Caps: Boys Are Back In Town

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | Monday, September 14, 2009 | , , , | 0 comments »

Posted by Cheryl Nichols, Contributor and Photographer for Capitals News Network

The Caps held their first practice of training camp on Sunday, Sept. 13 in preparation for the 2009-10 NHL season. Fans won't be surprised to hear that Alex Ovechkin was the first player on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Sixty-eight players (40 forwards, 22 defensemen and six goaltenders) are listed on the Capitals’ training camp roster and 65 of those players took the ice today at Kettler.

The absentees were left wing Tomas Fleischmann, goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman Grant McNeill. Holtby tweaked a groin and was held out as a precautionary measure. McNeill had off-season knee surgery and is not ready to go as of yet.

According to Mike Vogel, Fleischmann is suffering from deep vein thrombosis, a condition that may have been inflicted on the long airline flight from D.C. to Fleischmann’s home in the Czech Republic at the conclusion of last season. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau expects Flesichmann to be able to return to practice sometime in October and perhaps to the lineup by the second or third week of next month. See Vogel's other training camp updates here. *UPDATED* Fleischmann talks about his blood clot.

The first practice brought many season ticket holders and other fans to Kettler to catch a first glance at the Caps and welcome them back to the ice. Some fans were impressed by Mike Knuble, one of the newest Caps, and his drives to the net.

One fan mentioned that both Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov looked strong and made some "awesome" saves. One of the younger players, John Carlson, took one to the lower lip in a battle for the puck.

·Newcombers Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison are ready to play.
·Mike Green has a good feeling about this year.
·Alexander Semin will be conversing more with the media thanks to translator Dmitry Chesnokov.
·Jose Theodore is facing biggest challenge of his life after the recent death of his two month old son.
·Michael Nylander wants to play in NHL.
·Check out the interviews with Coach Bruce and several players from training camp here.

If you missed the Annual Rookie game on Friday, Sept 11 against Flyers in Philadelpha, you can watch the game online. Flyers win 7-3. Caps outshoot Philly 32-27. Period 1, Period 2, Period 3.

Teams B & C scrimmage at 12:15 p.m. today, Sept. 14 at Kettler which is free and open to the public.