Capitals Daily Report: Caps Hold First Practice of the Playoffs

Kettler was packed on Tuesday morning as Caps fans flocked to see their team begin preparations for what they hope is a long playoff run. This practice seemed much different than typical practices during the regular season. They know that now is the time. Game 1 is this Thursday

PRACTICE
John Carlson and Brett Connolly returned to the ice along with the rest of their teammates for their first playoff practice. Carlson missed the last four games with a lower body injury, while Connolly missed the final two games of the regular season with an illness.

Connolly was back on the third line. On the defensive front, Nate Schmidt was paired with Karl Alzner, while Carlson was with Taylor Chorney in the extra defensive pair.

Some highlights from the rink:

The Capitals began the session over on the public rink.

Braden Holtby on one end and Philipp Grubauer on the other are doing their best to stop all the pucks that are coming at them.

Midway through practice, the team changed rinks and began work on special teams drills.

The Capitals continued to work on power plays. Above is the top unit.

Carlson was doing some work on the second power play, where he normally played this season.

The Capitals defensemen worked on their slapshots on one end of the ice…

While the third and fourth forward line worked on their slapshots on the other end.

Carlson was asked if he was ready for game one. He responded, “right now it doesn’t matter.” Trotz at first said “we’ll see” as to whether or not Carlson would play and then said he’s “probably a go”  for Game 1. If Carlson can’t play in Game 1, Trotz is confident in his defensive depth and said that Nate Schmidt has done a good job filling in.

SCENES FROM KETTLER

Click here for more photos from today’s practice.

SHAVINGS

  • The Capitals and Maple Leafs will meet in the playoffs for the first time in their history.
  • They met three times during the regular season where Washington posted a 2-1-0 record.
  • Justin Williams (one goal, three assists) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (one goal, three assists) led the Capitals with four points in three games against the Maple Leafs.

DAILY LINKS
It’s time to Rock the Red! Washington Capitals to hold first playoff practice (WJLA 7)
Tom Wilson prepares for the distraction of playing against his hometown team (J.J. Regan/CSN)

INTERVIEWS
Nicklas Backstrom

ALL CAPS

CAPITALS IN THE COMMUNITY
Sports fundraising platform FanAngel has launched a campaign with Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation and the Washington Capitals benefiting So Kids Can. Through MSE Foundation and So Kids Can, the campaign will benefit Martha’s Table’s Joyful Food Markets.

Martha’s Table has worked to support stronger children, families, and communities by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food, and family support for more than 35 years. The goal of the campaign is to raise at least $25,000. It will be live throughout the Capitals run in the 2017 NHL Playoffs.

For more information, click here.

By Michael Marzzacco

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