The Washington Capitals officially returned to the ice this morning (Friday) for the start of the 2015 training camp. 64 players were invited to camp this year. The initial phase of camp has the 64 players divided into three groups; blue, white and red. For more information, you can find the Capitals Training Cam Guide, which includes the full roster, and the schedule for practice times here.
The first day of camp included basic drills, as well as the dreaded “Trotz Skate Test“, which essentially tests players current conditioning, and establishes a baseline for determining who is in shape and who needs additional conditioning. Nick Backstrom and Brooks Orpik (injuries) were on the ice early today with Capitals strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish.
Nicklas Backstrom on whether he could miss regular season games: “Of course I’d love to play in the premiere, but who knows. I don’t know myself.” Backstrom said not waking up sore the next day after skating is an important hurdle yet to be cleared. Didn’t want to set a return date. ‘It’s hard to say. I can’t really tell you a date. As I said before, I’m feeling good, no setbacks and that’s a good sign. Backstrom says he’d like to play in Oct. 10 opener, but acknowledged he could miss 5 or 10 games. No timetable.
Brooks Orpik (wrist) says he’s restricted from shooting.Hopeful of getting a preseason game or two. Orpik on possibility of exhibition games: “That would be ideal, but at the same time, I’m not going to be stupid with it.”
News and Notes
As per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Alex Ovechkin got a ship for his 30th birthday. Hasn’t seen it in person yet because it’s in Russia. There was some discussion as to whether or not Alex said “sheep”, which would obviously make more sense, as seen here.
Braden Holtby on goalies not doing the skate test: “It’s the one day a year it benefits to be a goalie. Then downhill from here.”
GM Brian MacLellan also said the timeline for Backstrom is now returning somewhere in the first 10 games. Trying to be cautious.
MacLellan said the Caps project Tom Wilson starting the season at 3rd-line RW, “with possibilities of moving up in certain games.”
T.J. Oshie on Ovechkin: “I feel like a lot of us are just scratching to get to 20 [goals] every year, and he’s working his way up to 50.”
MacLellan: I think we’re looking for Brooks Laich to give us more this year. We need more offense, more plays, more goals, more production.
Trotz said Derek Roy, on a PTO, will get a long look and work some w/ projected top-6 Fs. “There’s a lot of room for a guy like Derek Roy.” Trotz named Oshie, Williams, Wilson & Latta as forwards he hopes can fill the PK void left by Fehr, Brouwer & Ward (5:08 SH TOI per game)
Training Camp Day
A reminder, Washington Capitals Training Camp day is tomorrow (Saturday) from 9:30 a.m. To 12:30 p.m. At Kettler. Capitals alumni will sign autographs from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Wrist bands will be distributed to the first 400 alumni signing session attendees and are required to receive an autograph. For more information, check it out here.
Nicklas Backstrom on playing in season opener: ‘I don’t know.’ (Isabelle Khurshudyan/WaPo)
Capitals expect no surprises in second camp under Barry Trotz (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
2015-16 Washington Capitals training camp preview: Defensemen )Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
Capitals assistant GM Ross Mahoney talks rookie tournament, future hosting plans (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
After rookie season, Michael Latta ready for bigger role with Capitals (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
In Washington on tryout agreement, Derek Roy trying to ‘act like a rookie’ (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
Brooks Orpik discusses wrist surgery, staying patient during recovery (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
Capitals’ Vitek Vanecek making progress, word by word (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)
Caps Extend Camp Invite to Derek Roy (Mike Vogel/Dump and Chase)
At rookie tournament, Vrana-Stephenson-Barber line develops fast chemistry (Alex Prewitt/WaPo)