On Friday the Washington Capitals opened up their 2016 Training Camp for Media Day. While there 65 players on the initial roster, many were still at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. But with Team Europe advancing to the final against Canada, having eliminated Team Sweden and Russia respectively, we’ll be seeing Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Nicklas Backstrom on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex very soon.
The guys were split into three separate teams: Team Red, Team White, and Team Blue. Each one opened their practices with passing drills at the Arlington County rink on the roof, before making their way next door to the Capitals Rink where they performed their skate tests. After an exhausting stint of suicides, the guys laid out over the benches. They were literally steaming.
Take a look.
Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored 14 goals after New Years last season in 45 games, good for nearly 30 goals at an 82 game pace. He did this all without being a regular on the power play and playing just over 14 minutes a game. Now he’s likely got get a renewed chance at racking up points on the man-advantage. Last season only one of his 17 goals came on the power play. He finished second in even-strength goals, behind only 50-goal scorer and Rocket Richard winner Alex Ovechkin.
Burakovsky, 21, started the season on the power play, but lost his spot to Jason Chimera, who had four PP goals and five PP assists, after 14 games due a poor start, which included time in the press box. In Burakovsky’s first 32 games of the 2015-16 campaign, he had just two goals and six assists.
“In the beginning you just want to do everything so properly and the right way,” Burakovsky said of first full season in the NHL. “[I] was trying to bring everything full speed. Sometimes you just slow down the game and think a little bit more than you act. That was kinda what I did at the end [of last season] there. When I had the puck I felt more comfortable. I could hold it a little bit more and find an open lane for my teammates. I think it worked out pretty good for me.”
The Washington Capitals had nine players participate in the World Cup of Hockey, including both of their goaltenders, Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer, whose touranment teams will be battling it out in the WCH finals. Monday, the Washington Capitals will play their first preseason game of the 2016-17 season against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Their line-up will be sparse on veteran talent.
Team Europe just beat Team Sweden 3-2 in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Team Europe will now advance to play Team Canada in the World Cup of Hockey finals.
3:43 into overtime, Tomas Tatar scored his second goal of the game. Team Europe celebrated by engaging in one giant hockey hug in corner.
And then they began to jump up and down. It was a thing.
Centering Sweden’s first line, Nicklas Backstrom has been fantastic in the World Cup of Hockey. Backstrom leads Sweden in points and on Sunday against Team Europe, Backstrom scored again.
Team Russia and Team Canada faced off this evening in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals. Despite the final 5-3 loss, Team Russia took a 2-1 lead at the end of the second period thanks to Evgeny Kuznetsov.
According to Tarik El-Bashir and Isabelle Khurshudyan, veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik was one of nine Caps players who failed the team’s initial skate test during the first day of training camp. Orpik could not beat the required skate times of 38, 41, and 41 seconds.
Other notable players who failed the test on Friday include Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana, Garrett Pilon, and Jonas Siegenthaler.
Filip Forsberg is a weapon on the ice. In just two seasons in the NHL, he’s become one of the league’s most prolific goal-scorers, with 33 tallies last year and 26 in his rookie campaign.
Now the newly minted 22-year-old has been compared to Alex Ovechkin, one of the greatest scorers of all-time. It’s just one more stab in back for Caps fans by reporters who refuse to forget Forsberg’s trade for Martin Erat in 2013 by former Caps general manager George McPhee. Oh wait.
“He reminds me of playing with Alex with his quick release,” Nicklas Backstrom, who centers Ovechkin and has played with him his entire NHL career, told Dan Rosen of NHL.com on Friday. “He loves shooting the puck. He loves to go to the net. He loves creating stuff. In that way he reminds me of Ovi.”
At 3pm Saturday, some of the best (and worst) floor hockey players in the DMV area will play for the coveted GR8 Missing Tooth Trophy at the Michael & Son SportPlex in Rockville.
We sold out the game — 88 of you will be playing during the seven-hour tournament — and the rosters and schedule have been posted by DCHL Commissioner Suds. Let’s take a quick look at the teams.
The Capitals debuted new practice jerseys at the start of training camp on Friday. Following the lead of other NHL, NFL and NBA teams, the Caps now have ads on the corner of their non-game threads. Washington announced this thrilling news in a tweet with multiple exclamation points.
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