Since Washington Capitals arrives, Tom Wilson has suspended 20 games for an illegal check at the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason, the team has tried to shake multiple players on the top line in his absence.
The rotation continued Monday, prior to the team's match against Edmonton, with Dmitrij Jaskin pushing forward to the first line next to the center of Evgeny Kuznetsov and captain Alex Ovechkin during the morning skating of the Capitals. Jaskin replaced the second-year leader Jakub Vrana on the right wing, as Vrana was moved to the fourth line with center Travis Boyd and winger Devante Smith-Pelly.
"Of course it's exciting to be there with them and I'm looking forward to tonight," Jaskin said. "If you get more minutes, it's exciting, especially playing with those two, I'll try to enjoy it as much as possible … it's always good if you play on the first line, it gives you some confidence."
Jaskin's move to the first line makes him the fifth protagonist to play the role of Wilson. Jaskin said he believes he and Wilson have a similar playing style when it comes to physical and defensive play, and that is what the coaches were looking to bring more to Edmonton on Monday night. On Saturday night in the 4-3 overtime loss from the Capitals to the Dallas Stars, Jaskin was moved to the third line and skated 15:02, an assistant.
"I thought he had his strongest game as a capital for us," said coach Todd Reirden. "You know, put him in a different place and see if he can use that opportunity tonight, and you also know what the first, second, third, fourth line is, whatever it is, it balances our four lines. "
With Jaskin going to the top line, the transition from Vrana to the fourth line was a match after he had two sales and skated 17:07. Replacing Vrana by Jaskin gives the top line less speed, but reinforces the line defensively.
"It does not really matter where you play," Vrana said. "You're still going to produce well and you're still going to play well, it's your job to play well and for your team, it does not matter if it's on the first line or the fourth line."
Besides Vrana on the fourth line, Boyd, who was injured for a long time yesterday, was eliminated after a left foot injury and blocked a shot in the preseason. The move came after the capitals Nathan Walker had put forward on Sunday afternoon.
"It has been a long five-plus weeks for me," Boyd said. "You know, nobody ever wants to get hurt and my timing was clearly not great, it felt good to come to Hershey and play two games at the weekend, excited to be back here and super excited for my first game of the season tonight. "
With the addition of Boyd on the line, that center Nic Dowd leaves a healthy scratch. Dowd joined the capitals in the off-season, because the team was looking to replace the old center Jay Beagle, now with the Vancouver Canucks.
"It is good to see him [Boyd] back in, "said Reirden." I think he had a strong training camp and preseason until the injury and now his chance to play on a fairly good line with Vrana and Smith-Pelly. "
Boyd and Vrana both played together for the better part of two years in Hershey, so both are familiar with their playing styles. Reirden said that his awareness of the duo's playing time in the AHL was a decisive factor in moving Vrana.
"We know we can play together," Vrana said. "We know we have a chemistry that is pretty good, and Devo is a good player who can score goals at great times and he will be there for us and we will help each other and try to make an attack and focus on good defensive play. "
Copley back in goal
Goaltender Pheonix Copley starts Monday against Edmonton, his third start this season. It will be the fourth appearance of Copley for the capitals. Reirden said it was a scheduled start considering the upcoming schedule of the Capitals – four home games in seven days.
& # 39; We had planned it before, & # 39; said Reirden. "I liked how he played in Calgary and wanted to give him a home match and a home game and I think you should be able to build that position and give them opportunities as well." As is the case, we'll see if he can do that. opportunity. "
Copley got his first NHL victory in a 4-3 firefight victory against Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome on October 27th during the final game of the team's first extended road trip to Western Canada.
"Every time I'm there, I'm excited and I want to do my best to give the team a chance to win," Copley said. "I work hard in practice and try to be prepared when they let me go and I'm excited to be out there."
Orpik out against Edmonton
Veteran defender Brooks Orpik still did not practice with the team on Monday. Reirden said he is "day by day" because he missed the last two matches with an undisclosed "lower body" injury. Orpik did not practice with the team within a week.
The defensive combinations during Monday's morning skate were the same as Saturday's against Dallas, with Christian Djoos skating alongside Madison Bowey on the third pair instead of Orpik.
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