Mike Green said after the Caps skated Friday afternoon (by 5 pm, it was still in the 50′s) that he probably skated in weather this warm before as a kid, but never with his full gear on for a full practice.
“It was different — it was getting hot out there,” he said. “It was tough to breathe out there.”
The ice took the hardest toll, and Green had to lend a hand patching a veritable crater in the ice near one of the blue lines.
Nicklas Backstrom said he thought he’d skated in weather this warm as a kid, but he admitted the ice was soft.
The first Capital to step out on the ice was Eric Fehr, though Brooks Laich wasn’t far behind. Mike Knuble led the Capitals out of the locker room, although Backstrom said the order was random.
“We just told each other we go out together, so it looks good,” Backstrom said.
Knuble said so far today that he hasn’t experienced any butterflies like those first few years in the NHL. He said it took him about three or four years in the league before nerves matured into a more focused anxiousness.
“You stop getting nervous, that means, I guess, you’re not respecting the game,” Knuble said. “To do you’re best, you’ve got to be anxious a little bit.”
The Capitals also had a family skate after they completed practice today (the Penguins did the same). Matt Bradley was on the ice briefly with the Capitals when they first came to the rink, but he did not practice with them.
The NHL has also announced that, due to the rain in the forecast, the league will delay puck drop tomorrow. The new start time is 8 pm, which means you’ll get the best of two sports worlds — night lights and outdoor hockey.