Devante Smith-Pelly has yet to appear in any of the Capitals preseason games and that won’t change on Tuesday in St. Louis. Todd Reirden announced on Monday that Smith-Pelly is getting closer, but is not quite at the point of playing in a game yet.
Last week, Reirden told reporters that Smith-Pelly was still working to “get to the level where he was at last year,” and was choosing to sit the forward until then.
As the Capitals decide their lineup for Tuesday’s match in St. Louis, Reirden had some tough decisions ahead of him. Smith-Pelly will not be traveling to St. Louis. That leaves only two more preseason games for him to appear in. Smith-Pelly is the last remaining roster player who has yet to play, as John Carlson is in the lineup for tomorrow.
Reirden also opted to play Pheonix Copley in goal for the entire game, a change from the splits each goaltender has been doing in the previous games.
#Caps Pheonix Copley will start Tuesday preseason game in St.Louis and is expected to play entire game. Devante Smith-Pelly will not play as he continues to wait to make preseason debut
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) September 24, 2018
Smith-Pelly has been very straight-forward about his lack of playing time. When asked on Friday, Smith-Pelly confirmed he wasn’t playing due to a conditioning issue.
“Right now, no [I’m not injured]. It was a short summer. I’m not going to make any excuse or anything, but short summer,” Smith-Pelly said according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “Everyone is trying to get ready for the start of the year and everyone’s path is a little different.”
Though, he is working hard to get back on the ice with his teammates. When the rest of the roster enjoyed a day-off, Smith-Pelly was at the rink getting extra conditioning in.
Reirden wouldn't commit to Smith-Pelly playing on Tuesday in St. Louis. Said he'll make that decision after practice tomorrow. Added that DSP was at the facility yesterday (when everyone else was off) and has been working hard to get himself ready.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) September 23, 2018
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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