The Boys Are Back In Town
September 14, 2009 | Filed in: camp

If I’m going to spend my time sitting on a hard little bleacher bench and having my butt go numb, there had darned better be a hockey game going on in front of me. This Sunday didn’t disappoint.

For those of you living under a football rock, it’s camp weekend for the hockey boys, which means that the Capitals organization took over the rink complex for the better part of six hours today.

They have the guys split up into three different Duchesne Cup teams, as outlined here.
By the end of the day, we had lost Della Rovere (??) Holtby (groin) and Reid (vomiting of some sort), so these may be shuffled based on whos’ actually broken.

The speed and intensity of the groups seemed to rise as we worked through the day; while Ovie’s group A came out and loafed around, by the time we got to Chris Clark’s group C, there were guys bumping and shoving (Beagle and Green and Sloan) and knocking each other into goalies in attempt to score. (Yeo) I almost wish they were going to shuffle the groups up a little more, because I can’t help but think that some of that attitude could be adjusted in different surroundings (Semin, you loafer

Of note:
Eric Fehr did a whole practice in Group A wearing his happy-face yellow PLZ DON TOCH jersey. He was shooting and skating and on the whole looking pretty good, so as soon as he can get back to the bumping and smashing, he should be all set to go. (Here’s hoping he comes out of the gate blazing and doesn’t look back.)

Stupid nicknames generated today, (among others) were the Return of Tragedy Face (Bouchard) and Rat Boy (Perrault), Pinky and the Brain (Della Rovere and Hauswirth) Team Awesome (Della Rovere) Toolbag, Toolhat, Toolface, you get the idea (Mike Green)

Another good twenty minutes or so was also dedicated to heckling Varlamov from a section of… uhm…. larger women.

On a more hockey note, with Fleischmann’s deep vein thrombosis issue and Fehr’s shoulders, as well as the potential for other injuries throughout camp, the talk has already turned to who the last to be sent down/first to be “called up” will be.

Myself, I think as far as forwards just drawing on team history, they may well give Bourque the shot he’s been fighting for, but (and this may make me a homer,) I think Beagle’s been showing more and more reasons to stay up even just in the last two weeks since he’s gotten here. His work ethic’s second to none, he’s not afraid to play the puck chasing game so many of the big scorers don’t seem to want to involve themselves in, and the guy can grind in the corners like it’s nobody’s business. Just today, he was the only one following the puck into Neuvy and being ready to catch the rebound or poke at his glove hand while Steckel and Bourque were already setting themselves up to go the other way or end the drill. No hate towards Stecks, but c’mon, that kind of defeatist attitude doesn’t win games.

There was also talk of Osala being the dark horse to stay up among the forwards, which I could see as well. He stands to be a more scoring-focused player, which is never something to sneeze at, and if he could keep up the slightly grittier play he seemed to have discovered at the end of the year in the Cup run, he could be a force to be reckoned with.

Among the defenseman, I still firmly believe that we may see Alzner AND Carlson both with the Caps this year, especially if Schultz signed a two-way deal. Hate to throw you under the bus there, Schultzy, but you had to have seen it coming.

As far as the confirmed Bears, Amadio was having a great camp, throwing his weight around against Finley and keeping up in the footraces. Yeo took a nice followthrough header into Neuvy at one point, but didn’t seem to do much else that was greatly impressive. Aucoin seemed slightly off somehow, which I’m hoping is just a need to shake the cobwebs out of his head. I had hoped to be able to say something about Cash, but he was down on the other side of the rink all of his hour, so I didn’t see much of him other than being able to report he has very Pyatt-y eyes.

And for those of you who don’t believe something’s coming until you see it for yourself, go ahead and click through on Beags and Stecks here… there’s a whole photo album waiting for you!

Caps Camp 09, Day 1

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