Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny told the media on Saturday that the NHL pause “[has] been great” and that he enjoyed “great time[s]” with family and friends at home in the Czech Republic. He also prepared for the season’s resumption during the hiatus.
Kempny said that he feels better “for sure” after having time to work out, unlike last summer, when he had to rehab from a torn hamstring procedure he had in April 2019. He admitted that this season was hard for him both “physically and mentally,” but he worked hard during the pause and said he was happy about the workouts he did. “I’m pretty happy about how I feel right now,” Kempny said.
On getting paired with defenseman John Carlson again after he was moved away from him following the Capitals’ acquisition of Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks just before the pause, Kempny said, “I really appreciate it for the new chance and fresh start.” He added that he is ready to play with Carlson again.
Kempny put together nine good weeks of skating and workouts before training camp and is “happy to be here right now. … I feel a lot better than I [did] in October.”
He felt like his season “had a lot of ups and downs” as he was a healthy scratch in one of the Capitals’ final regular-season games. Kempny said, “it was tough some games to find energy.”
Kempny said that he will bring his iPad to Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, since he loves television and movies. He can’t wait to get there, saying “going to have [a] really good time with teammates.”
He told the media that he skated twice a week before camp and played with Capitals forward Jakub Vrana, Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, and Philadelphia Flyers forward David Kase back home. Kempny feels that it “got me ready for this part of [the] season.”
“I feel great, I feel fresh. I feel like I have a new start. I feel a lot better than I did before October, before the season and last training camp.”
Michal Kempny is feeling good during Phase 3 pic.twitter.com/q8OpBG0LCo
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 18, 2020
By Harrison Brown