October 25, 2014

Washington Capitals 2014-15 Season Roundtable Part IV: Satisfied with the goalies?

We’re a little late to the party here, but District Sports Page conducted a roundtable with staff writers and friends of the site to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the 2014-15 Washington Capitals.

Our panelists: Dave Nichols, Editor-in-Chief; Katie Brown, Staff Writer; Eric Hobeck, Staff Writer; J.J. Regan, Contributor; Abram Fox, former contributor, Harry Hawkings, Editor at Rock the Red.

Part I: Grade the Caps offseason and their biggest acquisitions
Part II: What is your single biggest area of concern?
Part III: What do you expect out of Alex Ovechkin this season?

Part IV: Are you satisfied with the goaltending situation? [Read more...]

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels, November 2014

Attention ladies. Hockey ‘n Heels is back by popular demand! The Washington Capitals are once again hosting Hockey ‘n Heels of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 from 6:15 to 9:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Tickets go on sale on Monday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m., exclusively to Club Scarlet members. Not already a member? Join here for free.

Check out photos from Hockey ‘N Heels 2013.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Press Release:

Washington Capitals to Host Hockey ‘n Heels Wednesday, Nov. 12
Tickets to go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at ScarletCaps.com

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will host Hockey ‘n Heels on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 6:15-9:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Tickets for the event will be available beginning Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m.

Hockey ‘n Heels is held each season exclusively for members of Club Scarlet presented by Lindsey Automotive Group and features instructional sessions and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience.

Fans interested in attending Hockey ‘n Heels must sign up to become a member of Club Scarlet at ScarletCaps.com. A ticket link will be sent to all Scarlet members. Tickets for this year’s event are $65, with a limit of four tickets per person. Tickets are not guaranteed for all Scarlet members. Club Scarlet membership is free.

The night will be divided into sessions of on-ice demonstrations featuring Capitals players and off-ice presentations featuring coaches and equipment staff. Players scheduled to appear include forward Michael Latta, defenseman Nate Schmidt and goaltender Justin Peters. Hockey ‘n Heels will feature on-ice demonstrations with Latta, Peters and Schmidt. Fans also will be able to try on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic uniform and take their photograph with a player.

Head coach Barry Trotz will participate in a Q & A, while assistant coach Lane Lambert will lead a discussion on the rules of the game. Head equipment manager Brock Myles will give an overview of equipment, while strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish will host a session on fitness.

Founded in 2009, Club Scarlet is a fan club for women designed to provide more information, events and networking opportunities for the team’s population of female fans. For more information visit Scarletcaps.com.

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels 2013 (Photos)

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Hockey ‘N Heels, November 2013

The Washington Capitals hosted the sold-out Hockey ‘n Heels on Nov. 13, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The event was held exclusively for Club Scarlet members in partnership with 97.1 Wash FM and featured instructional sessions and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals female audience.

Attendees including Miss Washington DC (middle) - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Attendees including Miss Washington DC (middle) – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The first half of the night was divided into three sessions of on-ice demonstrations from current and former Capitals players and coaches. Defenseman Steve Oleksy, forward Tom Wilson and former Capital/current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed participants on shooting skills. Assistant coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on face-offs while defenseman Alexander Urbom and former Capital Paul Mulvey covered stick handling and passing skills. Attendees also had the opportunity to take a photo with defenseman Karl Alzner during the event.

Defensemen Steve Oleksy  high-fives attendee after she made a shot into the goal - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy high-fives attendee after she made a shot into the goal – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Defensemen Steve Oleksy and forward Tom Wilson instructed participants on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Assistant Coach Blaine Forsythe instructed women on faceoffs – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Capital and current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed women on shooting - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Capital and current Comcast analyst Alan May instructed women on shooting – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Alexander Urbom  instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing -  Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom  instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing -  Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom and Former Cap Paul Mulvey instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Alexander Urbom and Former Cap Paul Mulvey instructed participants on skills including stickhandling and passing – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Defenseman Karl Alzner posed for photographs with participants - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Defenseman Karl Alzner posed for photographs with participants – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

 

Off-ice presentations included a Q & A with head goaltender coach Olie Kolzig, along with May.

Former Caps Players Olie Kolzig and Alan May answering fan questions - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Players Olie Kolzig and Alan May answering fan questions – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Goalie Olie Kolzig answering fan questions - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former Caps Goalie Olie Kolzig answering fan questions – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Video coach Brett Leonhardt conducted a video session to provide attendees a peek into how the team prepares for upcoming games by watching game footage.

The head equipment manager Brock Myles discussed equipment worn by the team during an equipment session in the Capitals locker room. Women were able to try on an official helmet and see equipment up close.

Fans checking out equipment in Caps practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans checking out equipment in Caps practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans trying on equipment in Caps practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Fans trying on equipment in Caps practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Head Equipment Manager Brock Myles instructing fan Miss Washington DC how to press numbers onto knit caps - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps Head Equipment Manager Brock Myles instructing fan Miss Washington DC how to press numbers onto knit caps – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps gear ready to go in practice locker room - Washington Capitals Hockey 'N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Caps gear ready to go in practice locker room – Washington Capitals Hockey ‘N Heels, 11/13/2013 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

“It was great to see such an interest in hockey from our female fan base,” said Wilson. “We had a lot of skilled participants out tonight, and we enjoyed sharing the game with them.”

Founded in 2009, Club Scarlet is a fan club for women designed to provide more information, events and networking opportunities for the team’s population of female fans.

To learn more about Club Scarlet visit http://www.scarletcaps.com/.


CAPS: 2015 Caps Canine Calendar

Members of the Washington Capitals players participated in the 2015 Capitals Canine Calendar photo shoot to benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue at Potomac Regional Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia.

A limited number of 2015 Caps Canine Calendars will be available for $20 beginning Tuesday, Dec. 2, when the Capitals host the Vancouver Canucks. The Caps Better Halves will help sell the calendars during the month of December at the MSE Foundation table located at section 104 on the main concourse. In addition the calendar will be available for purchase at the team stores at Verizon Center and Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The online sales are closed.

Players being photographed include Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Jack Hillen, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Justin Peters, Aaron Volpatti, and Joel Ward with their dogs and Braden Holtby, Michael Latta, Alex Ovechkin, Dmitri Orlov and Tom Wilson with shelter dogs.

Last season $34,044.99 was donated to Homeward Trails through the sale of the 2014 Capitals Canine Calendar.

How could you resist a calendar with your favorite hockey players and adorable dogs? Here are a few of the photos posted on Twitter and Instragram.

 

@backstrom19 gets some puppy kisses after his shoot. #capscaninecalendar

A photo posted by MSE Foundation (@msefoundation) on

#CapsCanineCalendar shoot with Braden Holtby and Hogan from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

A photo posted by MSE Foundation (@msefoundation) on

Capitals participating in Hockey Fights Cancer campaign during month of November

Per a press release from the Washington Capitals, the Caps will wear purple jerseys during warmups beginning with their home game October 29th and extending through the month of November as part of the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign. Capitals goalies Braden Holtby and Justin Peters will sport lavender goalie masks throughout the campaign as well.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals are teaming up with the National Hockey League October through November to educate the hockey community about cancer. Hockey Fights Cancer is a league-wide initiative founded by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association and is dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.

The Capitals will host Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation is hosting a jersey auction to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s National Capital Area Chapter. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. The organization funds research to advance more breakthrough therapies for blood cancer patients, and serves as the voice for these patients, working to ensure access to treatments for all.

During warmups, players will wear purple Capitals jerseys with a Hockey Fights Cancer patch. The jerseys will feature players’ names and numbers in white twill backed in lavender with ribbon cutouts on the numbers. Lavender is the official color the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, as it represents all forms of cancer. Braden Holtby and Justin Peters will also wear Hockey Fights Cancer-themed goalie masks during the game.

These autographed, practice-worn jerseys and goalie masks will be auctioned off at the MSE Foundation table located on the main concourse at section 104 of Verizon Center during the Capitals game against the Detroit Red Wings. Bidding will start when doors open at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude when the second intermission ends. MSE Foundation donated more than $35,000 to the LLS National Capital Area Chapter last year through the 2013 jersey auction. To view a photo gallery of the masks visitMonumentalNetwork.com.

During the game, management, coaches and broadcasters will wear the lavender official Hockey Fights Cancer tie.

Eleven-year-old Bethesda, Md., native and local wish kid Ryan Darby will participate in a ceremonial puck drop on behalf of Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic. Make-A-Wish Mid Atlantic is the beneficiary of a $5,000 grant distributed by the NHL to the Washington Capitals in support of a local cancer organization. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic serves children who reside in central and southern Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Founded in 1983, the Mid-Atlantic chapter has granted more than 8,200 wishes in the Mid-Atlantic region since its inception. For more information, please visit: www.midatlantic.wish.org.

In addition a portion of proceeds from tickets purchased through the Capitals special Hockey Fight Cancer linkwww.msesales.com/caps/hfc will be donated to LLS. Use the promo code HFC to activate the discount and donation when purchasing through the link.

Hockey Fights Cancer is an initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association to raise money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight. To date, through the NHL’s U.S. and Canadian charitable foundations, more than $12.8 million has been raised under the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative to support national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations. The Hockey Fights Cancer program is also a component of the NHL’s “Biggest Assist Happens Off the Ice” campaign – the League’s long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world.

The Hockey Fights Cancer program is supported by NHL Member Clubs, NHL Alumni, the NHL Officials’ Association, Professional Hockey Trainers and Equipment Managers, corporate marketing partners, broadcast partners and fans throughout North America.

 

Photos courtesy of the Washington Capitals.

HFC Jersey Peters Mask Holtby Mask

Washington Capitals 2014-15 Season Roundtable Part III: Projections for Ovi

We’re a little late to the party here, but District Sports Page conducted a roundtable with staff writers and friends of the site to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the 2014-15 Washington Capitals.

Our panelists: Dave Nichols, Editor-in-Chief; Katie Brown, Staff Writer; Eric Hobeck, Staff Writer; J.J. Regan, Contributor; Abram Fox, former contributor, Harry Hawkings, Editor at Rock the Red.

Part I: Grade the Caps offseason and their biggest acquisitions
Part II: What is your single biggest area of concern?

Part III: What do you expect out of Alex Ovechkin this season? [Read more...]

Three Stars: Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers 10/22/14

Read the recap of tonight’s game in Edmonton here: http://wp.me/p1QLZd-6Rr

They may have lost to the Oilers, but there were a lot of good things to take away from the Capitals performance in Edmonton, including but not limited to the power play (which is pretty good), and controlling play at even strength. They out-attempted Edmonton 66-36 through 3 periods.

First Star: Mike Green

He missed the home opener, but he has 6 points in five games since his season debut against Boston. When he’s allowed to play like he’s supposed to, he really gets it done. Whatever Barry Trotz is doing agrees with him.

Second Star: Nicklas Backstrom

He is a Steady Eddie if there ever was one. Six points in 6 games, and his assist on John Carlson’s power play goal was his 500th career point.

Third Star: Andre Burakovsky

Despite the fact that he was playing on a line with Jay Beagle all night, he dished the puck to Mike Green and earned a primary assist on the goal. He has 6 points in 6 games (2g, 4a). Let’s hope that line pairing doesn’t last.

Washington Capitals Game 6 Recap: Capitals lose 3-2 in regulation to Oilers

On the first stop of their road trip to western Canada, the Washington Capitals parked in Edmonton for the night to visit former Capitals Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks.

The Oilers struck first, John Carlson answered on the power play, and Mike Green’s wrister gave the Caps the lead, but 20 seconds later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins struck for the Oilers. Tie game. Late in the second Nikita Nikitin scored the go-ahead goal for Edmonton. The Capitals lobbed everything they had at Ben Scrivens, but he was figuratively on fire, and had a fine crew of shot-blockers in front of him. Caps lose for the first time in regulation, 3-2.

  • Power play looks pretty good, and the Oilers defense makes it look even better.
  • Jay Beagle made his first start of the season against Edmonton. He was really excited. Trotz had him on the ice with 1:30 left, which is puzzling, to say the least. He played on a line with Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky, which is ostensibly the Capitals’ second line.
  • Two consecutive shots on goal in the second period by Karl Alzner. Adam Oates wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.
  • Mike Green scored a beauty, but the Caps allowed a goal against 20 seconds later. Some habits are hard to break, I suppose. Last season, the Caps gave up a buttload (scientific term) of quick response goals, and it helped them lose a lot of games.
  • Former Capital Matt Hendricks fought with new Capital Liam O’Brien. It was weird.
  • Alex Ovechkin didn’t have a shot on goal until the third period, but he’s been terrific otherwise this season. Everyone has their off nights.
  • How’s this for a fancy stat: after Wednesday’s game, the Capitals held their opponent to less than 30 shots on goal for the sixth time this season, the first time they’ve done that since November 2010.
  • The Capitals had 66 shot attempts to the Oilers’ 36, but still couldn’t find the back of the net. The Oilers were shot-blocking machines, and Ben Scrivens was pretty good too.
  • Nicklas Backstrom assisted on John Carlson’s first period power play goal, his 500th point in his 501st game.

Washington Capitals 2014-15 Season Roundtable Part II: Area of Concern

We’re a little late to the party here, but District Sports Page conducted a roundtable with staff writers and friends of the site to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the 2014-15 Washington Capitals.

Our panelists: Dave Nichols, Editor-in-Chief; Katie Brown, Staff Writer; Eric Hobeck, Staff Writer; J.J. Regan, Contributor; Abram Fox, former contributor, Harry Hawkings, Editor at Rock the Red.

Part I: Grade the Caps offseason and their biggest acquisitions
Part II: What is your single biggest area of concern?

Dave: The company line for area of concern is secondary scoring — specifically the second line, which seems to be a mixed jumble of part that didn’t fit elsewhere. There’s no veteran 2C, but Andre Burakovsky so far has done a bang up job and has much promise. I don’t like seeing Evgeny Kuznetsov buried on the fourth line like Tom Wilson was last season. If you’re in for a dime on Bura, might as  go for the dollar and put Kuzy on his right wing.

I also have concerns about the goalkeeping, which we’ll discuss in depth in a few days. This is a make-or-break year for Braden Holtby to prove he can carry a team as a clear-cut No. 1 goalie.

Katie: The top 6 forward depth. In signing Orpik and Niskanen, the Capitals spent money that could have been used to retain Mikhail Grabovski or sign a capable 2C. Though it appears that youngster Andre Burakovsky has adapted to the center position–and quite well, so far- the lack of an established 2C is a bit worrisome.

I don’t doubt Trotz’s judgment here, but it seems that now Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was supposed to be the Next Big Thing, has been left out in the cold a little, playing 4th line minutes more often than not. I’m unsure if this this because Trotz hasn’t figured out where to put him, or if he’s somehow in the doghouse. I’m sure it’s the latter, as Trotz has hinted that some of the guys playing less minutes right now will likely move up to larger roles as the season progresses.

Eric: I’m still concerned about the second-line center situation. This isn’t a knock on Eric Fehr, as his line has been very productive through the first five games, but there’s still a hole there after the departure of Grabovski.

J.J.: Secondary scoring. The Caps could not rely on their second line last season and did not sign a center to replace Mikhail Grabovski. I like what I’ve seen from Andre Burakovsky so far, but can he play at this level for 82 games? There’s also still no clear right wing for the top line. And just where does Marcus Johansson fit in? Clearly Trotz is still constructing the offensive lineup. It looks like the talent is there, he just needs to find the right combinations.

Abram: The second line. As others have noted, this is a team with a first line, two third lines, and a fourth line. We all know that Ovechkin’s line can score, the trio of Ward-Laich-Chimera can pin the puck in the opponent’s zone, and the current fourth line doesn’t seem to cause too much damage, although we’ll see once Aaron Volpatti returns. There’s not really a second scoring line on the roster.

Troy Brouwer and Evegeny Kuznetsov are capable scorers and Marcus Johansson is a fair set-up man, but no NHL team is quivering in their skates when they see Washington’s second unit hit the ice. Head Coach Barry Trotz has already begun tinkering with lines, and his task is to find a potent second combination without neutering the first line. That said, as long as he doesn’t have Jay Beagle centering Alexander Ovechkin, it’s an improvement over last year.

Harry: Consistency on offense.  The Capitals have a bad combination up front of relying on young players forced in to spots that they probably are not ready for (Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov) and overpaid veterans who will either regress or are not very good (Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich).  The top line of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr will be great, but after that there is not a whole lot to be very excited about.

Washington Capitals Power Rankings: Weeks 1 & 2

Each Monday this season, District Sports Page will rank the active roster of the Washington Capitals “power ranking” style. The criteria for rankings will be questionable and highly subjective, so don’t think too hard about them.

Note: this list actually covers weeks 1 & 2, since the Capitals only played 5 games during that timespan.

Rank Player The whatfor
1 Alex Ovechkin Six points in 5 games, and he looks great at even strength. Fun times.
2 Mike Green I think he’ll outlast Brooks Laich in the injury sweepstakes. If there was any worry about how he’d fit into the updated defensive corps, thats gone now. He’s thriving.
3 Andre Burakovsky Five points in five games. He seems to be adjusting to his role as a center. It’s like he was born to be a 2C.
4 Troy Brouwer He got bumped up to the first line against Florida when Fehr moved back to the third line, and scored the equalizing goal against San Jose that sent the game to OT.
5 Nick Backstrom Mr. 500 is kind of a big deal ’round these parts. Just ask Barry Trotz.
6 Braden Holtby Two wins, a shutout in Boston, not a bad start to the season for Holtby (aside from that one time he was pulled less than 10 minutes into the game against San Jose.)
7 Jason Chimera This guy was all over the ice Saturday night, and he definitely worked on his moves during the offseason.”)
8 Marcus Johansson Part of the “Swedetrick” against the Devils, and has 2 goals through 5 games. He’s shooting more and looks pretty confident on the ice.
9 Eric Fehr He’s already been bumped from the first line to the third with Chimera and Ward, and it’s moderately unfortunate for a player who can skate as well as he can to be stuck at center, but there’s still a lot of time left for things to change.
10 Justin Peters He’s only gotten one start, but it was a good one, and has subbed in capably when needed.
11 Evgeny Kuznetsov Three points in 5 games, which is not bad, but he’s still being shuffled around the lineup a bit.
12 Nate Schmidt If Nate Schmidt ever stops smiling, the world will probably stop turning and the sun will cease to shine. Besides that, he looks more like an NHL defenseman every day.
13 Karl Alzner Karl is as Karl does. No surprises here.
14 Joel Ward This.
15 Brooks Orpik Orpik, usually paired with John Carlson, looked good, aside from the first period of the Sharks game, where everyone was struggling.
16 John Carlson Four points in four games for Carlson, and he’s seeing a lot of power play time as well.
17 Matt Niskanen He’s eating up a lot of minutes, and seems to be meshing well with partner Karl Alzner.
18 Liam O’Brien Probably the sassiest guy on the team. Not many people his size would dare taunt the mountainous John Scott.
19 Brooks Laich Laich has one point in 5 games, and it looks like he’s going to miss some time with an upper-body injury. Say it with me: at least it’s not the groin.
20 Chris Brown He’s done pretty much what is expected of him as a fourth line winger, and scored a goal, too.
21 Michael Latta Healthy scratch for 3 of 5 games this season, only seeing action against Boston and San Jose thus far.
 – John Erskine Healthy scratch. Not a great probability we’ll see him dress for a game any time soon.
 – Aaron Volpatti Still on IR for the foreseeable future.
 – Jack Hillen Healthy scratch since his one start in the home opener. Probably won’t be seeing much of Hillen this season.
 – Tom Wilson Still on IR, but Trotz has hinted that he may see a rehab stint in Hershey fairly soon.
 – Jay Beagle Not in the doghouse, but still on IR. He practiced Monday morning, so he might be back soon.
 – Dmitri Orlov Yup, still on IR.
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