Today, was the first day of Rookie Camp, and since school was off for Labor Day, Meghan and I were able to attend. Unfortunately, my day did not begin as smoothly as I would have liked. I set my alarm for 7:30, woke up at 8, and hurried to get ready 8:45, when Meghan was picking me up. While I was ready on time, I had to revert to eating Jell-O, instead of a bagel from Wegmans (if you’ve ever had a Wegmans bagel, then you understand how tragic this is), which ends up being rather important since I waited in a line at Kettler for twenty minutes just so an incompetent worker could give me a muffin.
After getting lost and ending up at the Pentagon (much like my birthday trip to Kettler), we arrived, got in an argument about where we needed to park (the sign said level eight, but it was blocked off, just like at Development Camp), and finally were on our way. Meghan and I took the elevator up to eight, manuevered through the Arlington rink and into the Capitals rink, where we managed to snag the same exact seats we had had at Development Camp. By this time, it was a few minutes to ten.
Meghan’s dad joined us a little while later, only to leave to wander around Kettler, and I did some statistics homework for ten or so minutes before I got to bored to bear it. We saw the rookies head to the locker room before eventually changing into their gear and hitting the ice by 10:10 or so. They warmed up, and by 10:30, the drills had started. I’m not going to go through all the drills, ’cause that would be rather boring…
During rookie camp, Meghan and I oogled the rookies, took pictures, and generally talked hockey. Finley was injured fairly early on, and (much to Meghan’s delight), did not hit the ice after the first break to clean the ice. Della Rovere was injured, and did not hit the ice today. This provided Meghan and I with tons of entertainment while we watched him do the most random stretches (or whatever he was doing), when he thought no one was looking. Neuvirth also was absent, but he will make an appearence tomorrow. He and Varly will be trading off with Holtby participating in all the camp days. Also, Eakin seems to smile… a lot… all the time…. while he plays. He was grinning while they were doing suicides! That doesn’t seem normal to me.
While the rookies were on the ice, Meghan and I also spotted a lot of our veteran Capitals arriving at the rink. First came Greener, then Clark, Bradley, Pothier, and Erskine. Meghan also spotted Brooksy. Near the end of the camp, we spotted Mo and Steckel creeping on the rookies through a doorway XD
Rookie Camp was over by 12:30; the ice was cleaned, and then it was time for the Capitals to start. It was a very informal practice, meaning no coaches or anything. They warmed up, did some drills, and ended the practice with a mini-scrimmage. What Meghan and I both noticed was Clark’s lack-of captain…ness? He didn’t really do much; Steckel called the shots. And he was quite a bossy boots. The veterans in attendence were Green, Laich, Bradley, Steckel, Pothier, Erskine, Clark, Schultz, Sloan, Gordon, Knuble, Morrison, and Morrisonn. I may be missing someone… I’m not sure. Neuvirth was in goal, as well Brett Leonhardt.
All in all, it was a rather good day. Meghan and I got close enough to Brooksy and Mo, but didn’t feel like bothering them. Same for Varly, Kugryshev, Flemming, Eakin, Carlson, Holtby, etc. I was exhausted and did not feel well, and bothering a bunch of rookies (harassing, as my mom put it when she asked how it was – “how many hockey players did you and Meghan harass?”) was the last thing on my list. BUT, the day did not go unexcitingly (the camp and practice itself were enough to put a smile on my face for at least a week). On our way back to the car, Meghan and I got in the same elevator as Eakin, Carlson, Holtby, and some rookie we didn’t recognize. They were your typical young guys; loud and hyper. Apparently, they were “starving”, and Eakin needs to “fatten up”… Their words, not mine.
To end this ridiculously long post, here are some pictures:
Informal Capitals Practice:
Mhm, I apologize for the lack-of quality of photos, but our veterans are not fat and slow, so I find it extremely difficult to take pictures of them. To see some real snazzy photos, go to On Frozen Blog (hah, you can see Meghan and I in the background of some!). Interviews with Boudreau and Goose on Day One can be found here. The official recap of the day is found on the Capitals official site. If you’re interested in the roster or schedule for Rookie and Training Camp, it can be found here.
Unfortunately, Meghan and I are not able to attend the rest of rookie camp because of school, nor can we attend training camp because of school and Meghan’s cousin’s wedding, which will cause her to be in Ohio on Sunday, the 13th. Since my parents hate hockey, she’s my only way there… But today was fun, and makes up for a lot.
Eighteen days until the Capitals Convention!
Postscript: Crap, this is longgggg.