Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Taking In A Practice

There are a few new faces at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington VA. It was time for a day trip to check out the new arrivals of Staffan Kronwall and Michal Neuvirth.

Kronwall is pretty big. When he lines up with Shaone Morrisonn or Milan Jurcina, the pair make quite the wall. At 6'3" and 209 lbs. (his stats according to NHL.com), Kronwall also has pretty good hands and is known more for his puck moving ability than anything else. His speed is where it nees to be, he looks pretty healthy and ready at a new chance in Washington, DC.

Bruce Boudreau worked on the power play a bit today and Kronwall found himself on the second power play unit. It might just to get him into how the system works, but players Karl Alzner, Milan Jurcina and John Erskine didn't see time during the power play practice.

Michal Neuvirth looked pretty comfortable at practice. Besides coming up with a few good saves, he seemed to be engaging himself with the other players. Even Alex Ovechkin stopped to talk to the twenty year old. I still don't think he is as advanced as Simen Varlamov but he looked okay today at practice.

A couple of Caps were missing from practice. Alex Semin stuck around long enough to go through a drill or two before retiring to the locker room. Viktor Kozlov was a no show as he is still nursing a groin pull. Obviously Chris Clark and Brent Johnson were not on the ice because of their surgeries.

Some one who surprised me was Brian Pothier who was on the ice participating fully. Even at full speed and contact, he looked pretty good. He really wasn't showing any signs of slowing down or playing at a lower gear. He did some drills as a defenseman than jumped up to wing when Semin left.

The team mostly worked on the power play. On one particular play they were setting up, Boudreau yelled to his team, "I want three goals tomorrow on this play!" They are trying to speed up the passing and getting the forwards to move more quickly to open passing lanes. At times the play seemed to generate a golden opportunity right away, other times it took a while for them to get it right.

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