Connor McMichael and Joe Snively set for season debut against Senators

The Washington Capitals held an optional morning practice Thursday inside the Canadian Tire Center ahead of their matchup with the Ottawa Senators. With Yevgeny Kuznetsov suspended and Connor Brown absent due to injurywe expect to see the same lines from Wednesday’s practice on the ice during the game.

These lines include both Connor McMichael and Joe Snively. Both young forwards are ready for their season debuts after being knocked out healthy in the first four games.

Here are those lines again via Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic.

McMichael is ready for action as the team’s third line center. In 68 games last season as a rookie, McMichael had 18 points (9g, 9a). The 21-year-old entered this year planning a challenge for become one of the Capitals’ go-to guys in the middle. This will be his first chance to prove himself after losing that challenge to more veteran players like Dylan Strome and Lars Eller during pre-season.

“I feel really excited”, McMichael said to Mike Vogel. “I’m ready to get into the action of the game for the first time this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun and really exciting. I try to do what I can and show the coaches that I belong in the lineup.

Snively will be Sheary’s almost one-to-one replacement on the team’s fourth line alongside Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway. In twelve games at the NHL level last season, the former Little Cap amassed seven points (4g, 3a). The 26-year-old Herndon, Va. native beat forwards like Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Brett Leason and Henrik Borgstrom during training camp for the last available forward spot at the club.

“New players are coming to the roster and I’m sure they’re thrilled to be on the roster,” said head coach Peter Laviolette. said pregame. “When you have guys missing, it provides opportunities in different ways, whether you come into the lineup or move up the lineup or take on more responsibility. Inside of that , we have to perform well and play well. The opportunity is there, but we need guys to seize this opportunity as well.

The Caps should also line up with some big changes to their defensive unit. Dmitry Orlov has been promoted to the top of the pairing to skate with John Carlson and Martin Fehervary is now paired with Nick Jensen. The Fehervary-Carlson couple struggled to start the season after doing the same for long stretches to finish last season.

Samantha Pell of the Washington Post reports that Darcy Kuemper will take over the cage for the Caps. Kuemper has made two straight starts after starting the season with a home opener loss to the Boston Bruins.

On the other hand, Ottawa will get into action on Thursday night after winning its first game of the season on Tuesday against the Bruins. The Sens had seven different scorers in the 7-5 win.

Main photo: Alan Dobbins/MRNB

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