How much better would your work environment be if you had a chance to pin a coworker or get them in a chokehold? Probably a lot. That's what the Caps are banking on.
The team visited the FBI Academy on Wednesday in a team building exercise that included raming doors and, of course, hand to hand combat.
Let's break down some of these wrestling matchups.
Braden Holtby appears to be thanking John Carlson for playing 27:33 on Tuesday.
It seems dangerous to pit a goalie against a defenseman. Carlson spends all of his time on the ice trying to protect Holtby. Just how hard was Carlson really trying to take down Holtby?
It's no surprise seeing Tom Wilson enjoying himself with the hand to hand combat. Whoever went up against him (it looks like Jay Beagle) certainly drew the short straw.
And then there's this.
Nicklas Backstrom is having way, way too much fun. Maybe Andre Burakovsky was getting a bit chesty in the locker room after his first NHL fight. Well, it seems Backstrom certainly put him in his place.
Coach Barry Trotz did not make any changes to his forward combos or defensive pairs of ahead of Friday’s showdown with the NHL-best Lightning.
He did, however, make a significant change elsewhere: Philipp Grubauer will get the nod against the Bolts as the Caps begin a tough back-to-back set that wraps up Saturday night in Toronto.
It’ll be Grubauer’s second start on home ice this season.
“Just to change a little bit of the order there,” Trotz explained. “Grubi has worked hard. It gives him an opportunity at home.”
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Grubauer, who turns 26 on Saturday and has family in town, is still searching for his first win of the season. He’s 0-5-1 with a 3.86 goals against average and a .876 save percentage. In fairness, though, he’s drawn some tough assignments. In fact, four of his six starts have been the backend of a back-to-back.
“More than anything,” Trotz added, “he just deserved it.”
There’s also this: Grubauer is 3-0-1 vs. the Lightning in his career, with a .923 save percentage and a 2.61 goals against average.
Asked how much matchups factor into goaltending decisions, Trotz said: “A little bit but not really. I wanted to give him a home start, so why not now?”
With Grubauer set to face Nikita Kucherov and Co., Braden Holtby figures to get the Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
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Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that tends to be dominated by football. Even with the Redskins hosting the New York Giants on Thursday, the Capitals' still had their presence felt.
Andre Burakovsky decided to spend his Thanksgiving night at FedEx Field at the game to cheer on the Redskins. He tweeted out a picture from his seat.
Just as Burakovsky was there supporting the Redskins, Redskins offensive lineman Morgan Moses was showing love for the Caps with an Alex Ovechkin jersey.
The Redskins pulled out a critical 20-10 win over the division-rival Giants on Thursday giving everyone something to celebrate on the holiday. The Capitals will try to keep the hometown fans happy as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
HOW TO WATCH CAPS-LIGHTNING