On Thursday, Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek spoke to the media on a Zoom call following the team’s first scrimmage on the fourth day of the 2020-21 training camp. He discussed his readiness to play and time spent in the Czech Republic prior to arriving in Washington for the upcoming season.
Since Monday’s start of camp, Vanecek said he is “trying to work hard” to make a spot on the Capitals’ roster and play an NHL game. “I’m ready to go right now,” he said.
On goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who will not play this season due to a heart condition and procedure, he called it a “tough” situation for the 38-year-old. Vanecek did not have conversations with goaltending coach Scott Murray but saw training camp “as an opportunity ” to potentially play as the starting or backup netminder.
Before returning to Washington, Vanecek spent about two weeks in Prague and worked out with fellow countrymen forward Jakub Vrana and defenseman Michal Kempny. He also worked with the goalie coach of Bílí Tygři Liberec, a professional ice hockey team based in Liberec, Czech Republic, and Vanecek’s former team whom he joined in 2013.
Vanecek noted goaltender Ilya Samsonov‘s English is “much better”, referencing when they played for the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, Hershey Bears, Samsonov spoke Russian and “a little bit [of] English”. With Samsonov’s improvement, Vanecek said it’s “easy” for the team and coaches to communicate with him.
WATCH: Today’s media availability with Vitek Vanecek: https://t.co/GlOMTHunxT
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 8, 2021
By Della Young