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Friday Caps Clips: Capitals vs. Sabres Game Day

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: the Caps play their home opener tonight, but they will be without four very important Russians.

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NHL: Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Previews for tonight’s tilt against Buffalo from Vogs, Die By The Blade, The Athletic ($), and NoVa Caps. As always, check in with our SB Nation pals at Die By The Blade for coverage from behind enemy lines.
  • The big hockey news from yesterday: Ilya Samsonov reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night after the team’s game in Pittsburgh and will be in isolation for at least eight more days. Because of their maskless hotel room gathering, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov are all in quarantine protocols and will miss at least the next four games. [Rink, WaPo ($), NoVa Caps, Sportsnet (and again), AP, ESPN, TSN, RMNB (and again), S+S, NBCSW (and again), Washingtonian, and USA Today]
  • With the Russians missing from the lineup, some new faces hit the ice during yesterday’s practice and gave us a peek at the tweaked lines and defensive pairings for tonight. [NoVa Caps, RMNB]
  • Some roster moves: Washington prospect Connor McMichael has finished his post-IIHF World Juniors quarantine and was assigned to the Caps’ taxi squad yesterday, and Craig Anderson was moved to the NHL active roster. [NoVa Caps, S+S, RMNB]
  • Speaking of McMichael, he was very excited to get back on the ice with the team and is ready to get to work. [NoVa Caps]
  • The recent decisions regarding COVID and the Caps have illustrated the arbitrary nature of coronavirus protocols that the NHL has set in place. [FTW]
  • How has the Capitals’ blueline fared through the first six games of the season? [NoVa Caps]
  • When it comes to making the call about whether or not to postpone a team’s games due to COVID, it’s player quantity and not quality. [ESPN]
  • If it becomes a feasible option, how might the NHL handle vaccinating players? [TSN]
  • What would happen if an NHL team has “too many” games cancelled? [TSN]
  • It might seem like the NHL is taking a harsh stance on COVID protocols, especially if you are a fan of an affected team, but they are right to do so. [Puck Prose]

Finally, the Caps released a video recap of their season-opening road trip last night. This segment is fun, sure, but we’re sure all fans are waiting for the next episode when things get...interesting.