Caps week in review: 12.4.13
The Capitals had a slightly different look during Thursday morning’s practice, with defenseman Patrick Wey getting called up from the Hershey Bears to replace Tyson Strachan.
The Caps were also without rookie right wing Tom Wilson [family reasons] and center Brooks Laich, who has now been off the ice for one week with a lower body injury.
Strachan, 29, had played in nine straight games [no points, minus-4 in 15:50 of average ice time]. If he had played in 10 straight he would have needed to clear waivers before being sent to Hershey.
That could explain the timing for Wey being recalled. Taken by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL draft, Wey began this season with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. He made his AHL debut on Nov. 14 and had one goal and two assists in seven games for the Bears.
If Wey plays on Saturday night against the Nashville Predators he will become the 12th defenseman used by the Caps this season, most in the NHL and matching their total from last season. It would also mean Steve Oleksy has dropped farther down the Caps’ defensive depth chart.
Oleksy [0-6-6, plus-2, 38 penalty minutes] has sat out the past six games.
Adam Oates also tweaked his forward lines, moving Marty Erat onto a third line with Jason Chimera and Joel Ward, and dropping Jay Beagle to a fourth line with Aaron Volpatti and, at least for Thursday, Oleksy, who played on the right side in place of Wilson.
Also, goaltender Michal Neuvirth [lower body] skated before practice but sat out the full session.
That left the Caps’ practice lineup looking like this:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Eric Fehr – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Marty Erat – Joel Ward
Karl Alzner – Mike Green
Nate Schmidt – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Patrick Wey
Alex Urbom – Steve Oleksy
John Erskine [knee]
Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer
Michal Neuvirth [lower body injury]