It didn't take long into camp for Bruce Boudreu to pull the line combo slot machine. Group one featured at top line of Ovechkin, Johnasson, and Knuble while Backstrom was centering Semin and Laich. Also on the defensive side the Carlson/Alzner pairing was split with Carlson in the third pairing running with new Cap Hamerlik and Alzner working with Green in the first group. Wideman and Schultz were the Caps pairing in the second group. Erskine was in group one but with an Orange no contact jersey and Tom Poti was supposed to skate in that group as well but failed his physical and looks to still be out a while. Ovechkin did not look to be missing Backstrom as he and Johanson had a great 2 on 1 goal.
In the group 1 conditioning test Alzner looked good in the first set but the second set was where it got interesting. Ovechkin was fast in the first run, then coach Boudreu stated he thought Ovie was cheating not going all the way to the lines so Ovie wanted to show it wasn't cheating and in the second run blew away the field. However that wore him out quicker and the rest of the time he seemed gassed. Veteran Mike Knuble knew how to pace himself and won the last several heats.
In the first set of group 2 Christian Hanson who really impressed me in drills as well was fastest every set and most times it wasn't close. The was a surprise on the slow side as Jeff Schultz was not the slowest skater in all but one of the sets, Jeff Halpren was and he was not really stopping either. Matt Hendricks was the fastest each time in the second set of group 2 and MP85 and Ward split second.
In the 3rd group's first set Jason Chimmera was as expected the fastest and Hamrlik was slowest and only did one set of conditioning before having to leave the ice with tightness in his groin. He is expected to be out tomorrow in practice. In the final set it was non-Caps players as John Carlson was not on the ice as scheduled as far as I could see and have not heard why.
Nevuy in his new pads.
Hard to tell which is Halpern in mid conditioning drill and which is him standing around.
For the rest of the photos I took go to http://s365.photobucket.com/albums/oo98/icehammer97/Camp%20Day%201/