The 95th of our 118-part series.
Being the loudest people at Caps training camp, or: The First I-95 Corridor HLOG Convention
After much anticipation and giddy planning, this weekend finally rolled around and with it came the first-ever I-95 Corridor HLOG Convention. We tossed some essentials into our overnight bags, fired up Pookie’s iPod on shuffle, and zipped down 95 to meet up with CapsChick, Shmee, Teka, Steph and Elly. Friday night was a short one for us, as traffic was rough outside Philly and we didn’t get to Kate The Great’s house outside DC until the wee hours of the morning, but we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to get together with the gang at the Caps gorgeous training facility on Saturday morning.
While it was disappointing to not hobnob with players in the elevator like CapsChick seems to every time she heads over to Kettler, it was not at all disappointing to meet our HLOG sisters for the first time. While there were only two among the seven of us who could recognize more than one Cap, we still managed to have a far, far greater enthusiasm for the practice session we were watching than any of the other several hundred other fans there. That may have had more to do with the fact that seven HLOGers in one place makes for an extremely loud group, but the fact remains that a lack of interest in the Caps did little to diminish the joys Capitals training camp has to offer.
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Posted in Reasons We Love Hockey on September 16, 2007 |
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The 94th in our 118-part series.
The Shoot-Out Drill
Near the end of the skating sessions we saw at Caps training camp, the players did the most amazing drill ever. The team split into two squads while the coaches lined up about 15 pucks on each blue line. The players then took turns taking shoot-out shots at the goalie. If the puck went it, it was a goal; if the puck was stopped, the player was then required to retrieve it from wherever the goalie cleared it to, and drop it off back at the blue line. The next guy then went in for the next shot. The objective was to be the squad that got rid of all the pucks first. Now, we’ve gone on record with some pretty emphatic hatred for the shoot-out as a way to decide hockey games. That said, if the league needs some stupid and arbitrary way to decide a winner, we’re all over them instituting this drill in place of the shoot-out. It was endlessly entertaining to see the players have to race to gather up the missed shot and huff and puff their way back to the blue line, all while looking nervously at the other squad’s rapidly diminishing pile of pucks. And it was delightfully satisfying to see all of the players contribute (well, almost all; it seems Alexander Semin is allowed to loll around on the bench until the very last shot needs taking, at which point he’s all ready to go) instead of just the top three offensive shooters. Really, Gary Bettman and the Rules Committee ought to look into this.
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