The long summer of celebration is winding down for the Washington Capitals. Training camps are set to open and hockey is almost here. For the upcoming season, the Capitals will look to defend their Stanley Cup Championship, and they will look to add another one by the end of next playoffs.
The bar is set high heading into the 2018 Washington Capitals Training Camp. The roster remains intact from the Cup winning team, and the Capitals fans will likely see a lot of the same faces.
What should the fans expect coming out of this year’s training camp? What things will remain the same about the club? What things will be different for the upcoming season?
NEW COACHING DIRECTION
After Barry Trotz’s departure in the offseason, the Capitals promoted assistant coach Todd Reirden to Head Coach. Reirden has big shoes to fill, and some big expectations to meet.
Once coaching the defenseman, Reirden will now have to oversee the whole team. With a new coach comes new philosophy and new schemes and structure. It will be interesting to see if Reirden changes anything in terms of on-ice play and structure. Fans should likely see the Capitals defense get a little bit more involved in offensive play under Reirden’s direction.
With winning the Stanley Cup, there will come new expectations. The Capitals must change their mindset this year. They will have the target on their back for 82 games, since they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
The Capitals are going to get every opposing team’s best effort every single night. The Capitals must embrace the mindset that they are the ones that are being hunted. The Capitals must embrace that they will need to bring their A game for 60 minutes in all 82 games.
SEE SOME NEW FACES
While most of the Cup Winning Capitals team remains intact, the Capitals will have some new faces in the lineup this year. Longtime Capital Jay Beagle left in the offseason for Vancouver, so the Capitals will have a new face pivoting the 4th line centre position.
Nic Dowd, Travis Boyd, and Chandler Stephenson will all likely get looks at this spot for the Capitals. In addition to the centre hole, the Capitals will likely look at various combinations with some of their younger players. Nathan Walker and Shane Gersich are some players fans should keep an eye out for in the preseason.
By: George Foussekis