The past few days we have watched the Twitter world light up with all sorts of suggestins about the starting lines for the Capitals on Thursday. With a few spots remaining vacant on the roster it is anyone’s guess who will stay and who will go.
And then today we started seeing some finalization to those lines. The Caps needed to by down to 23 on the roster by the NHL opening day; however, players can still move up and down the PA to DC roads, as needed.
Capitals PR reported: “The Washington Capitals have signed forward Alex Chiasson (39) to a one-year, $660,000 one-way contract.” This fills a forward spot, most likely on the third line and certainly in place of Tom Wilson for a few games. We like this one!
Chandler Stephenson was not a practice on Wednesday as he was placed on waivers, likely to open up space for Chiasson. He will report back to Hershey.
Nathan Walker (79) could be a go for Thursday’s game. The team could switch him and Graovac in and out as they decide who is best to remain in DC. It’s pretty cool to have a player from OZ on the team!!
Jakub Vrana (13) practiced Wednesday and as of now appears to be in the game on Thursday. We are excited to see how he does playing with Oveckin and Kuznetsov on the second line.
Devante Smith-Pelly (25) (DSP) appears to be a good fit for the team. He has the tenacity we want to see as he plays the full ice. He is great on the PK, and the way the preseason wen, that’s a good thing! In five preseason games he has four points.
Tyler Graovac (91) could be staying and playing the fourth line with Beagle and Smith-Pelly. He’s a big guy who, like DSP, is all over the ice.
Alex Ovechkin still looks like he is on the second line, playing with Kuznetsov and Vrana.
Tom Wilson is out until 13 October for the game against the New Jersey Devils.
Madison Bowey and Anthony Peluso are in Hershey. We disagree with pushing Bowey back down to AHL. That said, if it means keeping Vrana, that’s ok. We still think he is the best D from Hershey for the Caps.
Christian Djoos (29) is still up with the Caps and will be a extra going into the game on Thursday. We agree with Bryce Jurkovac’s previous assessment that Djoos: “has more growing to do before he lines up with “the big boys.” The talent is definitely there, but I would keep him in Hershey for now.”
Aaron Ness (55) is slated to play alongside Chorney on Thursday. We are skeptical.
As of now, the set up for Thursday looks like this:
Burakovsky – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Vrana
Connolly – Eller – Chiasson
Graovac – Beagle – Smith-Pelly
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Ness – Chorney
Extras: Walker, Djoos
The Capitals are in a tight position after huge contracts with TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov. They have little wiggle-room as they keep knocking on the salary cap. This may mean they aren’t able to keep all the players we would like in DC.