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


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 Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Martin Erat – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Mikhail Grabovski – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Jay Beagle – Eric 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