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Caps shuffle lines: Grabovski dropped; Erat promoted; Laich to the middle

Oct 18, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT

In an effort to stoke the offense and get his 2-5-0 team turned around, Capitals head coach Adam Oates has shuffled the forward lines ahead of Saturday’s home game versus Columbus.

Per CSN Washington, here’s what the new combinations were today at practice:

Marcus JohanssonNicklas BackstromAlex Ovechkin
Martin EratBrooks LaichTroy Brouwer
Jason ChimeraMikhail GrabovskiJoel Ward
Aaron VolpattiJay BeagleEric Fehr/Tom Wilson

There’s no guarantee we’ll see those exact lines versus the Blue Jackets, but for now it’s notable that Grabovski — with just two assists since potting a hat trick in the season-opener — has been dropped to the third line. Meanwhile, the previously frustrated Erat gets a shot in the top six and Laich moves to the middle on the second line, which is where he was slotted prior to the Grabovski signing.

Related: Three reasons for concern in Washington

  1. fivetozeroingame7 - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM


    • wethog66 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Not as pathetic as your name.

      I’d like to see Mojo off the top line more than anything. Erat or Laich on top line and Mojo moved to center.

      • fivetozeroingame7 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      • therealjr - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Here’s a reality check for you: If the Caps win a single Cup in the next 34 years they will equal or exceed your Rangers single championship from 1941-today.

        Go away.

  2. kantnockdahustle89 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    How Johansson stays on the top line is beyond me.

  3. leafs2013 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Love seeing Grabovski drop!

  4. thewall3004 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM





    • fivetozeroingame7 - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM


  5. channelguy - Oct 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    When Grabo got his hat trick in the first game, everyone jumped up and down how the Caps signed a superstar and how stupid the Leafs were. But the Grabo so far in Washington is the same one we saw in Toronto. Periods of absolute brilliance where he looks like a great player, followed by much longer periods where he is completely invisible.

    It doesn’t REALLY make much sense. He’s not a lazy guy. You figure if he can be so good, he can do it more often. But it never happened in Toronto, and so the Leafs cut bait on his bad contract. And there’s no reason to think it will happen in Washington.

  6. c9castine - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    jussi jokinen is a bit like that, in his streakiness anyway, where he can light it up for a couple games then go quiet then light it up again. difference is juicy is one of the better two way forwards ive seen in a while. very intelligent hockey player, and so it kind of makes him valuable no mater what. fills the gaps between his productivity. Grabo doesnt seem to have that.

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