Rookies learn from Capitals season opener
Now that defenseman Alex Urbom has been claimed off waivers by the Capitals, how do they plan on using the 22-year-old defenseman?
“I think we’ve got to wait and see,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said before Thursday night’s game against the Calgary Flames. “Give him a chance to get acclimated.”
A 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden, Urbom is scheduled to practice with the Caps on Friday. He brings a needed physical presence to the Caps’ blue line, which lacks some size after Karl Alzner and John Erskine.
Oates said the Caps’ scouting staff had Urbom on their radar and since Oates coached him briefly in New Jersey two years ago, general manager George McPhee asked Oates for a scouting report.
“He’s a big kid, skates very well,” Oates said. “At the time, he was very raw, so I don’t know how much he’s advanced since then. I know he’s played a similar [system] that we play.”
To make room for Urbom the Caps assigned Michael Latta to the Hershey Bears and will insert center Jay Beagle into the lineup on a fourth line with Marty Erat and Tom Wilson.
Barring any last-minute changes, here’s what the lineups for both teams are expected to look like tonight:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich – Mikhail Grabovski – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Eric Fehr – Joel Ward
Marty Erat – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Extra: Aaron Volpatti
Karl Alzner – Mike Green
John Erskine – John Carlson
Jack Hillen – Connor Carrick
Extras: Steve Oleksy, Alex Urbom
Braden Holtby [starter] – Michal Neuvirth
Curtis Glencross - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak
T.J. Galiardi - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler
Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - David Jones
Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Ben Street
Extras: RW Tim Jackman, RW Brian McGrattan, C Mike Cammalleri [upper body]
T.J. Brodie - Mark Giordano
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Chris Butler - Shane O’Brien
Derek Smith - Chris Breen
Karri Ramo [starter] - Joey MacDonald