Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck
Hard to play against, tough customer, character guy: those were some of the hockey superlatives thrown around by Barry Trotz and his players when asked about Tim Gleason, the team’s newly acquired D-man.
“He’ll keep people honest,” Trotz told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “You want to take a shot at Greenie, he can back it up.”
Yep, despite whatever my zany Russian political science professor and Some People on the Internet say, Mike Green isn’t going anywhere.
Jack Hillen continues to have the worst luck. In the second period, with the Caps up 1-0, the team gave up what might be the dumbest goal of the season. As Hillen and Mike Green went for a loose puck along the team’s offensive blue line, they collided hard. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov completed the hockey bowling metaphor by crashing on top their fallen bodies.
Photo: Amanda Bowen
With the final preseason game in the books for the Capitals, the team’s opening night line-up is shaping up: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Eric Fehr will be on the top line. Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer will man the second. Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, and Joel Ward will be on the third. The fourth line looks set, though scrappy free-agree invitee Liam O’Brien looks to have earned his way into a contract with Hershey or a two-way deal. Michael Latta, though, appears ready to play alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Chris Brown on the fourth line. That might change when Jay Beagle comes back from injury.
“That would be a question for Mac[Lellan],” Trotz said of O’Brien. “He’s been as good as anybody especially in that role.”
“He’s a player that demanded to be noticed,” the coach added.
19-year-old rookie Andre Burakovsky appears to have also made the team, beating top prospect Kuznetsov to center the team’s second line. At least initially.
Photo: Amanda Bowen
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.
Glass Jack Hillen had another short season. He might be a good hockey player, but we just don’t know.
|17.8||Average time on ice per game|
|42.9%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|22.2%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|2.4%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|94.3%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
Photo: Chris Gordon
On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. For two hours, Caps players filed out of the locker room and conducted exit interviews with the media. Because of the whole no playoffs thing, there were a lot of long faces.
There’s about three hours of interview video to surf though on Monumental Network. Because I hate myself and care only about you, dear reader, I’ve transcribed all the key quotes. And because this is RMNB, I also pointed out the fashion choices. Sadly, there was no crazy hair this year.
Backstrom and Ovechkin at practice. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster
The sacrificial bloodletting that was the Capitals’ shootout loss to the Kings threatened to cost Washington their most important center in Nick Backstrom and a veteran defenseman in Jack Hillen.
Based on Thursday’s practice, there’s some good news: Nick Backstrom seems to be unscathed.
Scary moment at the end of Tuesday’s Caps-Kings game as Caps defenseman Jack Hillen collided with Alex Ovechkin during overtime. Hitting one another at full speed while crossing center ice, Hillen’s head ran into Ovechkin’s chest. Hillen laid motionless on the ice, apparently knocked out.
Hillen eventually regained consciousness and was helped off the ice to the applause of a relieved Verizon Center crowd, but his injury is yet another chapter in the very sad book of Hillen’s tenure in Washington.
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