The Washington Capitals are three days into training camp, and they’re one day away from their first preseason showdown vs. the Boston Bruins.
Washington released its lineup following their on-ice session Saturday. The roster features 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.
A few notables names that stand out:”
Michal Kempny. The Czech defenseman is making his long-awaited return to action following an injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign. With Brenden Dillon and Zdeno Chara departing this offseason, a couple of spots are up for grabs on the blue line. Nothing’s guaranteed, and the 31-year-old will have to fight for a spot as he works to return and prove he can still be a key member of the d-corps.
Speaking of defense, Martin Fehervary has been paired with Justin Schultz in camp so far, and they will likely log some time together against the B’s. This surely will be a test for the young Slovak, who is looking to make the NHL jump and even earn a top-4 role.
Trevor van Riemsdyk will also skate in Sunday’s match. Head coach Peter Laviolette has praised TvR for his performance so far with the Capitals, and he’s also getting used to playing on his left side as he could possibly slot in there this year.
Connor McMichael will also lace ’em up Washington. He’s been skating alongside Daniel Sprong and Tom Wilson at camp, and that could be a combination we see going forward. With Nicklas Backstrom potentially out for a bit, McMichael could potentially make the NHL jump and help fill the void. And seeing how he fares with two potential top-6 wingers will be a good test.
Hendrix Lapierre will also play. The 19-year-old had an impressive rookie camp and is having a strong camp so far as he looks to make a strong impression and continue to showcase his potential. He’s one of two Acadie-Bathurst Titan players still at NHL training camp.
Between the pipes, Vitek Vanecek will return for the first time since going down with a hamstring injury he suffered in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs vs. Boston back in May. Pheonix Copley will also likely get some time in net after. a strong season with Hershey last year.
I’m still banking on a bounceback year for Kempny. Per the Washington Post‘s Samantha Pell, he was skating with Dylan McIlrath on Saturday and it could be a pair we see. The Capitals inked McIlrath in the offseason, and he could also be in the mix for a depth spot.
Tom Gulitti also shared today’s lines from the first practice group, which we could see Sunday.
Lines & D pairs from Caps first practice group today (basically 2nd group yesterday):
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 25, 2021
Here’s the full lineup for Sunday’s tilt.
#ALLCAPS release their roster for tomorrow’s preseason tilt with the Bruins:
We’ll see Kempny back on the ice for the first time in a while, and also see McMichael and Lapierre. pic.twitter.com/6Q8kUiNsq5
— Sammi Silber (@sammi_silber) September 25, 2021