Capitals open preseason against Sabres

Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

There will be a Washington Capitals hockey game today. Although it doesn’t count in the standings it’ll be good to see some of the guys back on the Capital One Arena ice.

It’s only the first game and it’s been three days since training camp officially opens. You won’t see Alex Ovechkin or T.J. Oshie on the ice. You also won’t see Darcy Kuemper… at least not yet.

But here are the players you will see as the team released their game roster yesterday:

Alexander Suzdalev
Connor McMichael
Nic Dowd
Hendrix Lapierre
Anthony Mantha
Garrett Pilon
Beck Malenstyn
Brett Leason
Aliaksei Protas
Haakon Hanelt
Conor Sheary
Ryan Hofer
Joe Snively

Nick Jensen
Gabriel Carlsson
Vincent Iorio
Martin Fehervary
Dru Krebs
Erik Gustafsson
Martin Has

Hunter Shepard
Zach Fucale

The players I’m looking forward to watching today are Nic Dowd and Hendrix Lapierre. There’s also plenty of other young players who are determined to make the opening night roster and put pressure on general manager Brian MacLellan. Guys like Brett Leason and Aliaksei Protas who contributed to the team with the injuries to Backstrom, Anthony Mantha, and Oshie last year.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said this to the media after yesterday’s practice:

"“They’re coming in here to try and earn something; that was the message to everybody. Try and earn an exhibition game. If you earn an exhibition game, then you have a chance to show what you can do. Try and earn more ice time than you had last year. Try and earn a job, in Washington, in Hershey, in South Carolina. Try and earn yourself a spot somewhere.”"

The Caps began training camp with 68 players on the roster but some players like Nicklas Backstrom, Carl Hagelin, Tom Wilson, and Alex Alexeyev are still recovering from their injuries and haven’t participated in the practices or scrimmages.

Today’s roster features a mix of veterans and youth. It will change each game as the preseason goes along as the Caps are determining who has what it takes to make the opening night roster.

Puck drop is at 2 p.m. and you can catch the game on TV at NBC Sports Washington, on your mobile device on the My Teams app, or on the radio from either Capitals Radio 24/7 or 106.7 The Fan.