The Capitals’ forward lines and D-pairs in Thursday morning's practice do, indeed, reflect the coaching staff’s early thoughts on the regular season lineup, associate coach Todd Reirden confirmed afterward.
“Yeah, for sure, those are some things that we’ve been talking [about] over the summer,” he said.
Click here to see the combinations.
Reirden, however, cautioned that the lineup is written in pencil, not pen. Lines and pairs can change based on the final five preseason games. And, as Reirden pointed out, there are also still a few players competing for a spot in the opening night 23.
“We’re going to continue to experiment and try to get some feel for some chemistry in different spots, whether it was D pairs of forward groups,” Reirden said. “As we get closer to opening night, we’ll have a better idea of what’s going to work for us and what’s not.”
“So,” he added, “that was just a little bit of speak peak of what we’re going to start with…”
It’s not clear, though, when we’ll see that lineup in action. The Capitals play their third preseason game Saturday against the Islanders (in Bridgeport, Conn.) but none of the World Cup participants will suit up. That group, Reirden said, will stay behind and skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
“Looking back on it, I thought it was a really good practice today,” Reirden said. “Thought it was something we needed. ...It was a nice jolt of energy for that group.”
RELATED: Samsonov to stay in KHL until 2018