It’s Day 1 at Capitals Development Camp. Players, bloggers, twitterers, uh…coacherers. It’s nice to have hockey in July. If you’re looking for deep insights or comprehensive breakdowns of the performances of the young charges, well… we ain’t got ‘em. Not today. We have pics and a few comments…
One of the interesting subplots in the morning session was the frequency with which Joe Finley (6’7”, 229) was matched against Mathieu Perreault (5’9”, 165) in one on one situations. One might have thought that Perreault would skitter and dart and turn Finley inside out. Such was not the case… at least not too often. We’d rate the morning a draw between these two.
Speaking of Perreault, he was the special object of Coach Bruce Boudreau’s affection on one occasion when Perreault spent a little too much time hanging onto the puck trying to do everything himself. Perreault ended up shooting the puck into goalie Braden Holtby’s pads. Boudreau took him aside and explained how he’d never beat him that way (with a good-natured expletive tossed in for appropriate adjectival emphasis).
For Day 1, at least, it seems a bit like a stripped down affair in one respect. The Caps brain trust now seems to know what they want and how they want it, and there was a lot of situational action with teaching moments from Coach Boudreau interspersed. For the moment, there seems to be a bit of hesitancy – of not wanting to stand out by making a mistake – among the boys, but Boudreau and newly minted assistant Bob Woods were giving encouragement to guys in groups and individually.
But Boudreau did appear to offer a warning of sorts (at least, if our hearing wasn’t too poor) with respect to being in shape and what awaits in September when the stakes get higher. Knowing what took place at last year’s rookie camp before the vets arrived, this was no idle warning. As if to give the guys a taste, he conjured up an oldie, but a goodie, to close the morning session – what players refer to as a “bag skate,” in this case, from the near boards to the far boards and back, far faceoff dot and back, hash marks and back, etc., with one cycle added to each shortened distance, until the guys did six repetitions of near hash marks and back.
We won’t be at the afternoon session, but we’ll try to pick up things tomorrow. For the time being, some snaps of the morning action (click for larger images)…