With the two-time champion Penguins in town Wednesday night, Caps Coach Barry Trotz has opted to make a couple of changes. On the blue line, he’s inserting rookie Christian Djoos into the lineup for veteran Taylor Chorney. Up front, Tyler Graovac is back in for Nathan Walker.
Here’s how we expect Trotz to have the Caps lined up at Capital One Arena:
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov - Vrana
Burakovsky - Backstrom - Oshie
Connolly - Eller - Chiasson
Orlov - Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Djoos – Ness
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Some notes, quotes and observations from the morning skate KCI:
- Trotz said the decision to play Djoos, who’ll make his NHL debut, was twofold: He wanted to get the rookie for a home game since he controls the matchups and Taylor Chorney has struggled a bit on the right side, which is where Ness will line up. “He’s played all his games over there but he’s a little bit of a rough patch [with his] handles and stuff like that,” Trotz said of Chorney. “And Nesser has played both [sides]. We’ll get [Chorney] a reset. …That’s always a tough scratch for us.”
- Djoos said he found out this morning. “It’s huge,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun night to finally play my first game. It’s a big game for the organization and they’re a great team.”
- Djoos said his father, Per, who played 82 games for the Red Wings and Rangers is in Washington and will attend the game.
- Asked if there’s any significance to facing the team that eliminated you the year before, Trotz cracked, “No, just hatred. You hate the guys that bumped you out. All the credit to the Penguins they’ve been the standard for the last two seasons.”
- Trotz on playing Graovac over Walker: “I didn’t play [Graovac] a lot in the first game. He didn’t play that poorly. He actually played fairly well. He did some good things. In that game we were trailing and I wanted to get a little more offense from guys that I had a longer history with.” Graovac played 6:22 vs. Ottawa. Trotz added: “And it was important for me to get Walks in, just as it was important to get Djoos in. Now we’ve got everybody in, except Tom [Wilson] who we’ll get in next game. Then we’ll sort of be complete.”
- Trotz said he anticipates keeping the roster max of 23 even when Wilson returns, saying it’ll create competition within the bottom 6, while also allowing forwards on the third line to pressure on guys in the top 6.
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Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?
In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.
Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.
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Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday.
These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.
“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone. “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”
“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing. “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”
Some of the other improvement announced were:
- Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
- Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
- Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
- Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
- A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games
- A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington
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