Friday night, the Washington Capitals lost their second-consecutive game, falling to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. The loss was the second for the team since coming back from their scheduled bye week. The last time the Caps lost two in a row was around Christmas time from December 22 to December 27 (3-2 loss to Coyotes, 3-0 loss to Golden Knights, 1-0 loss to Rangers).
That December losing stretch spurred Head Coach Barry Trotz to reshape his forward lines and it looks like this most recent one will as well.
Capitals lines at practice right now…
Vrana is cycling in.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 20, 2018
RMNB’s Pat Holden brought out some numbers on Thursday night when Vrana had seemingly been benched against the Devils.
Jakub Vrana at 5v5 (rank among Caps forwards)
Shot attempts/60-13.9 (4th)
Scoring chances/60-9.8 (2nd)
— Pat Holden (@pfholden) January 19, 2018
From an analytics point of view, it’s hard to get a grasp on how well these combos have performed this season and what we could expect from them going forward.
The new first and third lines have barely played 10 five-on-five minutes together. The new second line has been very good in the past and this season in over 80 minutes of ice time they’ve posted a 56.8 percent five-on-five shot attempt percentage. The new fourth line has pretty much been the exact opposite of that in close to 48 minutes together (47.7 percent).
As far as Jakub Vrana is concerned, Trotz called him a “non-factor” in the past five or six games.
Barry Trotz called Jakub Vrana "a non-factor" the past 5/6 games – though he'd played well before that. Remember the Vancouver game. Said sometimes scratching a guy is like "putting a kid in timeout."
— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) January 20, 2018
The defensive pairings look to be staying the same and the first chance we will get to see if these new line combos stick will be on Sunday afternoon against the Flyers.
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