One good thing about the Labor Day weekend? No, not the kiddies heading back to class. No, not cooler temperatures or less humidity. It's one weekend closer to hockey. Duh.
While players trickle back in to town, the anticipation level is starting to reach a feverish pitch. And it's about time. Some questions need to be answered. Will Karl Alzner make the team? Will Jose Theodore lead the team to the promised land? Will Alex Ovechkin's love life be a distraction? Will there be a third jersey? You know the important stuff.
The defensive core will be the interesting battle for spots come training camp. Brian Potheir sounds as if he is out indefinitely and it sounds if Bruce Boudreau will rotate a 7 man defensive rotation. Talent is starting to load up and it will be an important camp for Sami Lepisto, Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan. The favorite with media types and bloggers alike will be Karl Alzner, but there is a fourth D-man invited to try out in Jakub Cutta. It should be a battle.
For forwards, while I would like to see Chris Bourque to once again be the dark horse there is obviously something that keeps him from making the team. Mostly the talent back up at his position. Graham Mink, Keith Aucoin and Quintin Laing are all going to be battling for spots and I have a feeling Laing's performance from last year won't be enough to keep him in a Capitals' sweater. Although he is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his block shot superpower.
The bar now for the Capitals is set even higher. Especially now that it looks as if the Southeast Division is tired of being in the lower half of the league. That makes this training camp important, if not very entertaining.