Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Washington Capitals -- Development Camp 2014: Day One

It was Day One of Development Camp 2014 for the Washington Capitals, the first of what one hopes will be many steps forward for a group of young men striving for a spot on a National Hockey League roster.  “Steps” would be the theme of the morning session of Day One.

After what might have been a lengthy hiatus for some from the rigors of skating since their respective seasons ended, the guys took to the ice for what looked like an advanced class in skating.  Two groups of ten split the morning session going through a series of skating drills that had the look of Coach Norman Dale’s first day of practice with his Hickory Huskers in the movie, “Hoosiers.”  No pucks, no nets, and sticks used only either as props or for the players to carry as they went through their drills.

It was a level of instruction that seemed a bit unusual, even for a development camp, but if you are going to be good at the basics, then drill in the basics, and nothing is more basic than skating (said the guy who hasn’t been on skates in twenty years).

That being the case, there wasn’t much by way of excitement, although there were some moments.  There was the occasional stumble, and what looked like some quizzical looks as drills were being laid out.   Did anyone stand out?  We're sure the coaches have an idea after consulting their tablets with which they were taking pictures and making notes.  Us?  Not so much.   

Meanwhile, as class was being held on the ice, there was head coach Barry Trotz holding forth with fans near the press area.  And there was Barry Trotz on the bench watching as class was being held on the ice.  And there was Barry Trotz at the other side of the ice manning the door for skaters coming to and from the locker room.  And there was Barry Trotz posing for pictures with a couple of young fans.  Barry Trotz might have put in as many miles as did the skaters on the ice.

As for the morning session, here are some pics…

30 minutes before D-Camp opens... it's quiet... very quiet...

 It's almost time...

 Nathan Walker is the first to step onto the ice for D-Camp 2014

 You, too, can "Learn to Skate" like an NHLer... well, they can. You probably can't.

  Advanced technology meets basic skating.

 And... GO!

Good job