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Capitals Goalies Take Part In Interesting Drill At Friday Practice



Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov

After a tough 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Washington Capitals got back to work on Friday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. And in preparation for the Flyers, the Capitals goalies took part in a rather interesting drill.

Ilya Samsonov, Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley all stood in the Capitals crease, wearing their lower goalie gear while trading in their catching gloves, blockers and goalie sticks for regular mitts and sticks.

Then, while facing shots, they held the sticks over their heads, only allowed to use their pads to stop the shots. Matt Irwin served as the primary shooter.

It was a rather interesting drill, one that tested the netminders’ quickness, lateral movement, puck tracking and reflexes. It also forces the netminder to work on controlling the upper body.

Goaltending has been an inconsistency for Washington this season. Right now, Vanecek is on the injured reserve as he recovers from an upper-body injury suffered on Feb. 1. However, he is back at practice and a full go for contact.

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Samsonov, meanwhile, has assumed the starting duties and has had a handful of standout performances and not-so-strong outings over that span. Copley is currently the backup with Vanecek still out.

Right now, the Capitals average 2.77 goals against per game, the 10th highest total in the NHL. Vanecek and Samsonov have combined for a .910 save percentage this season, with Vanecek (24 GP) leading with a .915 SV% and Samsonov (30 GP) recording a .904 SV%.

Rumors and speculation have indicated that Washington could be looking to add a goaltender at the trade deadline given the team’s struggles this season. The Capitals reportedly pushed for Marc-Andre Fleury. However, The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli said that the deal likely won’t happen. Fleury is reportedly not for a deal to D.C.

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