Andre Burakovsky during last year’s rookie game. (Photo: Chris Gordon)
Preparation for 2014-15 NHL season begins this week as rookie camps kick off around the league. Capitals’ camp will start today, and will end next Tuesday with a 3PM rookie game that has been held every (non-lockout-shortened) year since the Caps’ re-build.
As we wrote earlier, Monday’s Washington Capitals-Philadelphia Flyers rookie game was a bit of a mess. There were four fights, some lost teeth (more on that later), and I was almost twice by a referee who insisted on heaving every broken stick into the photo spot between the benches.
“Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep!” (Photos by Chris Gordon)
On Monday afternoon, the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers played a rookie game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex featuring prospects from both teams. It was a rather meaningless game, but still a chance for players on both sides to impress their management — or at least get a deal in the WWE. In the 60 minute game, there were four fights, a myriad of scrums and penalties, along with a occasional slew foot. Naturally, a lot of this involved Tom Wilson. The 2012 first-round pick got in two fights, lost half a tooth, and said some very, very naughty things to players on the other team.
Despite my perch between the benches, I couldn’t really tell how both his fights started, so I’ll let Wilson explain.
“I figured why not?” he said of the first bout. “Two good fights — that’s part of the game.”
Below, here are photos and video of T-Wil’s brawls.
Carrick peeks out from behind Wilson at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in July. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
Two thousand twelve first-round draft pick Tom Wilson is fawned over, with good reason. At 6′ 4″, he’s a mammoth dude who scores goals, hits hard, and unleashes a myriad of expletives — the personification of a hockey player. When Caps fans think of the Plymouth Whalers, Wilson is usually the only one who comes to mind. There is, however, another Washington prospect playing in eastern Michigan: fifth-round pick Connor Carrick.
In front of a sparse Monday morning crowd, the Capitals’ rookies took to the ice for their second day of Rookie Camp. The prospects were put through a extended practice that consisted mostly of tedious timing drills. The usual suspects, guys like Cody Eakin and Marcus Johansson, impressed the coaches with their skill while RMNB worship idol, Stanislav Galiev, showed-off his blazing speed. Trevor Bruess also showed improvement throughout the session, darting easily through the timers that were set up to record their speed.
Bruce Boudreau noted that all of the players were in great condition for camp. And it’s true. The boys were moving faster and looking less winded after each and every drill. However, the session ended with the dreaded set of Herbies, which we can only describe as the worst suicides on earth. The sprints included skating back and forth repeatedly across varying widths of the ice, full throttle. By the end, all of the players were doubled over, struggling for air.