January 18, 2021

Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update & Audio for April 17, 2015: Philipp Grubauer, Justin Peters and Barry Trotz

Arlington, Va. – No shortage of news at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning, with the Washington Capitals set to take on the New York Islanders in the second game of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Caps goalie Braden Holtby did not take the ice, with precautionary measures in place for someone who’s been a key cog for Washington so far this season.

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Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update for Oct. 18: Barry Trotz and Nicklas Backstrom

Saturday night’s Washington Capitals game against the Florida Panthers will be the 500th for longtime Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom, drafted by the team in the 2006 Entry Draft, spoke about what it means to have played 500 games for the club: “[It] felt like yesterday I was playing my first game, so I’m happy that I’ve played 500 here. I have my heart and soul here in Washington so it’s an honor for me to represent this team.

“It’s gone quicker than you think. You don’t really have to think about it during all these years, and all of a sudden when you see the number, ‘Oh, I’ve been here awhile now.’ So it’s kind of fun actually but exciting as well.”

Head Coach Barry Trotz has publicly talked about Backstrom’s skill in the past, adding today, “I’ve been a big advocate of his. He’s one of the most complete players in the National Hockey League. [He’s] under the radar, doesn’t get any fanfare, doesn’t get a lot of the love that he should around the league.”

When asked about what makes Backstrom so special, Trotz said, “Just his hockey IQ. He can pass the puck, he can play on both sides of the puck, he knows where it’s going before it’s actually going there … he’s got the hockey IQ that is probably one of the foremost, number one, and then the skillset comes two for me.”

Justin Peters will get the start in net for the Caps, his first for the team this season ahead of next week’s road trip through western Canada. Peters was the goalie of record against the Sharks on Tuesday; Braden Holtby was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals.

Caps Morning Skate: Backstrom to injured list; Kundratek in lineup

The Washington Capitals placed center Nick Backstrom on the injured list, retroactive to last Tuesday, with concussion-related symptoms.  He can be activated at any time.  Backstrom has been out since sustaining an elbow to the head from Calgary forward Rene Bourque, who received a five-game suspension for his actions.  Backstrom leads the Caps in scoring this season with 13 goals and 29 assists, for 42 points.

Backstrom and Mike Green (groin) did not participate in today’s skate. 

The Caps recalled defenseman Tomas Kundratek (6’2″, 200) from AHL Hershey, and will be in tonight’s lineup, sending healthy veteran d-man Jeff Schultz and John Erskine to the bench.  Kundratek, a 21-year old Czech native, recorded eight points (six goals, two assists) and 14 penalty minutes in 21 games for Hershey this season.  He was acquired from the New York Rangers  for Francois Bouchard in a Nov. 8 trade.  Kundratek, who will wear No. 36, will be paired with fellow countryman Roman Hamrlik in his NHL debut.

Tomas Vokoun was the first goalie off the ice after today’s morning skate, indicating he will probably start tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Caps Morning Skate: Green returns; Semin out

Coach Dale Hunter said after practice this morning that defenseman Mike Green will indeed dress for the first time since Nov. 11, a stretch of 29 games, against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center tonight.  Green was limited to 49 games last season with a variety of injuries.  Hunter also said the team will dress seven defensemen, leading to thoughts that in his first game back, at least, Green will be used as an offensive-zone specialist and on the power play, to minimize the potential to aggravate any injury and ease him back into the lineup.

The other roster decision from this morning revolves around winger Alexander Semin, who is listed as day-to-day with an unannounced upper body injury.  Reports over the weekend indicated Semin incurred a cut on his arm in the game against Columbus New Year’s Eve.  Semin practiced briefly today before leaving the ice ahead of his teammates.

Tomas Vokoun was the first goalie off the ice at practice and should start in goal for the Capitals.  Vokoun has started in net for the Caps last three games — all wins — allowing just four goals over that span.

It appears Jeff Schultz and Mathieu Perreault will be healthy scratches for tonight’s game against Calgary.

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