Grabovski takes out goal cam
Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals enjoy a complete day off on Sunday following their 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Inside the box score: Marty Erat played a season-high 17:49 and delivered his first three-point night as a Capital while playing on a second-line with Troy Brouwer [1 goal, 6 shots, 5 hits, plus-2] and Brooks Laich [1 goal, 1 shot, plus-2].
Sitting Grabo: Center Mikhail Grabovski was dropped to the third line with wingers Jason Chimera and Joel Ward and saw just 12:40 of ice time, well below the 17:23 he averaged in the first seven games. Grabovski had 2 shots, was a minus-1 and won 5 of 10 faceoffs. The big dropoff in ice time came on the power play, where Marcus Johansson replaced him on the top unit. Johansson saw 3:05 on the power play; Grabovski saw 13 seconds.
Quietly effective: Rookie defenseman Nate Schmidt logged a season-high 21 minutes on a top unit with Mike Green and looked pretty good for a 22-year-old playing in his fourth game. Schmidt finished with 3 shots, 1 block and a plus-2 rating.
Powerful: The Capitals’ power play went 2-for-4 and is now 10-for-30 for a league-best 33.3 percent. “I don’t know how you stop it,” marveled Blue Jackets team ambassador Jody Shelley. “They have five guys on the ice that can score.”
Quotable: Brooks Laich on Saturday night’s win, which improves the Caps to 3-5-0. “We’re not going to pat ourselves on the back for too long. It was a nice win, but we’re still sub-.500 right now. We did what we wanted and now we need to get back to work on Monday and be a tough team on the road.”
Look ahead: The Caps return to practice at Kettler on Monday, then depart for western Canada, where they’ll face the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, the Calgary Flames on Saturday and the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, Oct. 30. They are scheduled to return to Kettler for practice on Wednesday, Oct. 30.