Holtby thinks Caps are too loose before games, coach disagrees


The Washington Capitals season hasn’t been a disaster, but they certainly can’t be satisfied with their 5-7-0 record. Part of their problem is that they’ve been outscored 13-7 in the first period of games.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby thinks it’s time for a change and he’d like to see his teammates act more seriously before contests.

“You see too much of guys joking around and listening to music and just looking really loose, like it’s a practice,” he said, according to CSN Washington. “We’re paid to prepare, [not to] have a dance party before the game.”

Capitals coach Adam Oates has a different philosophy. When he was a player, Oates saw himself as a jokester up until the minute the puck dropped and obviously he still managed to have a long and productive career. For him, snapping between lighthearted and serious at a moment’s notice wasn’t an issue. Not everyone is like Oates, but to him that just means that there’s no universal answer to the question of how loose is too loose before a game.

The Capitals bench boss isn’t alone in those feelings either.

“That’s (Holtby’s) point of view, but I think we’re grown men, all of us, and we should be able to prepare ourselves,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “Everyone is doing different stuff. That’s up to the individual.”

The Washington Capitals will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.