On Saturday, the Washington Capitals held “Breakdown Day,” marking the culmination of the team’s 2022-23 season as players conduct their last meetings with management and have final interactions with the media. Defenseman Rasmus Sandin discussed his first month and a half with the Capitals.
On February 28, the Capitals acquired Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Erik Gustafsson and the Boston Bruins’ first-round pick this summer.
“It was a weird year, I mean, starting off in Toronto…I think I had a pretty decent start…got here, and it was very exciting coming to a new team, new city…it’s been a hectic year. A lot of things of happened, but it’s been a lot of fun too.”
In 19 games with Washington, the 23-year-old Swede recorded 15 points (three goals) and a -7 rating.”Motivation, I think, for me is not the biggest issue. I think it’s just a privilege to be in the NHL, and you just try to be as good of a player as you can be,” Sandin said.
“Obviously, in that, it’s a lot of fun…you want to accomplish as much as you can as a player and as a team too.” Sandin believes he will have a “very good summer” in preparation for the 2023-24 season.
“It was quite a bit of difference in our systems,” he said regarding his time with the Maple Leafs and now the Capitals. “With the teammates here, with the coaches, I think we went through it pretty quick. I think at the end of the season, I started getting into it more and more. Every single game, you learn more things…the teammates here are unbelievable, too, so they just help out so much with that transition with systems.”
“It always sucks when you say bye to everyone,” Sandin said about the emotional aspect of a breakdown day. The Capitals’ eight-year post-season streak ended with a dismal 35-37-10 record (82 points) for 6th place in the Metropolitan Division, 13th in the Eastern Conference, and 25th in the NHL standings.
He mentioned the tough part is the fact you “don’t always know who’s going to be back,” but is “glad” he has had a great time in D.C. “since day one.” “The outcome wasn’t what we wanted this year either, but it’s just been a lot of fun being here the last month and a half,” he added. Sandin noted he is traveling back to Sweden during the offseason.
In his observations between the Maple Leafs and the Capitals, Sandin explained that Toronto’s younger team “was just flying out there” regarding playing fast and moving the puck. With his new team, it was all about “being smart with the puck,” saying, “Obviously, you want to play fast and all that, but I think at the same time, you gotta read the situation. It’s not always about the right play to go fast.” He said that mindset was successful in games and others not so much.
Sandin said his summer improvements will cover “everything.” “I’m very young still. I want to keep improving every single day and every single area, but mainly, I think just getting a little bit stronger in battles and stuff—the d-zone especially.”
Additional 2022-23 Breakdown Day Recaps
Nicklas Backstrom: “Obviously We’re Not Happy About The Situation”
“I’m Excited To Build On What I Did This Year And Get Better”: Dylan Strome Reflects On Career Season As Capitals End 2022-23 Season
Darcy Kuemper Reflects On Performance In First Season With Capitals: “I’m Happy With the Effort I Put In, But I’m Not Gonna Feel Good About My Game Being in This Position”
Brian MacLellan: ”Trying To Stay Competitive While Getting Younger, It’s Gonna Be Challenging, But That’s The Stage We’re At”
Evgeny Kuznetsov On Drop in Offensive Production: “I’m Pretty Sure I’m Going To Find A Solution”
“There’s Always Enough Motivation, Whether You Win Or You Don’t”: John Carlson Talks Missing Playoffs, 2022-23 Season
By Della Young
Do you mean Enter Sandman (go VT)?