Alex Ovechkin talks with members of the media during media day at the team's training facility in Arlington, Va., Friday, Sept. 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
BY Corey Masisak, TWT, Sept. 20 2008 10:08 AM "And so it begins":
Group 'A' is on the ice right now. Over the course of today, I'll try to get all three groups up here so people will know who is scrimmaging who the next couple of days.
Oh yeah, Nicklas Backstrom is on the ice, but in his own color jersey. And don't read much into these lines.
Update (11:17 AM):
Group 'B' is just getting started on the other sheet of ice while Group 'A' is finishing up here on the main stage. Here is a look at who is in Group 'B'.
Update (12:50 PM):
Group 'C' is just getting started and the second group just came off the ice. Here's the final group:
Update (2:35 PM):
Bruce Boudreau has added a new wrinkle to the intrasquad scrimmages during camp this season. Starting tomorrow, the three groups will compete for the Gaetan Duchesne Cup. Each groups plays the other, and the team that goes 2-0 wins the Cup. If all three go 1-1, then goal differential is the tiebreaker. Boudreau wanted to add extra meaning to the scrimamges, and also to honor Duchesne, an eighth-round pick who made the Caps squad despite the long odds and became a popular member of the franchise (something the longshots in this camp can aspire to).
Team 'B' (coached by Boudreau and Bob Woods) faces Team 'C' (coached by Jay Leach and Mark French) tomorrow. Team 'A' will be coached by Dean Evanson and Blaine Forsythe.
By Mike Vogel, Today, 01:20 PM:
The first practice of the camp was not an easy one. After a brief warm-up, the players participated in drills and then were skated hard for several minutes. Each group was on the ice for about 90 minutes in total.
“The biggest difference as a player coming from playing shinny is you’re on your own time,” notes Boudreau. “If you’re tired, you don’t push it. If you want to get off, you get off.
“Now, we’re going to be pushing. Coaches are going to be pushing them on the ice and to keep that pace going all the time, and that’s what gets you in shape. That’s what we’ll be doing, we’ll be pushing it. It will be different because they haven’t been pushed like they’re going to be pushed.”
Because of the team’s success last season and the large number of returning players, there are fewer jobs available at camp this fall than in the last three seasons. But that doesn’t mean that young players have no hope of cracking the roster. It does mean that they’ll have to really impress if they hope to claim a regular role.
Bruce Boudreau interview to media after the first day of training camp.