John Carlson on What the Capitals Must Do This Upcoming Season: “I Think We Got To Move The Puck Way Better—There’s Too Much Skill To Be Slowing The Game Down”

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On Thursday, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson spoke to the media on the first day of training camp. He discussed the excitement of a fresh season with new coaches behind the bench.

Carlson expressed that “a lot of excitement” is in the air with a new coaching staff behind the bench this season. “It feels exciting to get a fresh start,” he said. “Big time for [head coach Spencer Carbery]—he’s had a great career coaching so far wherever he’s been and successful…I think you can see by the smiles today by everyone, I think everyone’s feeling the same way.”

He called the offseason “two-fold,” describing it as a time of recovering and building. “Depending on each person’s situation, they needed one or the other…everyone seems to be ready to get this thing rolling.”

The newest addition to Washington’s blueline is Joel Edmundson. “He’s a great player,” Carlson said, adding, “He’s a sandpaper guy. He’s always in your face. He’s always on the puck and a quick closer kind of like [Martin Fehervary].”

On the Capitals’ defense, Carlson feels each player has a specific niche that creates a cohesive unit. “We’re all just trying to find little ways in all aspects of our game to get better…That’s what everybody collectively is in their own heads about, and then as a finished product, everyone around is better.”

Carlson said that “there’s portions of last year” where the Capitals were “one of the better teams in the league,” adding, “I think if you watch those games versus when we weren’t doing so well…you know, for me, I think we got to move the puck way better—there’s too much skill to be slowing the game down.”

“I think we were keeping an eye on the outside too much, and you know, gotta get the puck moving and gotta get up the ice as the opposite. That’s what I would tell myself and tell everyone else. Not many [defensemen] in this league carry the puck from the defensive zone into the offensive zone. There’s maybe three of them in the whole league, so the best way to get it up is move it. I think we can be a lot better with that—get into the hands of our forwards and attack more. I think we were a little two perimeter, a little two outside.”

“No matter what, it’s to win,” Carlson said on the expectations on the ice and behind the bench this upcoming season. “No one would even show up if it was any different.”

His final thoughts on assistant coach Mitch Love and the new coaching staff were positive, saying, “I think they’re exciting guys. They’re their workers. You can tell they’re detailed guys that, you know, maybe we’re gonna work a little bit closer, individually with guys. I would say it would be maybe a difference. But, you know, all the coaches have their own ways to get their mantras that they want to see as a team trickling through in one-on-one meetings and to kind of build a game together.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on X: @dellayoung
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1 Response to John Carlson on What the Capitals Must Do This Upcoming Season: “I Think We Got To Move The Puck Way Better—There’s Too Much Skill To Be Slowing The Game Down”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Stay healthy JC!

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