There’s still a week to make it through before hockey is officially back on TV, but as a Capitals fan, yesterday was the first taste.
Insight Into the Process
The team has been working hard, like all of them, to be ready to enter the Bubble. To show off their preparations, the Caps live-streamed their intrasquad scrimmage on their social media pages Friday afternoon. The blue team was wildly stacked (Ovi, Oshie, Kuvy, Kovy, Backstrom, etc.), while the only big name for red was Holtby.
What made the scrimmage so enjoyable, aside from it being the first real hockey I’ve been able to watch since March, was seeing all of the young faces from Hershey. Prospects you generally only hear about during preseason training camp were on the same ice as the big boys. They certainly made themselves known. Former Providence College Friar and Massachusetts native, Brian Pinho was the first on either team to put one in the back of the net late in the first period. He was in Hershey all season, having a much better go of it than last. He’d racked up 20 goals as compared to 4 previously. He’s a player I’ve been excited to see develop since he first went pro; he was a player I had the privilege of watching live when he was in college.
Garnet Hathaway, who was once called a “loser” by a former scumbag teammate, scored the second goal for the red team. He solidified his spot in the bottom six during the regular season. Though not the flashiest or most talented on the team, he’s been consistent and reliable. In the scrimmage, he came out as a leader. He played a full end-to-end game and it was nice to see it pay off for him.
The two following periods were shortened to 10 minutes each. Red managed to hold blue off until there were 90 seconds left when Ovi managed to squeak one in with a sixth man on the ice.
I enjoyed seeing the core crew again. But, it was the prospects I was really excited about. Honestly, I’d like to see it during preseason camp, too. I think it’s good for the fans to be able to see where their prospects are at, to familiarize themselves with young players so when they graduate, fans immediately know them.
This teaser did exactly as intended and got me as a fan excited for hockey to come back fully. I’m still apprehensive, there’s still plenty that could go wrong, but I feel more optimistic now that I’ve seen evidence of the NHL Bubbles becoming reality.
-Heidi Thomas (@DamselOnDrums)