This season, the Capitals are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Since they weren’t able to raise any Eastern Conference Regular Season Champion banners last year, the team decided to add a new installation outside section 111 honoring the hat tricks in franchise history. The exhibition, in a neat touch, includes displays of headwear collected after 13 hat tricks at Verizon Center since 2008. Most of those, naturally, come from Alex Ovechkin, with cameos from Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer and departed Caps Alexander Semin and Mathieu Perreault. There’s currently space for three more hat tricks. How quickly those get filled will depend on whether teams keep leaving Ovi wide open at the near circle.
Day two of Capitals training camp was Saturday, and the team continued the tough pace set by Barry Trotz on Friday. Each of the three group of players spent about an hour and the half on the ice, focusing on drills designed to simulate game situations and learn the system. With the first preseason game just hours away, three groups of Caps battled along the boards for loose pucks and charged at the net. Unlike previous regimes, Trotz is throwing the players into the fire quickly.
“This is the one day we had to prepare to play tomorrow,” the coach told reporters. “We tried to get a lot of stuff in that was situational.”
One hundred sixty days after the Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, 66 players took to the ice in Arlington, Virginia looking to atone for a lost season. New head coach Barry Trotz put his players through a 45-minute practice and then a rigorous skate test, which left many exhausted, including Alex Ovechkin. This year’s training camp is supposed to be a hard one, part of Trotz’s plan to transform this team from an also-ran into a real success. The Caps have just two days of training camp to get their legs under them before the preseason opens on Sunday.
Below the jump are photos from the day via RMNB’s newest contributor, Amanda Bowen.
On the first day of training camp, new Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz set the tone for the upcoming season by putting all 66 Caps players through a difficult skating test.
According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, “the conditioning skate involved skating the length of the rink down and back twice and then back through the red line.” What made it worse was this came immediately after each group’s 45-minute practice session. Talk about brutal.
The players only had to do the test three times if they were able to beat 38 seconds on the first two trips and 41 seconds on the third. However, if they failed to meet those times on any of the tests, they had to do the insane skate twice more.
Last week, some of the best hockey players in the world converged on New York City for NHL media day. Among the many things the players did was shoot a video for NHL.com where they guessed their own NHL15 player rating.
Most players were humble, but when the cameras turned to Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin he guessed 100 because what other rating could he be?
Unlike in years past where we’ve asked you to email us five-minute scribbles in Microsoft Paint, this year we’ve simplified the submission process. You can create a card in any way you’d like: Photoshop, noodles, Vines, GIFs, YouTube, whatever. You can upload your file in the comments or put a link to it. Our commenting system, DISQUS, has a great explainer on how to properly upload JPEGs and link to all other rich media like GIFs, Youtube, Vine, and tweets.
Before the Washington Capitals played the Vancouver Canucks last October, Alex Ovechkin noticed a girl standing along the boards during warm-ups. The sign she held read, “All I want 4 my 16th birthday is a puck, Ovi.” The Russian machine obliged and tossed a puck over the glass. The moment was expertly photographed by Jonathan Hayward.
“The whole thing was pretty surreal,” Tyler Lapeyre, the Vancouver girl who caught the puck, explained to me in an interview on Sunday night. “Then to see the picture show up all over Facebook and Tumblr really made the moment more special. It was like the world realized how awesome the moment was for me!”
That tiny gesture wasn’t the only kind thing Ovechkin did for the young Canadian Caps fan.
On September 15, 2014, In Artwork, By Peter Hassett
Birthday card by Lisa A.
С Днем Рождения to the Russian machine himself, Alexander Ovechkin. Ovi turns 29 years old on Wednesday the 17th. He’s got one year left in his twenties, so here’s hoping he can scoar moar goals within that window.
But that won’t matter until October. For now, we just want your help in wishing him a happy day. We’ve done this before; you know the drill. Make a birthday card for Ovi and post in the comments of our Happy Birthday article that will be released Wednesday at 12 AM.