Capitals Players were All Smiles at Morning Skate, Trotz Leaves Another Message to the Fans

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As the Washington Capitals geared up for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, there was a different feel among the team as they prepared for DC’s first Conference Final game in 20 years. Not only are the Capitals excited about coming home in front a fanbase ready to embrace them, but they’re coming off a weekend trip to Tampa Bay that saw them take both games. 

While the Capitals were working hard at morning, there were plenty of smiles and laughs among the players on the ice. Andre Burakovsky was all smiles when the forwards worked on their shooting.

Later on, when Burakovsky and Devante Smith-Pelly went head to head in face-offs, they had some fun with each other with Burakovsky playfully doing CPR on Smith-Pelly after the two tumbled.

Keep in mind, they’re about to play their biggest game to date on Tuesday night and from that point on, the games will only get bigger as the series progresses. Even though the guys were having fun at morning skate, they’re well aware of the task at hand.

Tom Wilson told reporters that the important thing is to get off to a strong start. Strong starts have been just one of several strengths this Capitals team has had this spring as they’ve scored first in 11 of their 14 playoff games.

“The start’s important. It’s huge, especially after you won the game before, if you can jump on them again, create a little bit of doubt that’s definitely a thing. It’s a long game,” Wilson said.

“(In Game 2) We got down a goal and we found a way to come back, tie it up, keep pushing forward. There’s gonna be a lot of emotion, there’s gonna be a lot of swings throughout the playoffs. We’ve had a lot of them… We gotta start well, keep moving forward and keep doing the right thing.”

When Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime during Game 6 of the second round to punch the Capitals ticket to the Eastern Conference Final, there was a shot of Alex Ovechkin with a big smile on his face as if a weight was lifted off of his shoulders. While the team is ready to continue their run tonight in front of a city that is starving for a championship, the team captain spoke with reporters on what he thinks the atmosphere will be like and the mood among the team.

“I think it’s going to be pretty loud, and we need it. We need support from our fans. It’s going to be exciting,” Ovechkin said. “We just have to stay the same way, play the same way… We’re just enjoying it. It’s a fun time for us. We’re having fun. Lots of guys have never been in this position before… For us we enjoy it. We’re excited. The whole town is excited.”

When coach Barry Trotz talked to reporters, he had this message for the fans.

“Cheer loud. Help us out. Positive energy. We’re gonna do our best tonight absolutely. That’s what we’ve been trying to do right through the playoffs, so give us your good vibe,” said Trotz.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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2 Responses to Capitals Players were All Smiles at Morning Skate, Trotz Leaves Another Message to the Fans

  1. Pingback: Three Longtime Capitals Fans have Waited 20 Years for this Night | NoVa Caps

  2. Pingback: Tom Wilson Isn’t Pleased with hit by Anton Stralman, Believes NHL Department of Player Safety Needs to Review | NoVa Caps

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