At Ottawa Senators practice Wednesday morning prior to leaving for Washington in advance of Thursday’s game against the Capitals, there were a couple of very big changes.
For the first time, Erik Karlsson skated with his early-season defensive partner Marc Methot. The pair player together prior to Karlsson’s injury and the fact that they are skating together makes one think that Karlsson is indeed ready to return to game action Thursday. Here is how they lined up at practice on the blue line:
As a result, it appears as though Patrick Wiercioch will be the odd man out, instead of Eric Gryba who most (including myself) thought would get sent to the press box when Karlsson was ready to return. Whether this is temporary or not remains to be seen.
As for the forward units, there was another shuffling of the deck as coach Paul MacLean looks for offense. I am not sure if he will get it from the lines that skated together Wednesday:
It will be interesting, but I don’t understand the hesitation to use Alfredsson with Silfverberg and Zibanejad. That seems to be a no-brainer for me. If it was me, simply switching Condra and Alfredsson would give the best opportunity for offense from 2 lines. I don’t think Condra and his lack of finish will do much for the Swedish kids, and Alfredsson needs someone who can finish on his line.
We will see Thursday if I am right!