Sunday, January 06, 2013

Talkn' About... Practice

The earliest training camp would start is Wednesday. But to get players in and the coaching staff primed, the likely start of camp would be Friday. But this won't be like training camps of the past. With only a week (or less) to prepare for a sprint of a 50 game season, Adam Oates will be in cut down mode from the get go.

What would a shortened camp look like? More like a practice during the regular season. A small contingent of players form the AHL will make an appearance, but most likely it will be the contract players the Caps signed and have under contract. Formal rosters will be submitted in the next day or so, but for now we can speculate who will be at Kettler in the next week.

In the way of goaltenders, the possibility of bringing up three for camp seems likely, but the coaching staff might stick to two. Braden Holtby and Micheal Neuvirth most likely will be the team's one and two netminders, although not necessarily in that order. If Oates decides to make it a competition for the top spot, the Caps could see some young goaltenders duke it out over this 50 game stretch. To round out camp, the Capitals could bring up Danny Sabourin. It is more likely that the organization wouldn't leave the Bears with out a goaltender, so we may only see Holtby and Neuvirth at camp.

Your standards at defense will return. Karl Alzner and John Carlson most likely will be the top two blue liners. Rounding out Dmitry Orlov, Mike Green, Roman Hamrlik, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz will all report to camp. Jack Hillen will be the new face on the back line. Patrick McNiell might get a call up for a look.

Washington's forwards will have some new faces with the acquisitions of Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro. (Rumor has it Ribeiro has been playing in the DC area for the last couple of months with some men's leagues) They will be in fused with the return of Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom returning from Russia where they played with Moscow Dynamo. Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Matt Hendricks, Brooks Laich, Mathieu Perreault, Joel Ward and Marcus Johansson will be the regulars for camp.

Joey Crabb, Mattias Sjogren, Filip Forsberg and Stanislav Galiev might make an appearance to see if they need to call up anymore talent from Hershey or beyond. For them to crack the line up, they most likely would have to fill in for an injury (Laich ended his brief stint overseas after sustaining a groin injury) or if someone's game went downhill.

In any event, and who ever does show for camp, the Capitals' coaching staff will have to quickly evaluate, cut and mold their team for a short season. Oates priorities will to be bring a flowing chemistry to the team in a short amount of time, make the power play work at a consistent level and shore up the defensive end of the ice for the Caps to make a run at the playoffs and beyond.


Anonymous said...

forsberg is under contract in sweeden and will not be attending

Garrett said...

You are correct, no idea how that snuck in.

Anonymous said...

any word on Galiev?