September 19, 2014

Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update 9/28: Laich skates, might play in season opener

Brooks Laich skated at Kettler this morning, and stayed on the ice for most of practice, but took it easy.

Adam Oates said they are shooting for Laich to play in the season opener on Tuesday, but if there’s any chance he’s still not 100%, he won’t play.

If Laich does play, Oates said it will be “hopefully in his spot on the second line, with Grabo and Brouw.”

The lineup tonight against the Blackhawks will remain much the same as who dressed last night against the Flyers (minus Alex Ovechkin), according to Oates.

The Capitals will open the regular season at Chicago on Tuesday, October 1, and their home opener is on Thursday, October 3 against the Calgary Flames.

Washington Redskins Practice Update & Audio for Sept. 18

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

Midweek media day out at Redskins Park.

Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if quarterback Robert Griffin III should have gotten some preseason snaps:

“I don’t know if anybody remembers, but Dr. Andrews said that there was no way he could play during the preseason. Does anybody remember that? We have to go back to this? Dr. Andrews said he could not play during the preseason. There was no chance for him to play.”

On if he thinks limited preseason action has caused slow starts for running back Alfred Morris:

“I’ll be honest with you, I thought Alfred was as good as I’ve seen a running back throughout all of camp, even in the preseason games. Anytime you do have a fumble on the first play, then you have a pitch on the goal line and there’s a safety, guys lose a little bit of confidence. And even starting out the game last week in the first half, you could see he wasn’t normal. And I tried to tell him, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, you’re too good of a runner,’ and then he started running a little bit better. And you know that happens, especially with young guys – we have some conscientious people, they want to play extremely hard. And when they do make a mistake, sometimes they’re so conscientious they lose a little bit of that edge. I think you’ll see Alfred will do a lot of great things this season.”

For his full comment, and those of a handful of Redskins players and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, please click the links below.

09-18-13 Mike Shanahan Practice RAW

09-18-13 Robert Griffin III Practice RAW

09-18-13 Pierre Garcon Practice RAW

09-18-13 Barry Cofield Practice RAW

09-18-13 David Amerson Practice RAW

09-18-13 Josh Wilson Practice RAW

09-18-13 Santana Moss Practice RAW

09-18-13 Calvin Johnson Conference Call RAW

Washington Redskins Practice Audio & Quotes

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

Mike Shanahan

On Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers sitting his first several years in the league and if there was a generational shift at quarterback leading up to Robert Griffin III starting as a rookie:

“I spent a little time with Aaron when I was in Tahoe. Played a little golf with him, got a chance to know him a little bit and it was really a unique experience for him being behind somebody like [former Packers quarterback] Brett [Favre], waiting his turn. I thought he handled himself the way you would like your quarterback to handle themselves. He had a lot of class sitting back there, learning, getting a lot of mental reps, getting to feel very comfortable under the system, and when he did get a chance to play he took advantage of it.”

Robert Griffin

On what he learned about himself in the game against Philadelphia:

“I think we learned a lot about our team again. Every year is a new year. You’ve got to find out the identity of your team. I don’t think we found that identity in that first game, but we did find out about the character of this team. It’s similar to the one from last year. We’re going to fight, never going to give up, and that’s something you can be proud about. As far as execution-wise, we weren’t very solid in execution all the first half, and then into the second half we started getting better. So hopefully we can ride that execution into this next game. I think it started in practice today. Guys came ready with the right mindset. It’s not that we didn’t have that last week. You just have a wakeup call sometimes and you’ve got to push even harder, and that’s what we did.”

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy

On if he gets a sense of what Lambeau Field means to opposing players and coaches:

“Well, I don’t do a whole lot of chatting before the game, but it’s definitely evident when players do come out of the locker room, just the respect that they have for our history and our tradition, and one thing about Lambeau Field, and I can’t give enough credit to our organization, is the way they go about always trying to upgrade our facilities. This year we have our new south end zone that definitely should make a difference for us as far as the game day and obviously is a beautiful addition for our fans.”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

On finding balance between using his legs to help his passing game rather than run:

“It’s got to be a feel thing. [Redskins quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] is definitely blessed with a considerable amount of athletic ability, more than I am, but it’s about using your abilities when you extend plays to run when you have to and know when to throw the ball away and also give yourself and your guys enough time to get open. That’s a fine line that we talk about a lot in our room about extending plays or throwing it away, or trying to avoid the unnecessary sacks, so that’s kind of the way we do things.”

09-11-13 Mike Shanahan Practice RAW

09-11-13 Robert Griffin III Practice RAW

09-11-13 Aaron Rodgers Conference Call RAW

09-11-13 Brian Orakpo Practice RAW

09-11-13 EJ Biggers Practice RAW

09-11-13 London Fletcher Practice RAW

09-11-13 Pierre Garcon Practice RAW

09-11-13 Roy Helu Practice RAW

09-11-13 Ryan Kerrigan Practice RAW

09-11-13 Santana Moss Practice RAW

09-11-13 Stephen Bowen Practice RAW

Washington Redskins Practice Update and Audio for Aug. 27

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan touched on a host of topics after practice today, including the offensive line, Brandon Merriweather’s status, and the third running back spot. But all anyone wants to hear is the about the quarterback situation and whether Robert Griffin III is still on-track for opening night.

On his plan for the quarterback rotation against Tampa Bay:

“Pat White will play the entire game unless he goes down, and if he goes down then Rex [Grossman] will go in. If he goes down, I’m going in. I’m the only guy left [laughing].”

On how the evaluation of quarterback Robert Griffin III will work on Thursday in Tampa Bay:

“I don’t know yet. I know Dr. [James] Andrews will sit down and evaluate Robert and probably just give us his recommendation. I’m sure very similar to what he did last game… Sometime Thursday, I don’t know when it’s going to be. I haven’t talked to him yet. Either before or after the game, but I’m sure it will be sometime Thursday because he’ll be at the game.”

On if he noticed subtle difference in Griffin III during his pregame warmup vs. Buffalo:

“Well, I didn’t watch him warmup so I can’t talk about that, but he had a good practice yesterday and he had a good practice today. I can see a big improvement from the start when he came out here the first day to where he is now. You can see he is in football shape and there hasn’t been a setback so everything has been very positive.”

On what constitutes a good practice for Griffin III:

“I think just feeling more relaxed, being put in more team situations. You can tell when somebody has had enough reps where it starts to be automatic, you don’t have to push it.”

On if he feels like Griffin III is 100 percent:

“You are hoping he is 100 percent. Like I said, the reason why I am a little iffy on that is because I want to judge him every day, but I have not seen a setback. He looks good. Like I said, I’ve seen much improvement from the first day to where he’s at now from when he first came out – just in his ability to move, his ability to scramble, just the ease in which he practices.”

For full audio of Shanahan’s remarks, as well as assistant Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett and several Redskins players, please click the links below.

08-27-13 Mike Shanahan Practice RAW

08-27-13 Kyle Shanahan Practice RAW

08-27-13 Jim Haslett Practice RAW

08-27-13 Brandon Meriweather Practice RAW

08-27-13 Brian Orakpo Practice RAW

08-27-13 David Amerson Practice RAW

Washington Redskins Practice Update & Audio from Aug. 22

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

All the talk out at Redskins park on Thursday was about London Fletcher’s apparent undisclosed concussion last season that led to his balance problems the first few games of the season. Coach Mike Shanahan addressed the issue right off the bat during the interview sessions, stating that there was a certain amount of confusion regarding the injury.

“I recall with London it was more of a balance issue,” Shanahan told reporters. “He wasn’t really sure exactly what it was. He got a lot of tests. I know he got a lot of tests and at the end of the day, I think it was a different experience for him because he is old school. He hasn’t had very many injuries that would set him back, and to have an injury like that where you’re not really sure what it is, something you haven’t experienced, I think it was really tough on him. He did everything he could to get the proper attention, but I think it was tough on him for a while because he wasn’t really sure what it was.”

Shanahan then stressed the importance of players coming forward with head injuries of any kinds.

“It’s much different now in comparison to what it was… I remember a number of quarterbacks come to the sideline and you knew there was something wrong. They’d give him the old one-two-three finger test and they’d go back out there. Times have changed. The education has changed for the right reasons. And so if anybody experiences something like that, we have a procedure to go through and hopefully it’ll help these guys in the future.”

As for on-the-field news, both Mike and Kyle Shanahan feel like Kirk Cousins will not play in Saturday’s preseason game against Buffalo due to the foot sprain he sustained against Pittsburgh.

“I think with Kirk you always say there’s hope. I wouldn’t rule him out but I’d say he would be a longshot. No, we haven’t decided on the rotation. We’re going to look at today’s practice and get a game plan together. But it’ll probably be pretty close to a 50-50 split [between quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Pat White].”

Then there were the daily questions about Robert Griffin III and his status for practice and games.

“It has been a full practice for him. We’ve had a chance to go against cards, we’ve had a chance to go against our defense. So he’s had two excellent days, same thing he would have during the regular season.”

For both Shanahans’ full comments, and those of Fletcher, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and others, please click the links below.

08-22-13 Mike Shanahan Practice RAW

08-22-13 Kyle Shanahan Practice RAW

08-22-13 Jim Haslett Practice RAW

08-22-13 Darrel Young Practice RAW

08-22-13 Donte Stallworth Practice RAW

 08-22-13 London Fletcher Practice RAW

08-22-13 Pat White Practice RAW

Washington Capitals Pregame Update & Audio for Game 7: Oates, Chimera, Fehr

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

The Washington Capitals did not have a pre-game skate in advance of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers. Head coach Adam Oates, along with forwards Eric Fehr and Jason Chimera, each had a brief pre-game availability.

Oates announced that neither Brooks Laich nor Martin Erat would be healthy enough to dress for Game 7, but say that he was considering a roster change. The most likely scenario would see either Joey Crabb of Wojtek Wolski dress instead of 19-year old rookie Tom Wilson, though Oates did not indicate the specific player move.

For Oates’ comments, plus those of Chimera and Fehr, please click the links below.

05-13-13 Adam Oates Pregame RAW

05-13-13 Eric Fehr Pregame RAW

05-13-13 Jason Chimera Pregame RAW

Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update & Audio: Accolades for Ovi and “Black Aces”

As the Washington Capitals prepare for Game 5 against the New York Rangers at Verizon Center tonight at 7:30 pm, the NHL announced the finalists for the Hart and Lindsey awards, and Caps captain Alex Ovechkin was listed as a candidate for both awards. For the Hart Trophy, the league MVP, Ovechkin was joined as a candidate by the Penguins Sidney Crosby and the Islanders John Tavares. The Ted Lindsey Award, voted on by fellow members of the NHLPA, will be decided between Ovechkin, Crosby and Lightning winger Martin St. Louis.

The team also called up several players from the now-eliminated Hershey Bears for the remainder of the playoffs. Known as “Black Aces”, these players will practice with the Caps but in all likelihood will not see any game action. The recalled players were: goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defensemen Dmitry Orlov, Tomas Kundratek, Cameron Schilling and Nate Schmidt.

See below for audio from head coach Adam Oates, Ovechkin, and others.

05-10-13 Adam Oates Practice RAW

05-10-13 Alex Ovechkin Practice RAW

05-10-13 Jay Beagle Practice RAW 05-10-13

Nicklas Backstrom Practice RAW

05-10-13 Tom Wilson Practice RAW

Washington Capitals Practice Update and Audio: Tom Wilson takes line rushes

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein.

The Washington Capitals called up Tom Wilson and Joey Crabb from AHL Hershey after the Bears were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs by Providence Wednesday night. The two players got the call as they were on the bus headed home and left for Kettler immediately after getting back early in the morning. Wilson then took line rushes in practice with the fourth line, maybe an indication that he could get a sweater for Game 5 Friday night at Verizon Center.

“I was just sitting one the bus,” Wilson explained, “I was pretty down after the loss and Doug Yingst [Hershey GM] called me up to the front of the bus and told me that I’d be going. It’s pretty cool. I was very excited. It was definitely a long morning with Crabby driving up here, but it’s good to be back here.”

The 19-year-old power forward talked about being mentally prepared to jump into the lineup if called upon. “Yeah, everyone’s gotta be ready, right?  That’s the game of hockey, there’s always gonna be changes in an out. I’m coming in here with not too many expectations. I’m just going to work hard and see what happens.”

The Caps would be the third team Wilson suited up for in the last ten days. He finished his junior season when Plymouth was eliminated from their playoffs, joined Hershey for three games and scored a goal, and now he’s with the big club. Has it been a whirlwind for the teenager? “Yeah, it was a tough loss in London in the OHL, and then I got right up there in Hershey a few days later and jumped right into the playoffs there and learned a lot there. So, pretty much the same thing here — just coming in and trying to learn again.”

The 6’4″, 210 right winger had 23 goals and 35 assists (+36) with 104 PIMs in 48 games with OHL Plymouth with another seven goals and six assists in 13 playoffs games this season.

Hear all of Wilson’s comments, plus Brooks Laich on skating for the first time and Alex Ovechkin and others on the Game 4 loss and the outlook for Game 5.

05-09-13 Tom Wilson Practice RAW

05-09-13 Alex Ovechkin Practice RAW

05-09-13 Braden Holtby Practice RAW

05-09-13 Brooks Laich Practice RAW

05-09-13 Joey Crabb Practice RAW

05-09-13 Matt Hendricks Practice RAW

05-09-13 Mike Ribeiro Practice RAW

05-09-13 Troy Brouwer Practice RAW

Washington Capitals Practice Update & Audio for May 3: Oleksy talks puck to the face

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein.

The Washington Capitals, still basking in the glow of their 3-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, practiced at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Friday morning.

Steve Oleksy talked after practice more about the puck he took off his face than the beauty assist he had. “It seems like pucks and sticks are attracted to [my face],” Oleksy joked. “To be honest, it didn’t hurt when it happened. This morning there was a little more swelling. When I first woke up it was a little tough to talk, but it’s fine.”

For more practice audio, please click the links below.

05-03-13 Adam Oates Practice RAW

05-03-13 Alex Ovechkin Practice RAW

05-03-13 Nicklas Backstrom Practice RAW

05-03-13 Mike Green Practice RAW

05-03-13 Karl Alzner Practice RAW

05-03-13 Steve Oleksy Practice RAW

Washington Capitals Morning Skate Update & Audio for May 2: Oates, Ward & Brouwer

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein.

Joel Ward is in for tonight’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Asked what Ward means to the team, coach Adam Oates replied, “He’s been one of our better players all year along. Had a great year. We’ve missed him. We’re glad he’s healthy and he can play.”

“I get a chance to play,” Ward said, obviously looking forward to getting back on the ice. “I’m excited, for sure, to reunited with my buddies. I’m pretty happy about that.”

For Oates and Ward’s full comments from the morning skate, please click the links below.

05-02-13 Adam Oates Practice RAW

05-02-13 Joel Ward Practice RAW

05-02-13 Troy Brouwer Practice RAW

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