Washington Capitals forward Carl Hagelin recently discussed his return to Washington for informal skates, the unknowns of training camp, and how experience is a key to success for the very different 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin August 1.
“It feels good to be back in Washington,” Hagelin said, who spent the last few months in Sweden. He skated twice a week in his home country beginning in late April/early May, but had not skated during the month of June because of the quarantine returning to the U.S. “My first skate here [Medstar Capitals Iceplex] felt terrible, but it was an okay skate.”
He doesn’t know “what the first couple days are going to look like” in reference to the start of the July 13 training camps. “You obviously have to get up to speed in two weeks…I think it’s important just for guys to have that mindset that you need to be ready right away.” Hagelin says teams who can find “that swagger and that intensity” will be successful early on.
The 31-year-old Swede said players don’t have to “go all-out” and “overdo things” during the recent informal skates but once training camp opens, that’s where conditioning and speed will ramp up. He mentioned the team has a good plan with the coaches.
The two-time Stanley Cup Champion is entering his ninth NHL postseason. Hagelin was asked how to be successful in a very different playoff experience. “You as an individual just have to try to find your game as quick as possible.”
Some teams finish the regular season on a good note and go into that first round on momentum. That is not the case this postseason. However, he believes the “intensity level” will be up given the fact they will be playing playoff hockey. “We’re guys that know what it takes to be successful in the playoffs and what it takes to be winners.”
“I think overall we’ve got a pretty good team bond,” Hagelin noted. He thinks spending time with teammates in the “bubble” or hub city (Toronto for the Eastern Conference) will be different, but “good for the team morale”.
“I think we’re a team that thrives off being around each other and it’s going to be interesting.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 9, 2020
By Della Young