48 hours to go. After a four month halt in the action, the NHL kicked off the 2020 playoffs at noon on Saturday. The Capitals, who begin their postseason campaign on Monday, held practice at the Ford Performance Center in Toronto, after a day off on Friday. Capitals forward Nic Dowd met with the media following Saturday’s practice.
Dowd was asked about the importance of the round robin games, in comparison to a regular playoff series, and if there were any less pressure, and the overall importance of seeding. Dowd said seeding wasn’t what was important.
“What’s important is that our team plays well leading into the playoffs. I think even if we were in a regular season, you want to play well, finish the season off well…the same thing for these three games coming up for the round robin.”
Dowd was asked how he and the team were doing after being in the bubble for a week, and how they were adjusting to their “new normal”.
“We’re all still adjusting, a lot of guys haven’t done laundry yet, because we haven’t quite got to that point or figured that out yet, there are still things that we are figuring out daily. From a sense of normalcy, this is a lot like being on the road, and we’ve been on the road for an extended amount of time during the regular season. The one advantage we have is we get to spend a lot of time together, which the guys love to do on the road, we’ve always loved those long road trips out west, we get to spend a lot of time together, we’re growing closer as a team.”
Dowd was asked about the Capitals penalty kill, which was much improved over last season, and if he thought that helped the team going into the playoffs, and if he expected there to be a lot of special teams activity in the postseason.
”Yeah, I do, I mean if you guys have been keeping up with the Carolina-Rangers game, there were 14 penalties in the game. That’s a lot. I think there was only one power play goal between the two of them and seven penalties for each side. I think what’s gonna happen in these early games is that guys are still trying to find their legs…some guys may be a touch slow, and they are going to take some penalties because of it.”
“What’s important is that our team plays well leading into the playoffs. I think even if we were in a regular season, you want to play well, finish the season off well…the same thing for these three games coming up for the round robin.” #ALLCAPS | @JimmyDowder26 pic.twitter.com/JXYBhmvQW6
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) August 1, 2020