mikhail-grabovski-returns

Grabo lives! (Photo: @scarletcaps)

When we last got an update about Mikhail Grabovski‘s status, we heard from the translated horse’s mouth that he wasn’t planning to skate for another two weeks, putting off a potential return until early April.

“I feel good, but the doctors say the rehab isn’t over,” Grabovski said last Monday to Tribuna’s Vadim Knyrko. “Don’t expect me on the ice for the next two weeks.”

Just seven days later, Grabo returned to said ice to skate a full practice session for the first time since February 27th, a morning skate in Florida. Grabovski, who has missed 20 of the last 21 games due to a sprained left ankle injury which he then re-injured in his first shift back against the Panthers, skated as an extra on the Caps’ fourth line.

When asked if Grabovski could play as soon as Saturday against the Boston Bruins, head coach Adam Oates replied after practice, “[It's] possible, I guess. We’ll see how he responds tomorrow.”

Grabovski was also happy to be back out on the ice with his teammates.

While Washington earned five out of a possible six points in their daunting west coast swing last week, Grabovski could help reignite the Caps’ top six, which has struggled mightily to find the back of the net at even strength lately. Consider that during the Caps last three games, only one line other than Joel Ward, Eric Fehr, and Jason Chimera has scored at even strength: the fourth line against the Sharks on Saturday.

So in closing, while we love Jay Beagle, we’ll love him so much more once he’s no longer centering Alex Ovechkin on the top line. Get well soon, Grabo!

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  • Jack Conness

    Big, big news. I hope the Caps play it safe. Seeing a guy reinjure an injury his 1st game back is bad. You can’t have that happen. The Caps need a center badly. Especially on that top line.

  • Rob W.
  • Myan

    REALLY great news. We need Grabo back as soon as possible but I’d rather wait until he’s back to 100% before we put him in and risk turning this injury into a nagging one. We need a true 2nd line center badly right now but I’d hate to see Grabo aggravate this injury and it becomes something that plagues the rest of his career.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    This is really great news because Beagle needs to go back to the dog house, and by dog house I mean the fourth line. I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

  • Clint Petty

    I would like to see these lines:

    92-19-8
    17-84-20
    25-16-42
    ??-83-43

  • Clint Petty

    Penner and Kuzya could be interchangeable here. No clue who to put as 4th line LW

  • Guest

    Glad to see Grabo back on his feet and skating at Kettler…few more weeks till the Russian Connection once again takes over D.C.

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  • Myan

    Oh that’s awkward…where’s Mojo?

  • Patrick Neimeyer

    Glad to see grabo back on his feet and skating at Kettler. Couple more weeks till the Russian Connection once again invades D.C….as demonstrated in Arnie’s Red Heat…

  • Matt Lauer

    These are the lines I want to see:

    92-43-8
    84-19-20/90
    42-16-25
    20/90-83-67

  • Pat Magee

    Fascinating.

  • jp_daddi0

    You want Tom Wilson centering the first line? Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.

  • Clint Petty

    Haha knew I was forgetting someone… Well, sorry MoJo, you can replace those ??

  • Matt Lauer

    Or Kuzya, that much doesn’t really matter to me. Just want the K + W combination reunited, and Ovi playing beside them.

  • bggb

    Three centers on the 2nd line, no centers on the first line.

    Adam Oates likes it!

  • Caps Fan

    Why would you have Wilson at center? If anything you’d have Kuzy at center because he’s actually played center. And you have Grabo as a winger? I’m sorry but these lines are pretty much garbage. With Grabo back, I’d like to see Nicky and Ovi reunited. And Grabo centering a line with Wilson.

  • Caps Fan

    Mojo as 4th line LW. I like these lines but I’d LOVE to see Wilson get more ice time on the 2nd line.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Get this yucky javascript embed code outtttaaa here

  • Michael Worth

    haxzors

  • Matt Lauer

    Well, before you go call them garbage, let me give you my reasoning.

    1) We’ve seen Kuzya and Wilson play well together and I think that should be revisited. I have no problem with Kuzya being at center, put him there. Wilson has been skating very well the past ten games, generating turnovers, and making his linemates better (to the extent they can be). I think that would mesh well with Ovi become a formidable line.

    2) Likewise, we’ve seen Grabo and Nicky play well together in brief moments throughout the season, as both are strong possession players and work the cycle very well. I think it would actually be a wise choice, as you might have something like a “less physically tough but more skilled” version of the third line’s cycle game. MoJo or Brouwer, it’s a toss-up for me.

    3) Third line is OK, as I’m sure we can agree.

    4) At this point I don’t think a well-conceived fourth line is an option for this team, so whatever one works out will almost surely be a grab-bag.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I don’t think Tom Wilson has literally ever played center in his entire career

  • Chris Cerullo

    1337

  • Owen Johnson

    Kuznetsov actually can play center. Only problem is, I heard he sucks at faceoffs.

  • Peteo

    When you are battling for every point to make the playoffs, I really don’t think it’s wise to ask a rookie to try a new position for the first time, particularly if that new position is center. And on the first line? So not only are you gambling on Wilson’s ability to adapt to a new position this late into a season, you’re potentially risking the possibility that your superstar player will continue to be neutralized without an effective center. Even if you put Kuzya at C, the same thing applies. 10 games left in the season and you want to throw a new guy that much responsibility, supported by a guy who’s never had 1st line minutes and another guy who has a penchant for coasting around aimlessly on D?

    At some point, if you’re relying on two rookies to be top line players with 10 games left, you’re pretty much admitting that this team as constructed isn’t going to go anywhere in the playoffs. At some point, “ya gotta dance with the girl that brought you” applies.

  • Bornee

    Did penner miss the team bus?

  • Shaun Phillips

    While I agree with 2-4, I think you can achieve the same thing on 2 (a strong cycle) with other guys on that line (Fehr, Kuzya, etc). I’d avoid Brouwer and Penner as I feel like that could be Black Hole #2. For 1), without a centerman who can actually win draws and get the puck to start with, it really doesn’t matter who you put out there. We know from Kuzya’s time in the KHL, he’s not good at faceoffs and I doubt Wilson has taken a draw in a few years (let alone at the NHL level). Put Kuzya on the 2nd line, Nicky on 1 and i’d be fine with these lines.

    EDIT: Also, it’s a little late in the season to drop Wilson into the top line. I think the time for that this season was back in November. I’d rather see Penner up on the top line with Nicky and Ovi than Wilson (for the remainder of this season, all bets are off next year).

  • CoolGuy

    90 – 19 – 8
    92 – 84 – 20/43
    25 – 16 – 42
    17 – 67 – 43/20

  • RT23

    When Grabbo’s back I’d like to see:

    17/90-19-8

    92-84-20

    25-16-42

    90/17-83-43
    (sometimes 67 for one of the 4th liners)

    Until then:

    17-19-8 (skill, skill, grinder)

    92-90-20 (skill, skill, grinder)

    25-16-42

    67-83-43

    But here’s one
    other idea. I think it’s time to shake up Ovi again to refresh him. Let’s try
    him back on left wing.

    8-19-43 or 20 or 67
    (skill, skill, grinder)

    92-90-20 or 43 or
    67 (skill, skill, grinder)

    25-16-42

    17-83-67

  • Smiley456

    Yep. I love beagles but……not on the first line.

  • JenniferH

    So happy to see this!

  • gustafsson16

    I liked the chemistry 92 and 43 were developing and hope its revisted next year – maybe 92-90-43 as line #2 or 84 at C if he’s re-signed. Faceoff badness aside (our whole team is awful at faceoffs, so we may as well have the zamboni guy taking them) the main issue I have with a 92-43-8 line is that this team would get murdered against top lines because they have zero defensive responsibility. 92 and 43 going up against top line players in their own end is asking for trouble and we all know how bad (or absent) 8 is on defense. For line #1 it needs to be 17-19-8. All skill and no grind gets you an early tee-time in April

  • Diller M

    Clearly the only line that matters here at RMNB should be 92-84-8 then run the Oates RNG for the other three lines which wouldn’t really matter

  • Diller M

    Screw safe we need all the points we can get, get Grabo in! If he’s injured he will have all summer to get healthy and we can get a discount on resigning him. If he’s healthy he will help us win, careers aren’t lost b/c of ankle injuries

  • John M

    I am really hoping for that Kuzya-Grabovski-Brouwer line. AKA, the KGB line (as someone pointed out in a previous post). I think this can really happen.

  • shemy rock

    Grabo!!! Thank God!!!

  • shemy rock

    I wish I was at the party the other night! Hope no one got a dui!

  • Rhino40