Holtby says Caps capable of winning it all

Holtby says Caps capable of winning it all
September 11, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Ovi has goal of winning Gold medal and Stanley Cup

Over the next three weeks of training camp the Capitals are likely to be asked this question over and over again:

Having  failed to get past the second round of the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, what are the realistic expectations on these 2013-14 Caps?

Goaltender Braden Holtby cut right to the chase.

“Hopefully, it’s the Stanley Cup,” Holtby told CSNWashington.com.

“That’s everyone’s expectations at the start of the year. It’s going to be a long grind, but we’re ready for it. I think we have the guys that can battle through a full season to give us the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.

“We’ve gained a lot of experience in the past and we know sooner or later we’re going to put it to good use. We have as good a chance as any.”

If the Caps are going to be the last team standing in the middle of June, there’s a good chance Holtby will be a big reason.

Despite being the Caps’ starting netminder each of the past two springs Holtby has yet to play a full NHL season, having played 36 NHL games last season and seven the year before.

This season, Holtby will look a little trimmer between the pipes, but it will have nothing to do with a summer weight-loss program. New NHL rules reducing the size of goalie equipment take effect this season.

Holtby says his pads are about two inches shorter than they were last season and he’s going to need to retire his knee pads, which the competition committee felt took away too much of the net when goalies were kneeling in their crease.

“Those couple extra inches of protection helped me,” said Holtby, who says he can skate better with the lighter pads. “I honestly don’t think you’ll see a big change in goals being scored. Players can adapt to anything.”

LOOSE PUCKS

Look for newly signed Marcus Johansson to be on the ice Thursday, but possibly not Mikhail Grabovski.

Johansson, who agreed last week to a two-year, $4 million contract, arrived in Arlington on Tuesday and participated in the team’s physicals on Wednesday. Grabovski, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal in August, was still in Toronto waiting immigration clearance.  

Caps GM George McPhee is expected to address the shoulder injury suffered by top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov when McPhee addresses the media on Thursday. Kuznetsov injured his left shoulder early in Traktor Chelyabinsk's game over the weekend. He reportedly is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury.