Among those projected onto the NHL roster this season, only Johansson and defenseman Taylor Chorney will have not appeared in an exhibition, assuming the 20-man crew that skated at Kettler Capitals Iceplex indeed appears against the Bruins. Goaltender Justin Peters will start and play half the game, splitting time with Philipp Grubauer. Both are battling for the backup job behind Braden Holtby.
“Stop the pucks you’re supposed to stop and maybe steal one or two you’re not supposed to,” Trotz said, when asked what he hoped to see from Peters and Grubauer. “It’s a little bit of a competition there between those two, and we’ll let them fight it out.”
Regardless of the result at TD Garden, where the Capitals again will participate in a three-on-three overtime after regulation, both Peters and Grubauer will stick through the first round of cuts, which Trotz said are planned for later this week. Instead of holding one practice and one scrimmage per group Wednesday, the Capitals changed their schedule to feature two scrimmage sessions.
“Hopefully it’ll help us get some last looks at some guys, because we’re going to probably try to trim down in the next two or three days here,” Trotz said. “If we can do that, it’ll give some guys another chance to show what they can do in a game situation. That’s sort of my plan right now, a little bit moving on the fly … It’s time to make some calls in the next day or two here.”
The initial roster trims, Trotz said, would likely bring the Capitals down to two full squads of skaters and five goaltenders.
“Something like that, maybe a number here, number there off,” Trotz said, adding that, for the regular season, he would prefer to carry 22 instead of the maximum allotted 23.
The forward lines and pairings that appeared at morning skate are below:
Chris Bourque – Andre Burakovsky – Justin Williams
Paul Carey – Chandler Stephenson – Jay Beagle
Kevin Elgestal – Michael Latta – Chris Brown
Liam O’Brien – Zach Sill – Garrett Mitchell
Ryan Stanton – John Carlson
Nate Schmidt – Madison Bowey
Mike Moore – Tyler Lewington