I attended the last day of Caps Development Camp just to see the scrimmage, get a couple of stuff, and meet other Caps Tweeters. If you’re looking for a comprehensive report of Caps Development for the week… I’m not that guy. If you want to, go to these Caps sites:
- On Frozen Blog
- Russian Machine Never Breaks
- Japers’ Rink
- Washington Examiner – Caps
- Caps Snaps
- Corey Masisak
- Capitals Insider
As for the game I saw, the guys did look pretty tired after a long week and it showed, but this unit had more bite and intensity in this game. Here are a few observations:
- Dmitri Orlov is simply the next Andrei Markov if he can improve on the defensive side. If he does that, he will be a perfect complement to Mike Green, if they’re ever teammates.
- Joe Finley seems like a late bloomer to me. He has the skills and tenacity and is literally Hal Gill 2.0. However, he hasn’t translated to the rink yet. He’s tall, physical, and can fight, but he needs to bring it altogether if he can make it to the Hershey roster.
- The Finley-Pisano fight was terrible, but the Della Rovere-Bruess was an epic fight and both will be in the NHL and I think the Caps needs those characters now, but they’re not ready yet.
- Almost 3000 came to see the scrimmage and the last day of Caps Development camp. Check that, 2500 people saw the scrimmage, while 500 people were waiting for Brooks Laich autograph and blow…tires.
- After the shootout ended, the refs were still in World Cup mode. Look at the video below.
- While the depth at Center for the current Caps roster has not been solved, the depth here at Caps Development Camp with Buress, Cody Eakin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Marcus Johansson has a lot of potential. All this talk about Johansson is going to be a second line center should need to settle down. He is going to be great for the Caps, but this is his first time on North American ice and coaches should be patient. If I were Boudreau, he should start in the 3rd Line at best and work his way up. You never know when he’ll hit the rookie wall. Cody Eakin showed that he can physical, which is a good thing, and Kuznetsov has tons of skill, but needs to mature and don’t choke under pressure.
This leads me to the overall viewpoint of the Caps offseason. The future is bright as for the Caps as they have immense talent in Hershey and South Carolina. However, do they players ready for the NHL now? No. Will some move up the NHL in a couple of years? Yes. Do I expect the Caps to resign all their UFAs next year? No. I repeatedly said this, but it’s a critical year for the Caps next season. They must advance far in the playoffs and stop going to Game 7s and stop getting eliminated early. I expect one last hurrah for the current Caps team and hopefully a trade is in the works so they can get to the Stanley Cup Finals with this team before they have to make a decision. From today, this group of players has a bright future and will be with the Caps for a long time (5 years in salary cap terms).
*Before you see the pictures and videos below, just want go off the board and tell you that the Hockey Foundation needs your help. They need to raise $15,000 to send equipment and people to Ladakh. If they reach their goal, one lucky person who donated $50 or more can be entered to win a trip to the Ladakh to assist handing out equipment to kids and play hockey over there. For more details, go here: http://www.hockeyfoundation.org/active-contests/
Pics outside the scrimmage:
The game in its entirety: