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Via DaveArt.com, check out Philipp Grubauer’s new goalie mask. #Grubi #Caps

Via DaveArt.com, check out Philipp Grubauer’s new goalie mask. #Grubi #Caps

Laylor Performance Systems holds its 3rd Annual Off-Season Kick-off in Toronto featuring P.K. Subban and Joel Ward.

Welcome to the ice - your Washington Capitals! #CapsDevCamp #CapsFanFest

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Chef Robert Wood

Chef Robert wood provides food for the Washington Capitals and has provided lunch and dinner for #CapsDevCamp all week. His goal this week was to teach the prospects some new things about nutrition.

What’s been your approach to teaching the guys about nutrition this week?
We’re just trying to expose them to some things they’ve probably never seen before. Like Thursday, with the amaranth and the farro: amaranth is very nutrient dense and very good for them, especially when they are doing intensive training. It has ten times the amount of protein that wheat does. I try to expose them to different things that they might not get on a regular basis.

What are the most important nutrition rules for hockey players to know?
Variety is the most important thing. Not getting stuck on eating the same thing over and over again. Have multiple colors in your vegetables and multiple different kinds of fruit in your smoothies… different types of grains offer different antioxidants and different minerals so trying to have a variety in their diet. Which is difficult for a lot of these guys because they train so hard. They don’t have a chef at home, so trying to incorporate as much variety into their diet as they possibly can would be the most important thing from a training standpoint.

What are some recommended snacks?
Nuts are always great snacks. It’s a complete protein for a snack. The fatty acids and everything involved, and they’re easy, nothing complicated. Raw nuts are even better. They don’t taste as good as roasted and salted but they’re much healthier for you.

When you’re preparing a menu for a meal, what is your approach?
I start with proteins. So, I’ll have one leaner protein and one richer protein. Thursday, the beef was the richer protein and the boneless skinless chicken thighs were leaner.
Thursday was kind of a Latin-American theme, or kind of an, Island of the Caribbean theme.  So, Ropa Vieja is from Cuba. It’s Cuban pot roast. And Adobo rubbed chicken thighs, Adobo is a Puerto Rican spice blend. So I made some fun flavors there and then I made some ancient grains that they are not used to but I thought I could get them to eat it especially with some fun other flavors to override the strangeness of amaranth and faro.

What are your favorite grains?
Wild rice is one that’s fallen out of popularity, but it’s very very nutrient dense. It delivers way more protein than some of the other ones, like white rice. Wild rice is not even a rice, it’s a seed of a Native American grass. Quinoa is very popular right now, so that’s an easy one to start with and then I use that one as a bridge. All the guys know quinoa at this point and then I can use that as a jumping off point.

What about veggies?
Vegetables are always seasonal for me. Right now these guys are eating a lot of squash. Last night they were all looking at the yellow wax beans kind of like, “what are these chef?” I was like, “they’re green beans, they’re just yellow.” So lot’s of beans. Vegetables are always seasonal to me.

Eco Caters specify in Organic Local food, does that play into your philosophy as a chef?
Yes. I think one of the biggest reasons for us to do it is because of the quality of the ingredients, but also because of the effect on the environment. I don’t like any extra chemicals or things put into my food. Not only just from a flavor profile stand point or an ethical stand point but also because it effects health. The more chemicals and additives that we put into our bodies, the more damage we’re doing from a systemic standpoint.

— Deborah Francisco

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Nathan Walker
Nathan Walker became the first Australian NHL draft pick when the Capitals selected him 89th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound center spent the 2013-14 hockey season playing with the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Walker collected 11 points (5g, 6a) in 43 games with the Bears. This is his third development with the Caps. What has been your overall impression of development camp?It’s been really good. It was awesome how they brought in those skating coaches. It was really good to learn about the break down of skating and find out different techniques for what you need to do on cross overs and stuff like that. I’ve enjoyed this camp, it’s been really good.I heard that you speak five languages, is that true?(laughs) That’s not true. I speak two.What languages do you speak?I speak Czech and English.Did you learn to speak Czech when you were playing over there?Yeah.Has it been nice to be able to communicate with some of the other Czech players this week?It’s been good. It’s nice to have someone to speak Czech to because back home in Australia there’s not that many people who speak Czech. It’s good that I can keep that language and keep using it.When you first started playing in the Czech Republic, did you just have to learn the language when you got there?Yeah, I went to school the first year I got there but every time I had Czech lessons I had hockey practice. The only reason I wanted to go to school pretty much was to learn Czech and that couldn’t happen because I had practice everyday that we had Czech classes so I got a tutor for a couple times a week for a month which helped out a lot. Other than that, it was just in the locker room and watching TV.What is the coolest thing about being from Australia?It’s just different I guess. There’s not many Australian hockey players, so I guess it’s that.What’s the worst part about being from Australia?That we don’t have as much hockey as you have here.What was your highlight of last year in Hershey?I couldn’t pick one. There were some really good times. It was great playing with all the older guys and they taught me a lot. My first pro year was really good to pick their brains for all of their knowledge and experience about the game.Can you tell us a couple of the “must know” slang words in Australia?We say, “G’Day,” which is, “good day.” You just have to break it down.Instead of saying my last name, we don’t say “Walk-er” we say, “Walk-uh” so the “er” is like an ‘uh”. We don’t say shrimp. Everyone thinks we say, “shrimp on the barbie,” but we don’t use shrimp too often, we say “prawns.” Kangaroo we call “Kanga.” And we say “mate” a lot.— Deborah Francisco

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Nathan Walker

Nathan Walker became the first Australian NHL draft pick when the Capitals selected him 89th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound center spent the 2013-14 hockey season playing with the Capitals AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Walker collected 11 points (5g, 6a) in 43 games with the Bears. This is his third development with the Caps.

What has been your overall impression of development camp?
It’s been really good. It was awesome how they brought in those skating coaches. It was really good to learn about the break down of skating and find out different techniques for what you need to do on cross overs and stuff like that. I’ve enjoyed this camp, it’s been really good.

I heard that you speak five languages, is that true?
(laughs) That’s not true. I speak two.

What languages do you speak?
I speak Czech and English.

Did you learn to speak Czech when you were playing over there?
Yeah.

Has it been nice to be able to communicate with some of the other Czech players this week?
It’s been good. It’s nice to have someone to speak Czech to because back home in Australia there’s not that many people who speak Czech. It’s good that I can keep that language and keep using it.

When you first started playing in the Czech Republic, did you just have to learn the language when you got there?
Yeah, I went to school the first year I got there but every time I had Czech lessons I had hockey practice. The only reason I wanted to go to school pretty much was to learn Czech and that couldn’t happen because I had practice everyday that we had Czech classes so I got a tutor for a couple times a week for a month which helped out a lot. Other than that, it was just in the locker room and watching TV.

What is the coolest thing about being from Australia?
It’s just different I guess. There’s not many Australian hockey players, so I guess it’s that.

What’s the worst part about being from Australia?
That we don’t have as much hockey as you have here.

What was your highlight of last year in Hershey?
I couldn’t pick one. There were some really good times. It was great playing with all the older guys and they taught me a lot. My first pro year was really good to pick their brains for all of their knowledge and experience about the game.

Can you tell us a couple of the “must know” slang words in Australia?
We say, “G’Day,” which is, “good day.” You just have to break it down.
Instead of saying my last name, we don’t say “Walk-er” we say, “Walk-uh” so the “er” is like an ‘uh”.
We don’t say shrimp. Everyone thinks we say, “shrimp on the barbie,” but we don’t use shrimp too often, we say “prawns.” Kangaroo we call “Kanga.” And we say “mate” a lot.

— Deborah Francisco

#CapsDraft pick Jakub Vrana’s sick shootout goal from today’s #CapsDevCamp scrimmage. Next scrimmage tomorrow, Friday at 10:30 a.m. #CapsFanFest scrimmage on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. streamed live on @monumentalntwrk.

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Pheonix Copley
Pheonix Copley signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on March 19, 2014. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound goaltender appeared in 30 games for the Michigan Tech Huskies in 2013-14. The 22-year-old  posted a 10-13-6 record with one shutout, a .911 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average in that span.Since you’re from North Pole, Alaska, what is Christmas like in North Pole?It’s obviously fun there and special. It’s a big tourist thing. They have candy cane light poles and stuff like that.Did you ever get involved in any of that stuff?I was always away during Christmas. With hockey we always had tournaments during Christmas and once I left to play down in the States I wasn’t there for it. But it’s fun, I guess they have a little Santa Clause house for the kids to go to, so it’s a fun time there.What did the hockey scene in Alaska look like while you were growing up, and at what point did you realize you needed to leave to get serious about hockey?It’s tough for scouts to make it up there. There are a couple of Division 1 colleges up there but for the other schools it’s tough to get up and watch kids. Growing up, I played there until I was 17. We did go down to tournaments which helped for the kids there to get out and get seen, but for the most part it’s good to get away and explore down in the States because that’s where it’s easy for scouts to go and watch. That’s the most beneficial and that’s why I decided to go.If you’re from North Pole, was there a team there you played on or was there a more regional team?Fairbanks is about 15 miles from North Pole and Fairbanks is a decent sized city, so that’s where our team was based out of and we travelled to Anchorage and places like that to get our games in.Have you always played goalie?I started forward and I have an older brother and we played mini sticks in the house and he needed somebody to shoot on so eventually I was the one he started shooting on, and I enjoyed it and thought it was fun. So, the next year, when we signed up for hockey I decided to go for goalie. I enjoyed it a lot and was having fun so I stuck with it.Does your brother still play hockey?No, (Navarone) played juniors and a little bit of college Division III.Is there significance to your names?I don’t know where my parents got his name from, but after they had his name  they decided they couldn’t have another regular name, they couldn’t have a Navarone and a Bob, or something, so they had to come up with another creative one.What is the best thing and what is the worst thing about living in Alaska?The best thing is probably the summers up there. There’s a lot of outdoors stuff to do like fishing, and camping and all sorts of stuff like that. If you like that stuff. For me, that’s what I really enjoy. It’s a nice time to get away and relax.The worst part is probably the winters up there, if you live there full year round the winters are pretty rough. They are dark and cold, so that’s probably the worst part about Alaska.Did you play a lot of outdoor hockey up there?Yeah, when I was up there in the winters we had a rink in our backyard and the lakes are frozen so we would go out on the lakes a couple of times and there are outdoor rinks at schools and stuff. Outdoor hockey is pretty big up there.How excited are you to playing in Hershey?I’m excited. Wherever they put me, I’ll work hard. It’s exciting to be a part of this organization. It has a good reputation and a lot of good people and a lot of good coaches so I’m really excited for it.For development camp this week, what has been the highlight for you?It’s been a really big highlight to work with the goalie coaches. It’s always good to get an opportunity to work with goalie coaches like that. Being on the ice with them, and getting one-on-one time with them, and figuring out what to work on, and figuring out what are the strengths and weaknesses has been a lot of fun. It’s been great for me. I’ve really enjoyed that and it will be the biggest thing I’ll take away.Is there something specific about their approach this week that has stood out to you?It seems like their approach is to make sure you come away a better player than when you came in and try and get better every day at forming good habits. I think that’s been really beneficial to me and to a lot of other players too.What song is at the top of your playlist right now?It would probably be a country song… I don’t know… I wouldn’t say I have a favorite band. I listen to country music, I don’t even know what artist, I just go to Country Top Hits and download the top hit or so. Country music is my favorite.— Deborah Francisco (@NHLgirl)

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Pheonix Copley

Pheonix Copley signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on March 19, 2014. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound goaltender appeared in 30 games for the Michigan Tech Huskies in 2013-14. The 22-year-old  posted a 10-13-6 record with one shutout, a .911 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average in that span.

Since you’re from North Pole, Alaska, what is Christmas like in North Pole?
It’s obviously fun there and special. It’s a big tourist thing. They have candy cane light poles and stuff like that.

Did you ever get involved in any of that stuff?
I was always away during Christmas. With hockey we always had tournaments during Christmas and once I left to play down in the States I wasn’t there for it. But it’s fun, I guess they have a little Santa Clause house for the kids to go to, so it’s a fun time there.

What did the hockey scene in Alaska look like while you were growing up, and at what point did you realize you needed to leave to get serious about hockey?
It’s tough for scouts to make it up there. There are a couple of Division 1 colleges up there but for the other schools it’s tough to get up and watch kids. Growing up, I played there until I was 17. We did go down to tournaments which helped for the kids there to get out and get seen, but for the most part it’s good to get away and explore down in the States because that’s where it’s easy for scouts to go and watch. That’s the most beneficial and that’s why I decided to go.

If you’re from North Pole, was there a team there you played on or was there a more regional team?
Fairbanks is about 15 miles from North Pole and Fairbanks is a decent sized city, so that’s where our team was based out of and we travelled to Anchorage and places like that to get our games in.

Have you always played goalie?
I started forward and I have an older brother and we played mini sticks in the house and he needed somebody to shoot on so eventually I was the one he started shooting on, and I enjoyed it and thought it was fun. So, the next year, when we signed up for hockey I decided to go for goalie. I enjoyed it a lot and was having fun so I stuck with it.

Does your brother still play hockey?
No, (Navarone) played juniors and a little bit of college Division III.

Is there significance to your names?
I don’t know where my parents got his name from, but after they had his name  they decided they couldn’t have another regular name, they couldn’t have a Navarone and a Bob, or something, so they had to come up with another creative one.

What is the best thing and what is the worst thing about living in Alaska?
The best thing is probably the summers up there. There’s a lot of outdoors stuff to do like fishing, and camping and all sorts of stuff like that. If you like that stuff. For me, that’s what I really enjoy. It’s a nice time to get away and relax.
The worst part is probably the winters up there, if you live there full year round the winters are pretty rough. They are dark and cold, so that’s probably the worst part about Alaska.

Did you play a lot of outdoor hockey up there?
Yeah, when I was up there in the winters we had a rink in our backyard and the lakes are frozen so we would go out on the lakes a couple of times and there are outdoor rinks at schools and stuff. Outdoor hockey is pretty big up there.

How excited are you to playing in Hershey?
I’m excited. Wherever they put me, I’ll work hard. It’s exciting to be a part of this organization. It has a good reputation and a lot of good people and a lot of good coaches so I’m really excited for it.

For development camp this week, what has been the highlight for you?
It’s been a really big highlight to work with the goalie coaches. It’s always good to get an opportunity to work with goalie coaches like that. Being on the ice with them, and getting one-on-one time with them, and figuring out what to work on, and figuring out what are the strengths and weaknesses has been a lot of fun. It’s been great for me. I’ve really enjoyed that and it will be the biggest thing I’ll take away.

Is there something specific about their approach this week that has stood out to you?
It seems like their approach is to make sure you come away a better player than when you came in and try and get better every day at forming good habits. I think that’s been really beneficial to me and to a lot of other players too.

What song is at the top of your playlist right now?
It would probably be a country song… I don’t know… I wouldn’t say I have a favorite band. I listen to country music, I don’t even know what artist, I just go to Country Top Hits and download the top hit or so. Country music is my favorite.

— Deborah Francisco (@NHLgirl)

Jul 9
#CapsDevCamp Profile: Riley Barber
Drafted by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Riley Barber is a 5’11”, 194-pound right wing who finished his sophomore season ranked second in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) in points, tied for fourth in goals and fifth in the conference in assists. Barber earned a career-high 44 points (19g, 25a) in 38 games with Miami University during the 2013-14 season and was selected to represent the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. The Pittsburgh native served as the team’s captain at the tournament and earned six points (4g, 2a) in five games, leading the United States in goals.
How did you get involved with hockey?I first got involved with hockey because my dad played and my mom was a figure skating coach, so I kind of grew up around it. I got involved because I loved the sport so much and still to this day just love playing. I would always stay out there with my mom when she was teaching.Your dad played in the NHL. What is the best advice he has given you?Nothing is ever given to you. You have to work for everything. He also instilled a hard work ethic in me, teaching me that getting to the NHL is one of the hardest things to do and that staying there is even harder.
What was your experience like serving as captain of the U.S. at the World Junior Championships? It was an unbelievable experience to be looked at by your teammates as a captain, and to be voted as a leader is something special. A lot of those guys I have known now for a couple years, and I’m really good friends with them. We stay in touch and to be able to represent your country and your friends is really special.
Who is your hockey idol?My dad.
What was it like being selected by the Caps in the 2012 draft?It was awesome. It’s a great organization with a lot of talent, especially in D.C. It’s a great city. I was just really excited just to be picked and to represent an organization like the Caps.
What is your favorite off-ice activity?Probably golfing or hanging out with friends.What are you most looking forward to during your junior year at Miami?Winning the National Championship.
—   Paige Brody

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Riley Barber

Drafted by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Riley Barber is a 5’11”, 194-pound right wing who finished his sophomore season ranked second in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) in points, tied for fourth in goals and fifth in the conference in assists. Barber earned a career-high 44 points (19g, 25a) in 38 games with Miami University during the 2013-14 season and was selected to represent the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. The Pittsburgh native served as the team’s captain at the tournament and earned six points (4g, 2a) in five games, leading the United States in goals.

How did you get involved with hockey?
I first got involved with hockey because my dad played and my mom was a figure skating coach, so I kind of grew up around it. I got involved because I loved the sport so much and still to this day just love playing. I would always stay out there with my mom when she was teaching.
Your dad played in the NHL. What is the best advice he has given you?
Nothing is ever given to you. You have to work for everything. He also instilled a hard work ethic in me, teaching me that getting to the NHL is one of the hardest things to do and that staying there is even harder.

What was your experience like serving as captain of the U.S. at the World Junior Championships?
It was an unbelievable experience to be looked at by your teammates as a captain, and to be voted as a leader is something special. A lot of those guys I have known now for a couple years, and I’m really good friends with them. We stay in touch and to be able to represent your country and your friends is really special.

Who is your hockey idol?
My dad.

What was it like being selected by the Caps in the 2012 draft?
It was awesome. It’s a great organization with a lot of talent, especially in D.C. It’s a great city. I was just really excited just to be picked and to represent an organization like the Caps.

What is your favorite off-ice activity?
Probably golfing or hanging out with friends.
What are you most looking forward to during your junior year at Miami?
Winning the National Championship.

—   Paige Brody

Jul 9

The #CapsDevCamp skate test

Jul 9
#CapsDevCamp Profile: Jakub Vrana
Jakub Vrana was selected 13th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left wing split the 2013-14 season between the senior team and junior club of the Swedish Hockey League.Vrana, a native of Prague, Czech Republic, notched two goals and three assists in 24 games at the senior level and he added an additional 25 points (14g, 11a) in 24 games with the junior team.After the Caps drafted the 18-year-old, Vrana travelled to Arlington where he stayed for the duration of #CapsDevCamp.Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on your draft experience, what was the most exciting part for you?To see the people here and the fans and the teammates and to meet the coaches. It was really nice to have my parents there, I’m happy that I could show them America. They have never been here, so that was really nice for them.Was this your first time in America?It is my second time. I was in Michigan for some national team tournaments.Compared to the Czech Republic, what has been the biggest surprise about America?The biggest difference is that you have big buildings and everything here is much bigger. Other than that, it’s kind of the same, but you have a different culture.What did you think about the July 4th fireworks display in Washington D.C.?That was really nice. It was amazing to see, the people are so happy and proud, and the fireworks, that was really nice.In the 2014 World Junior tournament, since you were the leading scorer, what did you take away from that tournament?That was a pretty good experience for me. we went to the final and it was great experience that I got.What was the biggest challenge playing for the Linkoping senior team?I did my best. All I could. I take the positive part of that, learning and the experience so that helped me a lot.Do you have any hobbies besides hockey?I like to play other sports. For example, ping pong and football (soccer).Your English is very good, how did you become so fluent?Everybody in Sweden speaks English and on TV everything is in English with a Swedish subtext.What Motivates you to succeed? I think everybody get a chance to do what you love. I’m doing that. I’m trying to have fun and I think that motivates me that I get that chance.
— Deborah Francisco (@NHLgirl)

#CapsDevCamp Profile: Jakub Vrana

Jakub Vrana was selected 13th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left wing split the 2013-14 season between the senior team and junior club of the Swedish Hockey League.

Vrana, a native of Prague, Czech Republic, notched two goals and three assists in 24 games at the senior level and he added an additional 25 points (14g, 11a) in 24 games with the junior team.

After the Caps drafted the 18-year-old, Vrana travelled to Arlington where he stayed for the duration of #CapsDevCamp.

Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on your draft experience, what was the most exciting part for you?
To see the people here and the fans and the teammates and to meet the coaches. It was really nice to have my parents there, I’m happy that I could show them America. They have never been here, so that was really nice for them.

Was this your first time in America?
It is my second time. I was in Michigan for some national team tournaments.

Compared to the Czech Republic, what has been the biggest surprise about America?
The biggest difference is that you have big buildings and everything here is much bigger. Other than that, it’s kind of the same, but you have a different culture.

What did you think about the July 4th fireworks display in Washington D.C.?
That was really nice. It was amazing to see, the people are so happy and proud, and the fireworks, that was really nice.

In the 2014 World Junior tournament, since you were the leading scorer, what did you take away from that tournament?
That was a pretty good experience for me. we went to the final and it was great experience that I got.

What was the biggest challenge playing for the Linkoping senior team?
I did my best. All I could. I take the positive part of that, learning and the experience so that helped me a lot.

Do you have any hobbies besides hockey?
I like to play other sports. For example, ping pong and football (soccer).

Your English is very good, how did you become so fluent?
Everybody in Sweden speaks English and on TV everything is in English with a Swedish subtext.

What Motivates you to succeed?
I think everybody get a chance to do what you love. I’m doing that. I’m trying to have fun and I think that motivates me that I get that chance.

— Deborah Francisco (@NHLgirl)