With the 2018-19 season getting ready to begin, we are going to take a more in depth look at the Washington Capitals and see how they stand and what the lineup could, or should, look like. In today’s article we will be looking at the third and fourth forward lines for the Capitals.
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
During the playoffs both Lars Eller and Brett Connolly were clutch players for the Capitals as the elevated their play as the team got deeper into the playoffs. Andre Burakovsky had yet another injury plagued season marked with inconsistency, yet he meshed very well with Eller and Connolly. Plus knowing that Eller is a good stand in if either or Nicklas Backstrom or Evgeny Kuznetsov go down to injury, and if that happens then if Burakovsky can stay healthy and play consistently, then he too could be elevated to a higher role if needed. Also having Burakovsky on the third line with Eller and Connolly is a positive for both him and the line.
Jakub Vrana – Nic Dowd – Devante Smith-Pelly
Devante Smith-Pelly was spectacular in the playoffs for the Capitals as he scored multiple clutch and game winning goals to help guide the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup. Nic Dowd, who was signed as a free agent from Vancouver, will be entering his first season with the Capitals and will be looking to fill the fourth line center role that was left vacant when Jay Beagle signed with Vancouver over the summer. If Dowd can get a defined role on the team he will excel and grow like the way Eller, Connolly, and others have the past few seasons. Now as for Jakub Vrana is that he needs to build chemistry with the team. He is a talented player, but his chemistry with others needs work. Having Vrana on the fourth line will also add some speed, playmaking, and some more scoring.
Tomorrow on TXHTHockey.com we will have our Washington Capitals Defense Preview focusing on all three defensive pairings for the Capitals.