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No, the Caps are not going to trade Philipp Grubauer for Nate Schmidt

No, the Caps are not going to trade Philipp Grubauer for Nate Schmidt

The Vegas Golden Knights have had an incredible start to the season. They have played eight games thus far in the early season and won seven of them. To put that into context, the Capitals won just eight games total in their first season as an expansion franchise.

But there's a problem. Vegas has lost not one, but two goalies to injury already.

Marc-Andre Fleury is out due to a concussion and is still “days away” from rejoining the team. In response, Vegas snagged goalie Malcolm Subban off of waivers from the Boston Bruins and named him the starter. Now he is on IR and is expected to miss the next four weeks with a lower-body injury.


So a Vegas team loaded with defensemen is in need of a goalie. The Capitals, meanwhile, are in desperate need of a defenseman and just so happen to have a budding starter currently serving as their backup in Philipp Grubauer.

Sounds like a match made in Heaven.

So a deal has to be in the works, right? Well, not so fast.

For anyone holding out hope that this could lead to the possible return of Schmidt to Washington, that’s just not going to happen. Here's why.

Vegas values Schmidt very highly

Vegas could have taken Grubauer in the expansion draft, but elected to go with Schmidt. The Caps tried not to lose him, but general manager George McPhee’s asking price was apparently far too high.

There’s no reason to think Vegas values Schmidt any less considering he has one goal and three assists in eight games and leads the team in time on ice per game by over two minutes.

Yes, they may be in need of a goalie, but they are not going to trade away the player they view as their best defenseman to get one.

Both Hershey goalies are injured

Let’s make one thing clear, the Caps are not going to trade Grubauer if they don’t have a backup in place and that backup is Pheonix Copley. An impressive preseason by Copley made a Grubauer trade seem like a real possibility, but he is currently dealing with an injury.

If the Caps are interested in trading Grubauer, no deal is going to be made until Copley is healthy. Period.


What are Vegas’ expectations for the season, really?

It’s really hard for expansion franchises to be good in their first season. McPhee knew that and that’s why he was willing to trade away a lot of good players after the expansion draft in order to obtain more draft picks.

When you end up with three first round draft picks, it’s not because your team is in a “win now” mode.

Yes, the Golden Knights have had an incredible start to the season, but management’s expectations for this season should not change based on just eight games. The Philadelphia Flyers won 10-straight games last season and didn’t even make the playoffs.

While I am sure McPhee would be open to a trade discussion for Grubauer, he is not going to be desperate to make a deal because he doesn’t need to be. Vegas was never expected to make the playoffs this season so he is not going to sell the farm for a goalie. That’s why if your solution to the money problem above was to make Vegas retain salary of one of their defensemen, that seems really unlikely.

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4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators


4 reasons why the Caps beat the Senators

The Capitals head into Thanksgiving on a high note after a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Here's why they won.

Line changes

Barry Trotz surprised everyone by changing up the lines and reuniting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom despite coyly telling the media that he would use the same "group" just two hours before the game. The move worked, however, as an energized Caps team took the ice. The moves were not just felt on the top line, there was a boost all throughout the lineup to start the game and the energy the team played with was evident.

The Caps’ best offensive players looked like their best offensive players

Much has been written in recent days about the Caps’ top-six and its offensive struggles, but they seemed just fine against Ottawa. Ovechkin (1 goal), Backstrom (1 assist), T.J. Oshie (2 assists), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1 goal, 2 assists) and Jakub Vrana (2 goals) all had big nights.

Ovechkin's late first period goal

Multi-goal leads have been hard to come by for the Caps of late. Despite a strong first period, Washington held only a 1-0 lead as the first frame drew to a close. Instead of having a chance to regroup in the locker room, Ottawa found itself suddenly down by two as Ovechkin scored with just five seconds left. That goal set the tone for the start of the second period where Washington was able to tack on another two goals to take the 4-0 lead. Does that momentum carry over to the second without Ovechkin's late tally? I'm not so sure.

Killing a 5-on-3 power play in the second period

Despite the 4-0 deficit, the Senators hung around and scored in the second period to make it 4-1. Then Ovechkin was called for a high-stick and Backstrom got into a bit of a tussle with Ben Harpur after getting a high-stick from him. The ref sent Ovechkin, Backstrom and Harpur to the box. Just 44 seconds later, Tom Wilson joined them after getting called for a slash giving the Senators 1:16 of a two-man advantage power play. One goal would have pulled them within two with over a period left to play. This game was not over. This was a critical moment for Washington and the penalty kill delivered by killing off both penalties. After that, the game really was no longer in doubt.

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3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators


3 stars of the game: Caps' stars shine against Senators

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Caps gave the home crowd something to be thankful for with a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Barry Trotz elected to shake up the offensive lines before the game and it seemed to work. The Caps took control of the game from the drop of the puck and took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period and never looked back.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jakub Vrana

Vrana opened the scoring by crashing the net and was in perfect position for the rebound off of a shot from Evgeny Kuznetsov. His second goal came off a perfect shot, and I do mean perfect. This was the first multi-goal game of his NHL career and his third multi-point game. 

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov

This is why Kuznetsov should shoot more. Vrana's first goal came off a rebound from a shot by Kuznetsov. It was his first even-strength point since Nov. 6. On a power play in the second period, a loose puck came to Kuznetsov's stick. Rather than look for the pass as he has been his tendency, he did not hesitate. He shot it and the result was his third power play goal of the season. Kuznetsov finished with one goal and two assists.

3. Alex Ovechkin

Despite how dominant the first period looked for Washington, they still held only a 1-0 lead. What really set the tone for the game was Ovechkin's first period goal. A quick passing play from Nicklas Backstrom to Alex Chiasson to Ovechkin found the Great 8 behind Ottawa's defense. He finished off the play with the goal to put Washington up 2-0 with just five seconds left in the period. That turned a good period into a dominant one and really set the tone for the start of the second in which the Caps were able to put up another two goals.