Ed. note – Like clockwork, Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans descend on the Russian Machine to provide their bi-weekly scoop on players floating outside the system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, LOLCATS). Hold fast, as you’re about to enter Prospect Watch!
Ed. note – Russian Machine is proud to present our new (sorta) bi-weekly feature. Here you will learn about all the nifty prospects outside the system (CHL, USHL, NCAA, KHL, BBQ). Fedor Fedin and Roman Piontkovsky of GlobalCapsFans will be your guide to the untamed wilds we call Prospect Watch!
RMNB’s resident casanova and now photog for the Examiner, Neil Greenberg, spent the week at the Capitals development camp. What follows are his thoughts on the experience.
What a week.
Overwhelming. Fulfilling. Humbling. No other words can describe it.
From when I said yes to cover it for the Examiner to when Kelly showed me where I could and could not go to when I got in my truck at the end of Fan Fest: total euphoria.
Not going to lie, I was overwhelmed when Michael asked me if I would be interested in taking pictures at the Camp for the Washington Caps Examiner – and would be jealous, too, of someone in that position. Of course, I could not say yes quick enough.
What an honor, right? Two things I am passionate about mashed up together for a surreal experience: the chance to cover the sport I love through art – despite being told that becoming an artist would never work for me. Specifically, “Neil, you can’t be an artist.” I tried everything: playing instruments (violin and saxophone), drawing, painting and even writing. In fact, most of my childhood I was told I couldn’t do stuff. Not shouldn’t – can’t. Told that if I tried to chase that dream it would end in certain, perhaps orchestrated, failure.
The morning got off to an early start with the annual equipment sale. When I arrived around 7:40 there was a line at the check-in table stretching back the length of Kettler Capitals IcePlex [Ed note: Do you people ever sleep?!?!]. Making my way into the stands that served as a waiting area until the sale officially started at 8am, I was shocked to see a section of the bleachers already filled. At 8am the crowd was led to the upper level of the rink where a vast panoply of new and used hockey equipment awaited their perusal. The crowd quickly, but orderly, made their way into the sale area, making a beeline for the player sticks and used practice jerseys. Patrons could be seen with armfuls of gear and frantically pawing through piles of clothing – clearly the event was a success for the Capitals.
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.
On Wednesday, RMNB statistician and all-around good guy Neil Greenberg was granted a credential to take photos for the Washington Examiner (See the story here). Check out his entire gallery of photos, including some that didn’t make the cut for the Examiner below. And make sure to let Neil know your favorite in the comments.
Day 3 was a busy day for the draftees and invitees at Capitals Development Camp. Both Group A and Group B were on the ice in the morning, and the whole squad took the ice in the afternoon for a scrimmage. The additional activity made for an extremely long day, one that not only left me exhausted, but also (and more importantly) left me feeling like a full-time member of the media. I also increased my attempts at multi-tasking: interspersing periods of photography with Tweets, especially during the afternoon scrimmage. Day 3 also provided a glimpse into the world of the best PR staff in the NHL when Nate and Kelly invited all the bloggers in attendance to a roundtable to discuss ideas and innovations.