Caps "Fan Fest" Day at Training Camp
A good crowd cheered the Caps at Kettler for the opening day of training camp. I caught the drills and scrimmage on the Caps rink. Here's what I liked:
- Michael Nylander skated impressively and looked like he was in great shape. He played with passion out there on Friday and I'm thrilled to have him back in Washington.
- Ovie skated with Viktor Kozlov here and there and they looked comfortable together, probably because they trained together this summer. At 6'5, Kozlov towers over everyone so he's easy to see on the ice. Kozlov took a puck in the face Friday, but was back on the ice during practice on Saturday so he's okay.
- On the blueliner side, Tom Poti played with Milan Jurcina during the scrimmage. I thought they played well together but I still expect to see Mo & Jurcina matched up during the regular season (then again, who knows....).
- I enjoyed seeing the hockey trophys with the names of Capitals on them...the Calder, Vezina, Lady Bing and Norris trophies were in town.
- The enthusiasm from Chris Clark & Ted Leonsis for the upcoming season during their town hall session. Ted's declared more than once publicly the "rebuild is over" and with the new players I also have high hopes for the season. During that session, Ted also assured the crowd that Ovie isn't going anywhere and his contract extension will get done.
One final note from Friday. Believe it or not, the Caps had a Penguins fan at Kettler. The guy sitting next to me took a day of vacation from work to see training camp hockey and he doesn't even root for the Caps! That's hockey devotion. He asked me if I thought Glen Hanlon was the right coach to make the Caps contenders. I think Hanlon still has a lot to prove in the NHL but he also hasn't had the talent to work with. He has the tools he needs this year so let's see what he does with them. I enjoyed talking hockey even with a Penguins fan...maybe he'll become a Caps fan this year.
It's almost Oct 5th. Let's go Caps!