Day 5 of Caps Development Camp

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Heart-throb Brooks Laich made an appearance at Kettler today. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Heart-throb Brooks Laich made an appearance at Kettler today. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Group A Observations

Braden Holtby still looks a little shaky in net, letting in a few goals he probably should have saved. This could be a function of the fact that he recently had LASIK surgery done on his eyes and they aren’t quite back to normal yet. It is also important to remember that Holtby went from starting to backing up Michal Neuvirth and did not play very much over the last two months of his season.

Anton Gustafsson continues to remain an enigma. It is clear that the young Swede pick has a plethora of talent, certainly worthy of him being first-round draft selection. However, there were times during the week when his motivation appeared questionable. For example, during offensive zone entry drills today, there appeared to be moments when Gustafsson would stop skating and lackadaisically enter the zone.

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Kuznetsov and the professor share a laugh as Leysan, the instructor, hides her face in her hands. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Kuznetsov and the professor share a laugh as Leysan, the instructor, hides her face in her hands. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Yesterday, after the Caps’ second development camp scrimmage, players made their way rinkside for media availability. I noticed Evgeny Kuznetsov slinking towards a small group of kids and adults in the far corner of the practice rink. My developing reporter sense tingled and I followed Kuznetsov and listened in to his conversation with the group. The assembled crowd was a first-year Russian class from the University of Maryland, made up of mostly rising freshmen getting an early start on their language requirements.

Kuznetsov was incredibly patient with the class, patiently listening to their choppy questions in Russian (and even correcting them at times) and answering clearly and slowly, often repeating himself several times for their benefit. The group was later joined by Stanislav Galiev and the pair of baby Capitals talked about their favorite bands (Kuznetsov loves Russian rap), cities, and foods. It was clear the students appreciated the experience and it was cute to see the young Russians teaching Americans.

Check out a few more pictures below the jump.

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Day 4 of Caps Development Camp

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Team White celebrates win. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Team White celebrates their shootout victory as Russian Prospect Stanislav Galiev is the only player to score. (Photos by Addison Huber)

Scrimmage

By 9am the stands at Kettler were about 1/3 filled as the Capitals’ prospects took the ice for their second scrimmage of 2010 Development Camp. In marked contrast to yesterday’s chippy, gritty scrimmage, today’s affair was much more fluid and wide open, resulting in over 30% more scoring. On the red team the lines stayed pretty much the same as the first scrimmage. On the white team, Stanislav Galiev was bumped down to the second line, serving with Wade MacLeod (Jr, Northeastern) and Garrett Mitchell (WHL, 2009 Draft, 6th Round, 175th overall). The chemistry of the Galiev-MacLeod-Mitchell line was palpable: the line exploded for the first three goals of the scrimmage – MacLeod was 2-1-3 and Galiev was 1-1-2. Galiev scored his goal camped out in front of the net on a nice deflection that beat goalie Taylor Nelson (So, Ferris State) Red quickly responded with a pair of goals from Jake Hauswirth (both on mostly empty nets) and one from Stefan Della Rovere. The red and white teams alternated goals for the remainder of the game, with Cody Eakin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring for the red team and Marcus Johansson and Felix LeFrancois both picking up their first goals for the white team. In the overtime shootout Galiev scored the only goal to win the game for white with a sick deke in front of the net.

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