The Washington Capitals season opener against the Ottawa Senators is 10 days away and the team’s lineup is becoming clearer. After making 17 roster cuts Sunday morning, head coach Barry Trotz re-tooled the team’s lines and pairings ahead of their final full week of this year’s training camp.
In a tweet, NBC Sports Washington’s Tarik El-Bashir “feels” that Trotz has set his first three scoring lines and defense pairings set for opening night.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) September 25, 2017
Those three lines and pairings would be:
Andre Burakovsky – Nicklas Backstrom – TJ Oshie
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Brett Connolly
Jakub Vrana – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson
Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Aaron Ness – John Carlson
Brooks Orpik – Madison Bowey
Last week, Trotz said Vrana would get a long look in the team’s top six.
“We’re going to try him there,” Trotz said. “I know Cono can go there. I’ve done that a little bit last year. We have a few guys who can go there, but I think it’s really important, especially early here, for the young guys to get an opportunity. With V playing with high-skill guys, he plays a better game. He’s not a guy that can grind it out on the fourth line. We drafted him to be a high prospect and we want to put him in that position. I think he’s capable of it. It’s really in his hands now. It really is. We’re going to give him that opportunity.”
Now Vrana’s been shuffled down the lineup to the third line where he would potentially open the season with Eller and Wilson.
Meanwhile, Christian Djoos, who was the front runner for one of the team’s openings in the top six, will start the week skating with fellow prospect Tyler Lewington.
That could create a pretty interesting battle for the team’s extra defenseman.
*If* the bottom 2 D pairs are Ness-Carlson and Orpik-Bowey, who is 7th D? Will the Caps really expose Djoos to waivers instead of Chorney?
— Pat Holden (@pfholden) September 25, 2017
What do you think of the new lines and pairings?
Headline photo: @Capitals
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