Opening Night Roster Set
October 3, 2006
The Capitals set their 23-man opening night roster on Tuesday when they sent forward Alexandre Giroux to Hershey of the American Hockey League and placed left wing Matt Pettinger on injured reserve.
Washington?s 24-man traveling party will include two goaltenders (Brent Johnson and Olie Kolzig), eight defensemen (Ben Clymer, Steve Eminger, John Erskine, Mike Green, Jamie Heward, Shaone Morrisonn, Bryan Muir and Brian Pothier), 13 healthy forwards (Kris Beech, Matt Bradley, Donald Brashear, Chris Clark, Rico Fata, Boyd Gordon, Jakub Klepis, Brooks Laich, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brian Sutherby, Richard Zednik and Dainius Zubrus) plus Pettinger.
Thirteen Capitals from last year?s opening night roster are also on this season?s opening night roster. Five of the players on Washington?s 2006-07 opening night roster were members of the 2005-06 AHL Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears: Green, Beech, Gordon, Klepis and Laich.
A dozen of the 2006-07 Capitals were chosen in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft.
A handful of injuries late in training camp prevented the Caps from icing their best lineup in the last preseason game, a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Sunday. A few nicked up players did not dampen what Caps coach Glen Hanlon saw as a positive camp.
?Scotty Bowman unquestionably has been documented as one of the greatest coaches ever,? notes Hanlon, ?and they didn?t have a lineup that was the same from one minute to the next. I like the fact that we got to see different players do different things. I do think that there has to be something with your power play group, to have them together. It?s so important. And to get where we have to get to, that was my only concern going into the [last preseason] game.
?I love our systems, I love how they?ve executed the systems, I love our attention to defensive play, the addition of the skill and speed that we have. There is no doubt that we?re so far ahead of last year in where we are and now we just have to parlay that into some wins.?