On Wednesday afternoon, Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden spoke to the media on a Zoom call following the group practices on the eighth day of training camp. He discussed defensive prospect Alexander Alexeyev‘s progress on the ice and getting back into a routine prior to next week’s exhibition game against the Carolina Hurricanes, which begins at 4 PM ET on NBCSN.
On Alexeyev, Reirden said that he’s “made some strides” and is getting comfortable. The 20-year old Russian joined training camp on Monday for the first time since Phase 3 began on July 13. Reirden mentioned Alexeyev will take part in Friday’s scrimmage.
He said the scrimmages and overall experience at camp are “really important for the development” of the prospects. Reirden complimented Alexeyev saying there is a “big upside with this player”. “I hope he keeps getting better every day.”
In one week, the Capitals will be back on the ice for their lone exhibition game against the Hurricanes. The 4 PM time slot is unusual for the team. Reirden wants the Capitals to be prepared and comfortable for different game times as their first round-robin game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is also at 4 PM (NBCSN) on Monday, August 1. Friday’s scrimmage will be treated like a full dress rehearsal to get back into the usual routine, according to the head coach.
“Defenseman are so active now,” Reirden said. He explained how skating and positioning open offensive abilites for defenseman. He “likes” the pairing of Brenden Dillon and Dmitry Orlov and has had “quite a bit of time” discussing that second pairing.
NHL players wear a suit and tie on game days “unless otherwise specified by the head coach or general manager.” That’s about to be very different soon as the league is giving players a “relaxed” dress code in the bubble. The “no team dress code” has been the talk of the town recently.
Reirden said it’s a “decision made within your team” on how you represent yourself and the organization. He did not go into detail but said a Capitals’ dress code will likely be finalized prior to departing for Toronto on Sunday.
By Della Young