By Rodger M. Wood
After a disastrous Game 7 loss against Montreal last April, Washington Capitals fans are surprisingly still rocking the red in mid – summer.They let their enthusiasm show big time at the Washington Capitals FanFest 2010
last Saturday.Close to 10,000 folks enjoyed the free open skate, moon bounce, face paintings, pop corn, cotton candy, Brooks Laich signing FREE autographs, and the standing room only scrimmage future Caps youngsters roughed it through for three periods.The fans believe Capitals management will build them a Stanley Cup winner.They know they’re only a big, tough defenseman away from playing deep into May andJune and many believe 6-4, 210 20-year old John Carlson will perform that role.They hope 2010 #1 draft pick, 19 year old Marcus Johansson will grow Into a second line center just like his Swedish countryman Nicklas Backstrom.
They’ll miss Jose Theodore but know Calder Cup Hershey goalie Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov are ready to fill the bill.And the future is brightened even more by last season’s AHL Calder Cup winners at Hershey,who will be putting the heat on veteran players to play at the top of their game or replace them back in the minors.Some of those youngsters put on a spirited scrimmage culminating the Caps summer development camp Saturday.Coach Boudreau awarded the unofficial All Camp Team recognition to 5-8, 175, Andy Miele, an invitee from Miami College (Ohio), who scored a goal in regulation and the 3-2 scrimmage winner for the White in the shootout.He also named Eric Alexander from Ferris State, 2010 #2 draft Russian center Evgeny Kuznetsov, #1 Swedish center Marcus Johannsen, Swift Current 2009 draft Cody Eakin, and free agent defenseman 6-5, 220 Dustin Stevenson and 6-8, 247 Joe Finley, who may be another Caps fans playoff answer down the road.Duking it out midway through the second period, Finley and Anthony Pisano and Stefan Della Rovere and Trevor Brucess showed the physical toughness the big Caps need to bring the Stanley Cup home.After a hard fought scrimmage, the future Caps signed free autographs for an hour, which gave the fans another reason to keep rocking the red.The photos displayed here are from Saturday’s scrimmage.
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