It’s been nearly two weeks since the Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins. A few days after, the team disbanded for the offseason. So what do they do once the season is over?
According to NHL.com, the off-season can be broken up into four sections. The first month is transition and recovery from injuries. As the summer goes on, players go from recovery to strength building then power and speed. By the end of summer, it’s conditioning.
And, if you’re Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov or Dmitri Orlov, you go play for Team Russia in the World Championships. The dynamic trio played on a line together and each managed a goal and assist throughout the tournament. Russia ended up going 5-1, losing to Finland in the semi-finals and winning the Bronze medal game over the United States 7-2. They have medaled in the last three World Championships (Gold – 2014, Silver – 2015, Bronze – 2016.) The three players will now take the next three months off before hockey camp starts in late August.
Most players after their team is eliminated from the playoffs take the initial month to relax and go on vacation with their families (T.J. Oshie is in Disneyworld and is also getting ready for the arrival of baby #2).
Players take time to recover from nagging injuries they had during the season and post-season. Coaches and players can also give their time to help charities and appear more often at events they couldn’t go to during the regular season.
After the initial month or so of vacations and such, players tend to start focusing back on hockey. They know the physical toll a season takes and the more they train, the better off they’ll be once training camp begins. They start with working out two to three times a week in July then ramp it up to four or five times a week in July. This includes lifting weights, cycling, interval training, yoga, and resistance training so they can be prepared for their 30 second shifts with body contact. They also look at footage of their game play and get together with coaches to improve their play.
As for the fans, the NHL playoffs are still going on (Tampa Bay leads Pittsburgh 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals while St. Louis and San Jose are tied at 2).
The Calder Cup Playoffs have the Caps own Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals playing the Toronto Marlies.
Some of our players (Ovechkin and Holtby) will be in Las Vegas on June 22 for the NHL Awards. Ovi receives his sixth Maurice “Rocket” Richard award and is nominated for the Mark Messler Leadership Award. Braden Holtby is up for the Ted Lindsay and Vezina.
What do you do over the summer to get your hockey fix? Comment and let us know!