SKATE SHAVINGS – Caps Morning Skate News & Notes
That streak ends tonight when the Tampa Bay Lightning hit the city for the first time since December 21, 2019. The Lightning were also the last team the Caps faced outside of this seven-team clique; the Caps lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Lightning in the opening game of a playoff series in Toronto on August 3, 2020, the only “shootout” result in Washington playoff history.
“It’s nice to be back to this, where you have the opportunity to play against different teams and see everyone,” Caps coach Peter Laviolette said. “There are new players who came into the League last year that we haven’t even seen yet. It’s good to mix things up.”
The Caps put on an excellent defensive effort on Wednesday in their first game of the season with the Rangers, scoring a 5-1 victory. They hope to turn that effort into tonight’s tilt against one of the league’s most powerful attacking clubs.
“I think we did a good job being aggressive all over the ice, not giving them much and kind of frustrating their best guys,” said the Caps left winger. Carl Hagelin of victory over New York. “And now we have Tampa, which obviously relies a lot on their best guys. They’ve obviously proven over the last few years that they know what it takes to win, and I think they’ve improved to come back to games and play. smarter type of hockey, I think it’s a good challenge for us to play the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“We have to bring it. I think we’re excited here. We had two days between games, which is good too. We put the last game behind us now, so now we move on and we let’s just focus on that one. “
Brand new start – Two days after being claimed on waivers from the Seattle Kraken, the defender Dennis Cholowski took to the ice with his new Washington teammates in Saturday morning practice. Cholowski will not be in the roster for Saturday’s game, but he has met the media for the first time after practice.
“It’s exciting,” Cholowski says of his sudden change of scenery. “Obviously this team is established and has been at the top of the League for over 10 years so it’s really exciting to be here for sure.”
Washington’s waiver request to Cholowski continues a trend of adding low-cost players from other organizations to help grow the core of talent that has gathered here in DC for several years now. Drafted in the first round (20th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, Cholowski is still only 23 years old and has 104 games of NHL experience in three partial seasons with the Detroit organization.
“Our management and our scouts have a good look at a player – a young player, a first-round pick, a good size for him, good skating mobility – and it’s just an opportunity for him to be part of. our organization and see where he fits in well, “Laviolette says.” We’re delighted to have him here – he’ll probably be on the ice for pre-game practice – and give it a shot. eye.
Cholowski was drafted out of the BCHL in his draft year and he played the following season at St. Cloud State, where the two Nic dowd and Nick jensen played their college hockey. Days after his first season, the Wings signed him to an entry-level contract, and he split his season at 19 between Prince George and Portland of the WHL, accumulating 14 goals and 66 points in 69 games.
He was in the Detroit roster at 20 in his first professional season in 2018-19, playing more games at Motown (52) than AHL Grand Rapids (25) as a rookie, and totaling seven goals and 16 points with the wings. Cholowski has played 52 games with Detroit and 43 with Grand Rapids in the past two shortened NHL seasons.
With Jensen and Anthony mantha, Cholowski is also one of three former Red Wings who currently dot Washington’s roster.
A low-risk, high-potential acquisition, Cholowski moved from Detroit to Seattle in the expansion draft, and the Caps were able to claim it when the Kraken attempted to send his affiliate into the AHL. Like his former Kraken teammate Vitek Vanecek, he’s never donned the Kraken jersey for a regular season NHL game.
The addition of Cholowski gives Washington eight defensemen on their NHL roster and balances the squad by adding a fourth left-handed defenseman to the four right-handed defenders already on the Caps defensive body.
“He’s a young defender, a high-level choice who has a good level of skill,” Laviolette reiterates. “One of [Caps assistant coach] Kevin [McCarthy’s] strengths is to bring the players in a good environment and to teach.
“Sometimes you go into the manager’s office and that player might not leave feeling good about himself or his game. He just has a way to fix it, and that’s the way he shows it. and the way he teaches it. He’s been in the league for many years and was a very good defenseman. He has a way of imparting his knowledge to others about how to play, and he does it in a very good environment. positive. I think it will be a good choice for Kevin to try to work with him and help him and see if we can get him into the band. “
In the summer of 2016, when Cholowski was a first-round pick in Detroit’s draft, here’s how Red Line Report the view :
“The fluid rearguard has good offensive skills and he’s a good 4-lane skater with agility and the elusive ability to escape front chess. don’t rush his passes or panic. Also has the patience to get the puck out of his zone rather than forcing bad passes. Likes to pinch and join the attack, often venturing deep. Shows a hard, accurate shot from the point Plays both against special teams and in all key situations, and generally controls play with poise and poise. Head held high and defensively aware of his own camp, rarely making a bad decision. Maintains tight spreads and leaves little room for puckhandlers to make plays. Has grown five inches over the past two years and has become a very stable, reliable and underrated two-way defender. “
Projection: Stable, mobile and error-free defender # 4
The style compares to: Jonas Brodin
In the nets – Vanecek was solid in Washington’s net in Wednesday’s season opener against Rangers, stopping 23 of 24 shots for his first win of the season. Vanecek was particularly strong early in the game before the Caps regained their legs.
His opening night performance earned him a second straight start, this one against a powerful Lightning team that he will face for the first time in his career. Each of Vanecek’s 38 career NHL appearances has come against one of the other seven residents of the temporarily built East Division.
“I think he played a good game in the last game,” said Laviolette de Vanecek. “He made a lot of big saves early on and he was good, so we’ll get back to him tonight.”
For the Lightning, we expect to see Andrei Vasilevskiy, winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy last season and a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for four consecutive seasons. Vasilevskiy became the first Lightning goalie to win the Vézina in 2018-19. Vasilevskiy has suffered nine goals in his first two starts this season. Lifetime against Washington, he’s 4-6-1 with a 3.70 GAA and 0.897 GAA in 11 regular-season appearances.
All lined up – Here’s what we think the Caps and Lightning will look like when they take to the ice on Saturday night in the District:
8-Ovechkin, 92-Kuznetsov, 43-Wilson
39-Mantha, 20-Eller, 10-Sprong
73-Sheary, 29-Lapierre, 77-Oshie
62-Hagelin, 26-Dowd, 21-Hathaway
57-van Riemsdyk, 2-Schultz
19-Backstrom (hip, week after week)
18-Palat, 21-Point, 86-Kucherov
17-Killorn, 71-Cirelli, 91-Stamkos
14-Maroon, 79-Colton, 10-Perry
13-Katchouk, 41-Bellemare, 7-Joseph
21-Bogosian (lower body)
46-Smith (lower body)
52 feet (finger)