish no lower than 7th.They will be eliminated if NYI gains one point, and Pittsburgh 2.
You have to remind us of the Forsburglary, don’t you Mr. Sorensen? Thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. Why don’t you just give me a nice paper cut, and pour lemon juice on it?!
H/T Miracle Max
I’m one of the very few who believe it was a blessing in disguise. We would not have been able to add T.J. Oshie (and others) if we had to eat Filips huge contract. I’m happy with the Capitals path following the trade, but I bet Smashville fans don’t say the same.
True. Without Oshie we probably don’t have that Cup. But I’ll never waste an opportunity to quote The Princess Bride.
“You have to wait an hour before swimming. A good hour”
This! Not to take away from Forsberg who is an excellent hockey player but ultimately the Caps won a cup while Nashville lost to Pittsburgh in the finals.
Here is a question to ask the oracle an the crystal ball: IF the Caps had kept Forsberg would there have been a need to obtain Oshie?
On a different note, I was reading an article that proposed several trades of Kuzy to 3 teams, Colorado, St Louis and Carolina with all 3 teams giving up a 1st and a 3rd and a young player for him. For a player with only 2 years left on a contract that pays him a ton and will only cost more in 2 years and also will be a UFA then that would be a nice haul. Hope that they can get it done before the draft. Oh yeah, the players talked about bring over were Jake Neighbours from St Louis, Sean Behrens from Colorado and Scott Morrow from Carolina who I think would be the bet addition.
Note: sometimes you have to give up something to get better in the long run and looking at the assets that Caps can part ways with Kuzy is the best fit. They let Sammy walk after last season and look at the year he is having! I wonder how much of that has to do with better coaching? The same could be said for Vanecek and the year he is having.
If I was Ted:
“Thanks for your time with the organization, Evgeny, and especially for your contributions to the Stanley Cup win. If there’s anything more you need, let me know. Do you need a car to Dulles?”
There is a time, that unless you are a generation player like Ovie, that you trade players as they age to improve your team for the future. And Kuzy is not one of those players. He has been here 10 years and won 1 Cup. With the salary he makes now the Caps cannot afford to keep him in 2 years when he becomes a UFA and a trade now will get this team more assets than it will after next season. IF he is traded and the HC does not want to bring up CMM or Lapierre then that means hitting the market and looking for a player to probably play the 3rd line. Now does this tam go young player or older player? For young why not Ryan Donato as he is only 26 or Frederick Gaudreau or Nick Bjugstad. If you want age then try David Krejci or Noel Acciari. There are a lot of options out there for 3rd line centers who don’t cost a ton.
If they could get a 1st this year for Kuznetsov, they should take it immediately. A 3rd and a young player added to the return? They should celebrate the fleecing of the century.
Kuznetsov is a talented under-performer, and a major liability in the defensive end. While a different coach/organization might get more from him for a short period of time, I don’t think he has the drive to be great, for more than a month or so at a time. He’s significantly overpaid for what he delivers (vs. what he is capable of) and has a well-known, problematic history, so it would be a huge risk for any GM taking him and his huge baggage train off the Caps hands.
That’s why I don’t believe that any GM would give up the reported return for him. I could see a mid-round pick coming back to the Cap, maybe a mid-rounder and a decent prospect at most.
That said, I’d be happy if the Caps could get a decent pick and a prospect so they could start moving forward instead of looking back.
They’ll get a nice package for Kuznetsov, I guarantee it. A 1st, a 3rd and a young player sounds about right. They’ll get that package because of a Conn Smythe caliber playoff that he had 5 years ago. Teams will overpay in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle again.
People were saying we’d get little for Eller. I said they’d get a 2nd. I was right. Colorado overpaid because of 2018.
Listen to your Aunt Kim
I’d be willing to trade Kuzy for a first/third/prospect. Hell yeah.
The flip side is you center depth. I’m not worried about CMM (or Protas) as third C. I’m worried about Backstrom at 2C. We won’t see enough to be educated but hopefully the team is willing to make some tough decisions about brining in a 2C (Strome as 1C). We need a true top 6 C or W in offseason. I”m fine with dee with RFA’s resigned.