Conor Sheary Says Watching Carl Hagelin Has Helped Him Adjust to Penalty Killing Role: “I Think We Have Similar Instincts, Similar Assets That Help Us on the Penalty Kill”

Washington Capitals

Through the first eight games of the 2022-23 regular season, arguably no member of the Washington Capitals has been as consistent and dynamic as forward Conor Sheary. The former Pittsburgh Penguin and Buffalo Sabre has seen his versatility utilized with the absences of a number of key players due to injury.

The 30-year old is set to start once more on the Capitals’ top-line, a situation made necessary by the loss of offseason addition Connor Brown to injury early in the campaign. While Sheary has been valuable offensively, he has proven to be an effective member of the Caps’ penalty killing unit as well.

“It’s something different for me”, Sheary said ahead of the team’s Saturday night tilt against the Nashville Predators, “I did it a little bit last year and kinda was able to pick up some new things that I hadn’t used in the past in my career, but this year I’ve had a little bit more responsibility and been able to kill a lot; I’m getting a lot more comfortable with it and enjoying while I can do it.”

After losing Carl Hagelin, who was arguably the club’s most effective player when shorthanded, to hampering injuries for this and part of last season, the Caps’ coaching staff has had to turn to others to pick up the slack. A teammate of Hagelin’s in both Pittsburgh and Washington, Sheary (who has scored one shorthanded goal and ranks sixth overall on the team in average shorthanded ice time with 1:42) credits him with helping aid his development playing with a man in the penalty box.

“Yeah I think I can use my stick and my quickness to disrupt my plays all over the ice”, said Sheary, “A guy I actually watched do a lot was Carl Hagelin and I think we have similar instincts, and similar assets that help us on the penalty kill; I’ve had coaches approach me in the past who said ‘we’ll try and get you out there’ for that reason, but it never came to fruition until I came here to Washington.”

Coming off a 2-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the Capitals look to right themselves against the Predators tonight.

“Obviously we want to score I think that’s number one”, Sheary responded when asked on the team’s approach, “We created some chances late in the game, I think in the third we controlled a lot of the play…”

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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