I had the chance to get down to Kettler for a day of Capitals Training Camp. When I arrived, I saw large lights surrounding the ice. HBO was already there, filming the Capitals for their big special in December. It was a spirited practice with most of the big names in attendance, minus Nicklas Backstrom. Most interestingly, Marcus Johansson was playing between Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin while Tomas Fleischmann was centering Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble. Also not on the ice was tryout Matt Hendricks (right), who got called to the principal’s office. It looks like he took the practice off to have a sit-down with Capitals General Manager George McPhee and sign a contract. While it is a two-way contract, Hendricks has worked hard to earn himself at least a shot at playing with the Capitals at some point this season. He’s a classy guy with a big motor and lots of passion for the game- the organization is lucky to have him.
After today’s practice, maybe Flash should stay at wing after all- he beat John Carlson with a nice move along the wall during a drill to score a goal. Laich pointed out last week that the Caps won 14 straight games last January and February with Flash at center, but he neglected to mention that Flash had another streak during that time: 2 goals in 18 games between January 7 and February 10, not exactly sterling numbers. After the formal portion of the practice was over, Laich, Tyler Sloan, and Karl Alzner played a game of keep-away/trip-the-guy-with-the-puck for several minutes. It was entertaining to watch three grown men knocking each other over and goofing around like they were back on the pond. And with only 4 preseason games left, and the Capitals Convention on Saturday- they aren’t the only ones excited for hockey season to start again.