Day two at Capitals Training Camp 2010 featured a scrimmage between Groups B and C. But before the “feature” item on the schedule, there was a Group A practice, and it seemed to be a much crisper, more energetic affair than was the case for the Group A squad on Saturday.
First off, Alex Ovechkin started off the session as if exploded from a cannon. He was all over the ice in the morning session, shooting every puck he found at his feet and in a much more jovial mood than he seemed to be on Saturday. Although he seemed to be a bit weary by the end of the session, it appeared to be more of a case of an unbridled expenditure of energy over the 75 or so minutes of the session.
It was not Semyon Varlamov’s day. He not only had more on-ice time than did the skaters (he and Philip Grubauer were out early to take shots from the coaches), but he took a shot off the side of his mask from Ovechkin that dazed him. Then, after the cobwebs seemed to be just about cleared up, he was run over in his crease by Nikita Kashirsky.
It’s early, but it seems as if the plan that is emerging is to have John Carlson and Karl Alzner skate as a defensive pair. They certainly seem to have a rapport with one another.
It was a session that was more devoted to defensive matters than was the opening session. One-on-one, two-on-two, and limited scrimmaging was focused on denying shooters opportunities. Dylan Yeo drew the unfortunate duty of taking on Ovechkin in most of the one-on-one situations.
The next smile we see on Nicklas Backstrom’s face will be his first of this training camp. He seemed a bit frustrated with his performance this morning, banging a puck off the boards after flubbing an opportunity and generally sporting a scowl for much of the session.
Brett Flemming had something of a highlight moment when he planted Ovechkin in the ice as Ovechkin was heading to the net in a two-on-two drill.
Zach Miskovic was on the ice skating for a couple of repetitions during the Group A session before heading off the ice.
In the end-of-session bag skate John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin were in the same group. They were eyeing one another a few times to see who was ahead. More often than not, it was Carlson, who seems to be a machine in these things.
After the formal session was over assistant coach Dean Evason was schooling Marcus Johansson, Nikita Kashirsky, and Stanislav Galiev on faceoffs.
From the “Who Are You Calling ‘Old?’” file, there was Mike Knuble out on the ice after the formal session ended, shooting pucks around with John Carlson, D.J. King and a few others while the youngsters on his line – Ovechkin and Backstrom – headed off to the locker room. Age is just a number, folks.