Thursday night, the Washington Capitals lost their second-consecutive game, falling to the San Jose Sharks 4-2. The loss marked the first time in the new calendar year that the Caps have lost two-straight games in regulation. The last time the Caps did so was around the Thanksgiving holiday from November 26 through December 1 (4-2 loss to Leafs, 3-0 loss to Islanders).
Friday afternoon, Head Coach Barry Trotz, in an attempt to jumpstart his team, completely reshuffled the lines.
#Caps lines at today's practice in LA: 90-19-77, 8-92-43, 10-20-14, 26-83-13. Defense pairs are the same.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) March 10, 2017
CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Alan May was not impressed.
— Alan May (@MayHockeyCSN) March 10, 2017
Analytics wise, the Capitals, like Jasmine from Aladdin, are about to enter “a whole new world.”
The first, second, and fourth lines are brand new and have registered no minutes together, according to Corsica. The third line — consisting of Eller, Connolly, and Williams — have been been dominant together in limited minutes (36 minutes), posting a 67.7 shot attempts percentage.
The Capitals have not scored with as much frequency since returning from the bye, but their sky-high shooting percentage was bound to regress to the mean at some point.
In 5 of last 6 games before bye, #Caps scored 5 or more goals..
In 8 of 10 games since bye, #Caps have scored 2 or fewer goals..
— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinCSN) March 10, 2017
Perhaps the biggest news out of the skate is that despite Brooks Orpik taking a bad penalty and Karl Alzner struggling to keep up with the Sharks, Barry Trotz has opted to continue benching the team’s third-best possession defenseman, Nate Schmidt.
The Capitals will play the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night before ending their west-coast road swing in Anaheim Sunday.
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