Dmitry Orlov is the youngest player remaining on the training camp roster, but tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets he will make his second appearance in a game this preseason.
While some might consider it surprising to see the 20-year-old defenseman still on the ice at KCI, Coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t view Orlov’s continued stay in Washington that way.
“He’s only played one game, we want to see him some more. That’s one thing,” Boudreau said. “He is a highly thought of prospect and he was probably the best guy in rookie camp. He’s deservedly here, it’s not just a fluke. We’ll see how he goes tonight. He was a little nervous in his first game. Hopefully his jitters will be toned down a bit.”
Part of the reason for Orlov remaining in Washington could also be that the Capitals might need an extra defenseman if John Erskine is unable to suit up for the start of the regular season.
Erskine, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, has not yet been cleared for contact in practice, and yesterday the veteran defenseman didn’t sound hopeful that he would be able to appear in a preseason game.
“If John’s not ready to go at the start, somebody’s got to stick around,” Boudreau said. “So we’ll see who it is.”
A few other quick notes from the morning skate:
*Brooks Laich did not skate on Monday, but Boudreau said he believed the multi-purpose forward should return to the ice Tuesday.
*Jason Chimera, who had not skated since Friday morning, returned for a workout with the group of players not in the lineup for tonight’s preseason tilt at Verizon Center. Chimera didn’t appear to be in any discomfort during the practice or ensuing bag skate.
“Just tweaked something a little bit, nothing major,” Chimera said. “Bruce said as a precaution, take a couple days off. It felt good today.”
*Via Aaron Portzline from the Columbus Dispatch, don’t expect a lot of the Blue Jackets’ stars to be making the trip to Washington. Here are Columbus’ top two lines for tonight.