I got over to the Capitals’ practice on Monday. All of the Caps were on the ice, including all of the injured players, though a few left early. Matt Bradley, Mike Green, and John Carlson left early, but Tom Poti stayed out for the whole practice.
Before practice, Brooks Laich and Karl Alzner were playing keep-away.
The lines were:
After the first run-through of drills, Boudreau called the boys over and gave them what for, including some language not generally acceptable on a family-friendly blog like this. Boudreau was not happy with the effort level, riding the team for not trying hard enough, not treating it like a game situation. The effort level certainly picked up after that. Matt Hendricks skated so hard he accidentally ran over Semyon Varlamov in the goal.
Near the conclusion of practice, Bob Woods was with about 10 Caps who were practicing shooting into the top corners of the net. When it came to Woods’ turn, he promptly whiffed on the puck, pushing it softly about 4 feet, causing all the players to double over in laughter.
At about 11:30, when all the other players were off the ice, Hendricks and Caps’ goalie coach Arturs Irbe stayed out another 25 minutes to work with Varly. After many shots and moves in the crease and a few conversations, Varly left the ice. Hendricks stayed out another 5 minutes anyway, practicing skating around the goal and handling the puck. It looks like he’s savoring every minute of his NHL experience, a reminder to us all that the opportunity to play in the NHL is earned, not given away.