The Washington Capitals have been trying to figure out how to get the second line going all season. Adam Oates has tried just about everything in his bag of tricks, from demotions to calls ups and everything in between.
While he won’t be doing anything too drastic for the time being, it appears that he’s switched Martin Erat and Brooks Laich around on that unit. The former, who typically plays wing, will center the line. Meanwhile, Laich will move from pivot to flank.
Oates recently told Katie Carrera of The Washington Post that he had no plans on moving anyone off of the line or onto it to help, so it’s up to Erat, Laich and Troy Brouwer to figure out what is and isn’t working out on the ice together. He had this to say about the trio:
I said, ‘One thing you guys are all doing is you’re overanalyzing.’ The game is hard to score. We are shooting ourselves in the foot and we’re also not making great decisions all the time. … They’re three good players, three good players have got to work a little harder and smarter too.
While Oates is sticking by his word and isn’t breaking them up, he is moving them around a bit. He told Carrera that he hoped that Laich and Brouwer would be able to establish a more steady forecheck to open up some time and space in the offensive zone.
The Caps will roll out the kind-of new-look second line against the Montreal Canadiens tonight. They’ll also take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow.