This was the first Caps Development Camp I attended and I have to say, it was very impressive. To be honest, I was a great hockey fan since he early 1990s. I consider myself an expert on hockey since 2006 when I attended my first hockey game (preseason nonetheless), but compare to my Caps friends, my hockey IQ is above the Mendoza line. However, I survived and my dignity intact…sort of. I only attended two days of camp, but if you want full coverage, go to On Frozen Blog, Capitals Kremlin, and The Capital Letter. Here are my observations from those two days:
- Crowds were packed during scrimmages, thus telling me the Capitals are the only team in town and getting a lot more buzz than Redskins Training Camp.
- John Carlson wasn’t spectacular, but from his body language and presence on the ice, he seems ready for the real deal. Can’t wait to see him in September.
- Honestly, I had no idea Dmitri Orlov was 17 years old, but plays like he’s a 27 year old veteran. Scouts say he’s an offensive defenseman, but Orlov can brought it. Definitely a Hershey player.
- I feel sorry for Anton Gustaffsson. Some are saying already that he’s a bust but in actuality, he gets injured. He does have the skills to be a borderline Hershey-Washington player, but his health is a concern. During the last scrimmage, Anton was standing by himself, watch, and ponder what could of been.
- Joe Finley surprise me with his versatility and deceptiveness. At the second scrimmage, I called him “Hal Gill 2.0” for being a tall defensemen who knows the ropes. After the last scrimmage, Finley might but the Capitals utlity player and he might come in handy.
- Mathieu Perreault and Michael Dubuc entertain the crowds with their goal scoring prowess.
- If you want to know why the White team dominated over the more skilled Blue team in Scrimmage: Brendan Holtby.
- Trevor Bruess exemplifies what the Caps need: grit, toughness with a pinch of annoyance.
- Bruce Boudreau is very excited that he can coach hockey in July…a little too excited.
- Term from Caps Development Camp I won’t forget: Euro Man Capris.
- Met most of the Caps Tweeters (all ladies), but missed on a couple. Hopefully, I will see them during Caps training camp and/or the Capitals Convention on September 26.
Here the pictures and footage from the 2009 Caps Development Camp: