Updated 2:40 p.m. Brooks Laich did not skate for a second straight day after he took himself out of practice early on Tuesday.
The versatile forward, who tweaked his hip flexor on Sept. 5, said he experienced tightness during Tuesday’s workout and as a precaution opted to leave the ice. Laich insists it is a precautionary measure and that he learned from trying to push himself through a lingering groin problem last season that taking the safe route is often the necessary one.
“He could have maybe skated today. He talked to me and said, you know what give me one more day. I don’t want to do anything to set it back,’” Oates said. “I still think he’s just going through all the little compensations from last year.”
It’s unclear if Laich will be able to participate in either of the final two preseason games.
“Maybe [the preseason finale in] Chicago but I still think opening night is a legitimate thought,” Oates said.
>> Defensive prospect Tomas Kundratek cleared waivers and has reported to the Hershey Bears. Kundratek, 23, appeared in 25 games for the Capitals last year but with an abundance of defensemen wasn’t able to earn his way on to the roster at the start of the new season. Oates wants to see Kundratek work on focusing on the details of his game while in Hershey.
“What I talked to him about was, his skating is one of his best attributes,” Oates said. “When he goes down there [to the AHL] he gets a little cocky with his skating and tries to do too much thinking he’s invincible and you put yourself out of position. Down there is still a good league and he’s got to work on position play and staying within the boundaries of the system.”
>> Joel Ward, who skated Wednesday but did not face the Predators, is ill and was the only other player who wasn’t on the ice for Thursday’s skate.
>> Earlier Thursday, the Capitals released goaltender Philipp Grubauer from training camp. Grubauer will report to Hershey.