The NHL is enduring what appears to be a league-wide outbreak of COVID-19. The Washington Capitals’ lineup, like several other teams recently, will be wildly shorthanded as it takes on the Winnipeg Jets north of the border.
The Capitals will be without five of its regular skaters overall and three of its four starting centers because of protocol. Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is second on the team in points (9g, 21a), will not play while Nicklas Backstrom, who made his season debut on Wednesday, is out again because of the virus.
The Capitals’ lineup is quite odd because of this.
8-Ovechkin, 20-Eller, 77-Oshie
73-Sheary, 24-McMichael, 10-Sprong
62-Hagelin, 59-Protas, 47-Malenstyn
52-Irwin, 23-Sgarbossa, 49-Leason
Vanecek vs. Hellebuyck
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the game. Lars Eller, Conor McMichael, Aliaksei Protas, and Michael Sgarbossa will be the Capitals centers.
Matt Irwin, according to Vogel, will take some shifts on the left wing as a forward and will be a penalty killer.
To add to the oddity, the Winnipeg Jets had their longtime head coach, Paul Maurice, resign earlier this morning, meaning Dave Lowry will coach his first NHL game tonight.
Spread those germs, y’all!
🔥🔥 too hot to handle 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/of1Bvm226H
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 18, 2021
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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