Today the Caps’ training camp kicked off from Kettler (which is one of the more absurd places I’ve been to. Two huge rinks and a big team store on the 9th story of a mall? Yes please). A couple notes from NHL.com (here, here, and here):
-Defenseman Tom Poti remains sidelined with a groin injury that kept him out most of last year. There was obviously concern for him because McPhee went out and signed Hamrlik. “I met with him yesterday and he’s certainly frustrated and we’re disappointed because he’s a good player,” GMGM said. Poti failed his medical upon arrival at the rink. If he goes to long-term injured reserve, that will free up almost $3 million of cap space for the Caps
-Roman Hamrlik didn’t finish the conditioning test because of “tightness in the groin”. He is fine and will be back tomorrow. He had been practicing with some of his former Hab teammates prior to Camp. No word yet if the injury came from a P.K. Subban spearing.
-Dennis Wideman and Mike Green are both 100%. That gives the Caps 3 quality puck-moving defenseman with those two and John Carlson.
-The big story coming out of Camp today was that the Caps were less loose in the dressing room and seemed a lot more committed to working hard this year. They were also subjected to 5 900-foot sprints, which should remind you of this. Yeah, that should be a pretty good indicator of who’s in shape and who’s not (I’m looking at you, Ovie). We’ll see if this supposed hard-worker attitude actually is present throughout the regular season and especially in the Playoffs. I’m not hopeful.
-Interesting if it means anything: Tarik El-bashir tweeted that the Caps’ top line was consisting of Ovechkin and Knuble centered by Marcus Johansson. Interesting that Backstrom wasn’t in there, at least on Day 1. Backstrom, Ovechkin and Knuble have had really good chemistry in the past, including this obscene goal against the Habs a couple years ago, which has some of the best passing you’ll see in the game today. Johansson really played well towards the end of last year and you could see he had the talent to be another star player for the Caps.