The Caps made a roster move Thursday morning, promoting Liam O’Brien to the NHL roster while sending Anthony Peluso back to the Hershey Bears.
Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz had his players lined up at KCI:
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Smith-Pelly
Stephenson – Eller – Wilson
Walker – Beagle – Chiasson
Djoos – Carlson
Orpik – Bowey
Orlov – Chorney
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No major changes, but there are a few things worth pointing out. Among them:
- Braden Holtby returns to the nets after sitting out in Calgary. He’s 12-3-3 all-time vs. the Islanders with a .925 save percentage and a 2.28 goals against average. He’ll oppose Jaroslav Halak.
- Defenseman Taylor Chorney returns to the lineup, as well. Aaron Ness, meanwhile, will be a scratch.
- Nathan Walker also gets back into the lineup, so O’Brien will sit. Walker has played in just two of the previous nine games. “For anybody that gets into the lineup you try to maintain that spot,” Trotz said. “I look at our lines, we’re set on our top two lines—for today, anyways. But we’re going to need some production from our bottom of our lineup.”
- Although O’Brien won’t face the Islanders, Trotz said he earned the call-up and he’s eager to see what he can do. “I thought he had a really good start to training camp and then he got hurt,” Trotz said. “In some ways he got shortchanged a little bit. He went down to Hershey and played well. He’s playing on both special teams, he’s playing that physical aspect of the game and he’s having some production.”
- Two trends the Caps want to put an end to vs. the Isles: They’ve allowed the first goal in seven straight games and they’re just 1-3-0 on F Street. “To me, this is sort of a big game,” Trotz said. “We’ve got to start getting some traction at home here.”
- The Islanders have won 5 of their last 6 games, with John Tavares leading the way. The Isles’ captain has nine goals in the last five contests, including a pair of hat tricks. New York’s power play has been hot, too, converting seven of its last 30 opportunities over the past six games. “John Tavares has elevated his game,” Trotz said. “They’re playing well. They’ve got a deep team. They’ve got a good balance of speed and skill. They’ve got a little bit of bite to their game. They’re a good hockey team.”
- Although Matt Niskanen and Tyler Graovac—both out with upper body injuries—have been skating on their own, it doesn’t sound like either is close to returning to the lineup. “They’re progressing day-to-day,” Trotz said. “When I know, you’ll know.” Meanwhile, Brett Connolly (upper body) is feeling better but it remains unclear when he’ll return to the ice.
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Nearly two weeks have passed since the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to raise their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
With one team being a first-year expansion project that turned out beautifully and the other a franchise that had not appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1998, there was obviously a lot on the line.
Those away from the ice had 'a lot' on the line, too.
Prior to the start of the series, each city's mayor agreed on a bet that would force the losing team's member to wear an opposing jersey at the conclusion of the Cup.
Well, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman followed through on her end of the bargain.
Here is proof of her wearing the jersey of a man who led what was arguably the greatest post-championship celebration in sports history.
The Capitals announced Wednesday that the team's home opener and Stanley Cup banner unveiling will be played on October 3 against the Boston Bruins.
The Capitals found out who their opponent will be for the home opener on Oct. 3 and it's not the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And you know what? That's OK. Winning the Stanley Cup was awesome and the banner raising will be an incredible scene regardless.
Plus, the Penguins need that night off because they have to get ready for their own home opener on Oct. 4 against...the Caps?
In 2016, the Capitals were in attendance as the Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner. That had to sting considering Pittsburgh eliminated Washington in the playoffs.
It has not become a tradition to make rivals watch as teams raise banners and there's nothing that said the NHL had to schedule the Penguins for Washington's home opener. But it does seem odd that the NHL is going to make the defending Stanley Cup champions play a back-to-back right out of the gate with the second end coming against their archrivals in Pittsburgh.
Hey Caps, it's the NHL here. Congrats again. Vegas is a hell of a city, am I right? So, listen...we thought about it and decided you won't get to raise your banner against your rivals. Sorry about that. We tried and we couldn't get them for your first game. Good news though, we moved it all the way up to the second game, we just couldn't get it any sooner than that. You'll be playing them the second game of the season...the night after your home opener...in Pittsburgh...for their home opener. Anyway, good luck on the repeat.
Look, if Washington can't have Pittsburgh for the home opener fine. It would have been nice, but it's really not a big deal. Raising the banner will be special regardless of who the opponent will be. But don't turn around and make the Caps play in the Penguins' home opener the very next day.
The schedule makers did the Caps no favors with this one.
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