You want a visual of what's in store for us with only a few days of training camp to prepare for an NHL season? The Washington Capitals provided a glimpse on Tuesday.
The Capitals were playing host to the Reading Royals of the ECHL on Tuesday at their practice facility just outside DC. The only Caps players on the Royals side were in net as Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth played behind the Royals D.
In the game the Caps were playing with a line of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. They are all familiar with each other, particularly Ovechkin and Backstrom who have been linemates for some time in Washington and were linemates in the KHL this season as well. But for a moment, you'd think they didn't know each other at all after Ovechkin and Johansson came together for a monster collision in the neutral zone.
For the record, pretty much any collision that involved Ovechkin will be a monster collision. The guy is a freight train.
Neither player was seriously hurt on the play, but Ovechkin did have to leave the ice for a bit with an apparent cut on his chin.
"I don't think either one of us saw each other," Johansson said afterward. "But, it happens, but I'm glad we're both good, so no worries.
"It was a pretty big hit. He's a pretty big guy."
Part of the problem for Ovechkin might be the fact that he's playing at a new position. Since camp opened he has been spending time on the right wing instead of his customary left side, and right now he admits that he's a little lost on the opposite side. The expectation was that the defensive responsibilities would be a little easier in new coach Adam Oates' system if Ovi were on the right wing.
For the record the Capitals won the game 8-0, so even with some rust they had no problems with a team two steps below the NHL level.
With only a few days of camp to prepare for the season, we might be seeing a lot more moments like this one, and in games that actually matter.
S/t to CSN Washington for the video