It took until just before puck drop, but we now know that the Capitals won’t have Ilya Samsonov or Evgeny Kuznetsov in the lineup vs. the Bruins in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series. On the other hand, the Capitals will roll out T.J. Oshie, who had been dealing with a lower-body injury.
Update: Vanecek ended up getting injured, yet Anderson helped the Capitals earn a 3-2 OT win over the Bruins in Game 1. Wow.
Capitals – Bruins Game 1: No Kuznetsov or Samsonov for Caps
Hockey teams are guarded about injury updates, especially as things gear up for the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even by those standards, Peter Laviolette wasn’t very transparent heading into Game 1.
There’s been some confusion about how much COVID factors into these Capitals decisions. As the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell notes, Ilya Samsonov is no longer on the COVID protocol list, while Evgeny Kuznetsov is still on it.
If you want an idea about how difficult it’s been to follow the Kuznetsov and/or Samsonov confusion regarding the Capitals, check out Russian Machine Never Breaks. They even put together the confusing timeline together under the heading “The Kuzfusion.”
Here’s how the Capitals’ Game 1 lineup looks heading in vs. the Bruins. Interesting to see if Washington will stick with Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Anthony Mantha for an extended period of time, or eventually aim for scoring balance.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 15, 2021