At the Washington Capitals morning skate all eyes were on the forwards during line rushes. Lars Eller was not there on the bottom six and then was skating with the scratches, indicating he is out of the lineup tonight against the New York Islanders.
It’s a revolving door since the returns of Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson. First it was Anthony Mantha getting scratched for two games then Dylan Strome sitting out in Saturday’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Here were the lines at morning skate via Samantha Pell of The Washington Post:
Extras: Eller, Aube Kubel, Alexeyev
So far this season Eller has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. For a while he got moved to the wing before he got booted from the lineup. HIs seven goals ties the second lowest of his career. His eight assists are a career low. As are his 15 points.
Last summer we speculated that the Caps could potentially trade Lars Eller. But we also were those people that were in favor of having Connor McMichael center the third line.
At the time we also weren’t sure what would be up with the status of Backstrom as he was in the early stages of his hip resurfacing surgery. We weren’t sure if Backstrom was going to play at all. Now that he is indeed playing, it complicates things but 14 healthy forwards is a good problem to have.
Peter Laviolette hasn’t found the right line combinations. Although the Caps have done better lately, they still lost two in a row and the Islanders are a team that plays their division rivals tough.
Will it work or will it be back to the drawing board? Tune in at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington to find out. It’ll be a good one.