The Washington Capitals have begun their annual Training Camp ahead of the upcoming season. The regular season starts on Friday Oct. 13 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. The preseason launches Sunday at 2 p.m. vs. the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena.
The training camp roster is right here in case you missed it. Just like in years past, players were split into three groups: Group A, Group B, and Group C.
Max Pacioretty (achilles) was not at camp today due to a doctor’s appointment. General manager Brian MacLellan said in his media availability that there is no timetable for Pacioretty’s return.
I guess I should note this since I’m doing player predictions, Pacioretty’s won’t be up until he’s ready for game action. Just need a good guesstimate.
The first training camp day usually means one thing: skate tests! And there were a lot of them. But this may surprise you but not us. Anthony Mantha dusted the competition by finishing at the front of the pack, per Sammi Silber of The Hockey News, when Group A was up. That’s a good start to the day if you ask me.
Early line combinations were tested. That included a forward line of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Mantha and a defensive pair of Sandin-Carlson. Another line was Malenstyn-Dowd-Protas.
A lot of players spoke to the media. So did brand new head coach Spencer Carbery and GM MacLellan. GMBM said that everything with Nicklas Backstrom that he’s seen from his training is positive. That’s good news that the GM thinks so after he said at the end of last season that Backstrom has a decision to make. Now the longtime center has begun to prove that he’s still got it.
MacLellan also acknowledged that Ovechkin was playing through some wear and tear at the end of the season. He also said this on Evgeny Kuznetsov, “we need him.” Looks like Kuzy is getting another shot.