Photos: Amanda Bowen
The Capitals closed out the 2015-16 preseason with a dominating 6-2 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday evening. The Isles iced their B-squad players, making this final game an easy win for the home team.
The stars of the night were Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Oshie line and Washington’s special teams, as you’ll see below.
The Washington Capitals did a lot of good things this summer, building off a roster that was one game away from making the Eastern Conference Finals. Brian MacLellan traded for TJ Oshie, signed Justin Williams, and re-upped Braden Holtby. These moves, on top of another year of Barry Trotz, has three NHL.com writers— John Kreiser, Mike Morreale, and Matt Cubeta–seeing red.
The Capitals announced their final roster cuts Monday morning. The most surprising dismissal was veteran center Derek Roy, who played well during training camp. With Jay Beagle announced as the team’s third-line center and Nicklas Backstrom potentially missing only four games, the Caps must have seen little upside keeping Roy around as a fourth-line center.
The Caps also cut forwards Liam O’Brien and Chandler Stephenson, defensemen Aaron Ness and Ryan Stanton, and goalie Justin Peters, who struggled mightily last year, from training camp. That means Philipp Grubauer will be Braden Holtby’s back-up this year.
As the Capitals PR team noted, Ness, Peters, and Stanton will all have to pass through waivers before joining the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
For those of you keeping track at home, that means forwards Chris Brown (who is injured), surprise-of-camp Sean Collins, and oft-criticzed Stan Galiev all remain on the roster, at least for now.
My favorite part was when the scraps resulted in three players from each team in the sin bin. TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson and Liam O’Brien taunted two raging Bruins, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid, as David Pastrnak watched from behind them. It was one of those moments where you really wish they had a mic down there to record the conversations between detainees. They went on until the ref entered the Bruins box to have them sit down.
The game was the perfect introduction to the sport for the first timers who attended with me. Four fights, goals to tie it at one, three-on-three overtime, and a shootout win. You can’t get much better than that.
Here is what I captured in my first visit back to Verizon Center this season.
In June, the Capitals announced a color change to their alternate sweaters, going from white to red.
Caps' throwback alternate uni changing from white to red this season. pic.twitter.com/1cmT42lF9h
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
We were a fan then, and now we’re getting more excited.
On Thursday, the Capitals announced the dates when they’ll be wearing their new duds. You’ll see them at 15 select home games during the 2015-16 season.
Photo credit: Alex Brandon
The day before training camp opened, Andi Lambert, the wife of Washington assistant coach Lane Lambert, died at the age of 45. She had spent the last 17 years battling a rare form of breast cancer. On Saturday, the entire Capitals team, along with members of the Nashville Predators, who Lambert previously coached for alongside Barry Trotz, went up to Ohio attend the funeral outside of Cleveland.
“I know it meant a lot for him for us to be there and support him and to remember Andi the way we all know her and love her,” Trotz said Sunday. “It just tells you the class of the people in this business.”
Photo: Amanda Bowen
On Monday, the Washington Capitals will play their first preseason game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be televised on CSN Washington. No matter what the score, the Caps and Canes will experiment with the NHL’s new overtime format: five minutes of three-on-three hockey.
“Not a lot of [games] are going to go to shootouts, which is unfortunate,” TJ Oshie told The Washington Times on Sunday, smiling. “But, I think it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Over the weekend, Barry Trotz had his team go through three-on-three drills, giving the players an opportunity to get a feel for the open ice. He didn’t always use two forwards together with a defenseman.
Wednesday afternoon, hockey got even closer as the Caps announced their 64-man roster for training camp. Players must report for physicals and testing on Thursday. Friday is the first on-ice and open-to-the-public practice. It begins at 9:30 AM.
Here is the full roster in both alphabetical and numerical order.
Every year, the NHL unveils new hats at the draft and they’re always super fancy. This year’s edition features each team’s logo on the hat and then either the team’s alternate logo or a zoomed-in detail of the original logo on the bill. The NHL’s shield is also located on the back of the fitted cap, just as a friendly reminder where your hard-earned cash is going.
Photo: Washington Capitals
Nostalgics rejoice! The Capitals have unveiled a new third jersey for the 2015-2016 season modeled after the team’s original red jerseys. According to the team’s release, the Caps will wear the throwback sweaters “for select home games” next season.
This means your white throwback, which the Capitals used as a third jersey from the 2011 Winter Classic through the 2014-2015 season, is now a collector’s item. This new red third will replace the white one. The red will be available for purchase at the Verizon Center Team Store, Kettler Capitals Iceplex Team Store and the NHL online shop in October.
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