The Caps rolled out new lines at practice on Monday. The most notable change was fourth line forward Tom Wilson getting promoted to play on the team’s first line alongside superstars Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom. There’s never a shortage of opinions on Wilson, so playing him alongside the two best players in the history of the franchise was sure to draw a lot of reactions.
There’s actually a good bit of history to draw on when evaluating this move. Since 2013, Wilson has skated 305 minutes with Ovechkin and Backstrom, third only to TJ Oshie and Marcus Johansson as the most frequent right wing to play with them.
Those 305 minutes of hockey show us that there’s reason to be optimistic that top-line Tom could work out alright for the Caps.
Late Monday night, the Washington Capitals landed one of the best players available ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring right-handed defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the Blues.
Shattenkirk played six full seasons in St. Louis, including parts of five with former Blue and current Capitals forward TJ Oshie. Oshie spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford about the trade and was very excited.
In what could be a response to ongoing injury concerns or a clever bit of gamesmanship, Caps Head Coach Barry Trotz is switching up his line combinations at practice before the Caps take on the New York Rangers.
Mike Vogel reports that Tom Wilson tried out Jay Beagle’s first-line wing spot at practice on Monday, while TJ Oshie is practicing with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller on the third line.
Tom Wilson was involved in a scary moment during the third period, where the back of his head was potentially sliced open by a skate.
Several shifts later, after getting repairs from Capitals Head Athletic Trainer Greg Smith, Wilson dropped the gloves with Mr. Carrie Underwood himself, Mike Fisher.
What a violent and tough gentleman.
Before Friday there had been 18 goals in Tom Wilson‘s NHL career. Like the player, they’ve been simple goals. Meat-and-taters goals. Starchy, with ketchup on the side. Nothing fancy, but they get the job done.
And then, on Friday night, we saw number nineteen. It was a prime rib wristshot, with a supple bearnaise, paired with a fine Peruvian red. Delicious.
The Capitals Better Halves are auctioning off their annual gift baskets. The themed baskets include autographed items and jerseys from all your favorite Capitals players. The basket also includes items that highlight each player’s unique personality.
For the Winniks, their basket highlights the couple’s love of bulldogs and liquor. Taylor Winnik and her creative mind got alcohol from every country represented on the Capitals and then had the corresponding players sign the bottles.
So yes, there is a bottle of Russian Vodka, Stolichnaya, signed by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov.
We’ve seen some weird jersey fouls in our day. Some of us still wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat haunted by the memory of Crochkin. But the thing about jersey fouls is they can always get weirder.
On Wednesday we learned of Sonia Kendall’s genuinely upsetting 43/83 mashup. It’s so weird. We had to know more.
On Monday, the Capitals spent their day at Topgolf for Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic’s Wish Upon A Par. The event gave Caps fans a unique opportunity to spend the day eating and golfing with their favorite players while raising funds for a fantastic non-profit organization. Many of the Wish Kids from Hockey Fights Cancer month attended and were reunited with their players.
The cherry on top was the beautiful 65 degree weather. Check out our favorite photos below. You’re going to love the Swede pics.
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