[OFB note: We thought it might be fun to have a Development Camper keep a bit of a diary this week and share it with our readers, and in light of some concern expressed of late by pucksandbooks about some team toughness issues, who better to go to than Big Joe Finley?
Finley, a native of Edina, Minnesota, was the Capitals' first-round selection in the 2005 NHL Entry draft, selected 27th overall. He played four seasons with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux of the WCHA, where he made his presence very known on most shifts. He spent the 2009-10 season with the Capitals' ECHL affiliate in South Carolina. He arrives at Development Camp this week listed by the Caps at 6 '8 and nearly 250 pounds. Let there be pain.]
Hey Capitals Fans, it’s Joe Finley and I was asked by OFB to share a week in Arlington, Va., at the Washington Capitals Conditioning Camp with you. The Capitals call it Development Camp, but I think of it as Conditioning Camp, it makes you so tired! I am excited to take the time each day and make my best attempt to bring you all closer to the process as experienced by me, the player.
Day One has been a long one. I started my travels jumping out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and hustling to the airport to catch a 7 o’clock flight from Minneapolis to D.C. It was nice to have been set up with a direct flight and be seated next to a number of familiar faces (Trevor Bruess and Kurt Davis) on the flight.
The next step was to get all of our gear dropped off at the rink and to get situated in the hotel before diving in face first for some great food and Vapiano’s right next to the hotel. I fell into a quick “deja vu” scenario after realizing I’ll be rooming with Bruess again (we were roommates at training camp last year).
A number of guys, including myself, went out for a 30-minute skate at Kettler today to get the blood flowing. Coach Woods ran us through some skating and passing drills before we broke for a informal 5-on-5 scrimmage. It was great to get out and start competing.
We had all our medicals and off-ice testing conducted after the skate. I always enjoy this portion of camp because you get to measure up against other guys but most importantly against yourself. I work to keep setting the bar higher year after year with test scores and am able to measure up when Mark Nemish and Jack Blatherwick present us with the numbers at the end of the week.
The day wrapped up with Braden Holtby gracing us with his presence to prolong testing (not his fault: plane delays and a cancellation), but you have to give him a hard time. We had an introduction to all the coaching staff, medical staff, equipment trainers, scouts, and strength and conditioning crew. A nice dinner at the hotel and some down time is wrapping it up. Time to catch some sleep before we hit it hard on the ice tomorrow!