We’re getting closer. The Washington Capitals were back to work on Monday for day 7 of their 2020 summer training camp. The team will be off on Tuesday, then hold practices through Saturday before departing for Toronto on Sunday. The Capitals will play their first exhibition game next Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET and begin the 2020 playoffs two weeks from today when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Capitals defensive prospect Alexander Alexeyev practiced today for the first time in training camp, but didn’t take part in the scrimmage.
Defensive prospect Alex Alexeyev (#27) on the ice for the first time during training camp. pic.twitter.com/IDacNX8YhF
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) July 20, 2020
Ilya Samsonov did not practice again today. He has yet to practice during camp. There has been much speculation as to the health of Samsonov, but also recall he was dealing with an expired Visa, which may or may not have been resolved. More on Visa issue here.
The Capitals returned to split-squad practices on Monday with a scrimmage held in between practice sessions. Team Blue (11:05 – 11:35 a.m.) And Team Red (1:35 – 1:55 p.m.)
Scrimmage (11:55 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.)
The Capitals broadcast the team’s second scrimmage on their twitter account. You can watch the replay here.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 20, 2020
T.J. Oshie would turn in the goal of the game:
The National Hockey League today announced a schedule change for two games in the Eastern Conference Round Robin of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers:
- The Boston Bruins-Washington Capitals game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, now will be played Sunday, Aug. 9.
- The Philadelphia Flyers-Tampa Bay Lightning game, originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 9, now will be played Saturday, Aug. 8.
- The start times for both games remain TBD.
The full schedule for exhibition games and the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers is available here.
The National Hockey League announced today that Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which is presented annually to the top defenseman in the NHL. Carlson joins Nashville’s Roman Josi and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman as the three finalists. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. (More here).
“Thinking about something, working at it and seeing it fulfilled is a pretty cool achievement for me.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 20, 2020
Panik acknowledged it was a tough start to the season for him as he posted just two goals and three points in his first 24 games with the team and missed ten games due to a lower-body injury, which he said “didn’t help. [Those were] tough times, but [they were] getting better and better towards the end.” He added that he does not want to sweat his slow start to his tenure with the Capitals. (More here.)
“I was excited to play hockey again,” Dowd said about the NHL’s Return to Play Plan. Dowd added that he “never thought to opt-out”, which several NHL players have chosen to do so with family and personal matters as top priorities. Prior to the league pause, the fourth line composed of himself, Richard Panik and Garnet Hathaway ramped up production. The 30-year old is looking to pick up right where they left off and “find it’s groove” again. (More here.)
Boyd told the media he is “lucky” to be in the same locker room as guys like captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman John Carlson, who was nominated for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman this season earlier in the day. “We’ve got so many good guys in this locker room,” he said. Boyd thinks that it is beneficial to watch any player whether they are in their first or second year in the NHL but said that he enjoys watching Carlson and Ovechkin on and off the ice. “They’re hard-working,” he said. (More here.)
Carlson was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy, which is presented annually to the top defenseman in the league earlier today. According to Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic, at the end of the first practice session, Reirden called players together and announced that Carlson made it to the final three for the Norris, which resulted in some “hooting and hollering and helmet pats” for the 30-year old defenseman. (More here.)
Phase 3 Results (so far)
The NHL announced on Monday that two players out of more than 800 tested for COVID-19 since training camps opened on July 13 have tested positive for the virus. A total of 2618 tests have been given. Both players who have tested for the virus are now in self-quarantine and following the proper protocols. (More here.)
Entering the Bubble
NHL players will need three consecutive negative tests spaced 48 hours apart in the 7 days prior to travel to Canada. As a result, any positive tests after Wednesday or Thursday of this week could mean players left behind until cleared.
NHL players need 3 negative tests spaced 48 hours apart in the 7 days prior to travel to Canada. Any positive tests after Wed or Thurs this week and they won’t hit that mark. We could be talking about players left behind until cleared. Crucial week for the leagues testing.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) July 20, 2020
In the result of any positive tests, teams would likely re-test immediately to rule out false positives, but each test has turn around time, and there is little margin for error. Rishaug reports he has heard stories of teams testing twice the required amount in the last 10 days or so to make sure they’re good.
For players not able to make the charter in, there are contingency plans in place and protocols to get them into the bubble once clear, but may take some time. These testing protocols were the safeties put in place to allow the Fed and Prov border quarantines to be flexible.
The Capitals penalty kill ranked sixth in the NHL in 2019-20 at 82.6 percent. That’s a 3.7 percent improvement from the 2018-19 season’s penalty kill (78.9 percent), which ranked 24th in the NHL. The Capitals allowed 42.22 shots per 60 minutes of penalty kill time this season, the second lowest rate in the NHL. Jonas Siegenthaler (203:46), Radko Gudas (172:16) and Carl Hagelin (169:30) led the Capitals in penalty kill ice time, and all three established full time roles with the Capitals within the last year. Additionally, Nick Jensen’s 2.98 power play goals against per 60 minutes of penalty kill time ranked first in the NHL among players with at least 120 minutes played on the penalty kill this season.
By Jon Sorensen