“That’s A Pretty Special Captain”: Spencer Carbery Analyzes His First Day of Training Camp As Head Coach of the Capitals, First Impressions of Alex Ovechkin

Screenshot: Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals’ busy offseason ushered in a new chapter of the team in the Alex Ovechkin era, with the hiring of former farmhand Spencer Carbery as the team’s newest Head Coach. The first bench boss born after the team’s inaugural 1974-75 season, Carbery conducted his first day of training camp on Thursday.

As if assembling a coaching staff and getting himself re-acquainted with the organization wasn’t a daunting enough challenge, the 41-year Carbery takes over a team still with Stanley Cup aspirations after missing the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons in 2022-23. Among the weak links needing repair is the once-vaunted Washington power play.

“It’s something we’ve talked at length about, we’ve looked at things and we will continue to”, said Carbery in his first press conference with local media. “Part of what you’ll see through training camp and exhibition games is what we’ve talked about and what we’re looking at. Whether that looks drastically different or whether it looks the same, the work behind the scenes trying to figure out the best way possible to maximize the group has been done.”

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While the Caps’ veteran core returns eager for a taste of Lord Stanley, the age and impact of injuries last season is something the new bench boss is mindful of as he looks to infuse youth into the lineup.

“It’s a valid point”, Carbery acknowledged, when pressed on monitoring the ice time of such players, “And that’s something myself as a head coach needs to take into account. And that’s where I rely heavily on our athletic training department and [Head Athletic Trainer] Jason Serbus…and strength and conditioning with Zack Leddon, and that’s the fine line is we need to condition ourselves to play at a real high pace and be able to be extremely competitive…”

“…And how do we get our players up to that and then also without and  putting them in vulnerable spots. We’re paying attention to that all the time and we will make decisions throughout the year based on that. Trying to make sure we’re cognizant of workloads, ages…all that stuff will be taken into account.”

Spencer Carbery’s Road To Washington Has Prepared Him Well For Capitals Head Coaching Job

Carbery will become the eighth head coach to serve the Caps in the Alex Ovechkin era, and although he has had contact with his players (including his captain) since being hired in June, the former Hershey Bear and South Carolina Stingray is excited to see his new charges’ abilities firsthand.

“…Obviously really excited that the day’s come and now we can just get to work. At the end of the day [that’s what] we as coaches, we want to get into the trenches, and get into the grind and this is the start of it right here, trying to help our group come together, help our individual players, help this group get back to where they’ve been.”

Alex Ovechkin Changed-up Training During 2023 Off-season

Calling right wing Tom Wilson’s game “unique” and “valuable”, Carbery described his first impressions of Ovechkin who at age 38 will be looking to continue chasing down the all-time Goals Scored record.

“Great energy, love his smile”, exclaimed Carbery, “I don’t know, maybe I haven’t been around him enough in the past to know that that’s him, but he’s just really excited to get going…he’s just so invested in helping this team win that as head coach, especially as a first-time head coach, that’s just great to hear that and see that, and I just go, ‘that’s a pretty special captain’.”

To hear Carbery’s full comments, see below:


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. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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8 Responses to “That’s A Pretty Special Captain”: Spencer Carbery Analyzes His First Day of Training Camp As Head Coach of the Capitals, First Impressions of Alex Ovechkin

  1. Anonymous says:

    Go get ‘em Carbs!

  2. Anonymous says:

    “the age and impact of injuries last season is something the new bench boss is mindful of… .”

    To be fair, John Carlson didn’t get a fractured skull, because of his age. A puck off the noggin had something to do with that. And that’s when the team fell apart, when Carlson went down.

  3. andrew777dc says:

    Kinda gets me enthused with the way he talks and reasons. Reminds me of One-Punch Man, somehow 😄

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      The Carburetor!

      • Prevent Defense says:

        The Bryan Murray effect (1981) and the Gabby Boudreau effect (2007) were profound. Each brought obvious energy and positiveness to the Caps HC position where there had been a dreary “we’re already defeated” feeling to the team. And that’s no offense to HC’s Gary Green nor Glen Hanlon, each great hockey minds, but maybe coming up short in motivational skills. Caps players responded accordingly.

        The Carburetor Effect is even more pronounced. It will pay handsome dividends with players simply not impeded by an HC operation that they perceived as morose and uninspired

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