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Capitals coach Todd Reirden is preparing to play Hurricanes in playoffs, if they occur

Capitals coach Todd Reirden is preparing to play Hurricanes in playoffs, if they occur

As hockey fans and players alike mourn what would have been the beginning of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden has been preparing his players for what could be a jump right into the postseason when play resumes. 

Checking in with players virtually, working with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish to curate at-home workouts and meeting with the coaching staff, Reirden has been prepping to play the Carolina Hurricanes. A rematch of last year's first-round series is currently how the matchups would fall if the NHL were to go right to the playoffs upon return.

“Obviously it’s a team that we’re familiar with from last year," Reirden said on The Sports Junkies on Thursday. "Obviously, it would be a good one for us to go against if that was the case. We feel we owe them one after last year.”

The defending champion Capitals were knocked out of the playoffs by the Hurricanes last season, which came down to a decisive Game 7. This season, the Hurricanes took the first two games, outscoring the Capitals 9-6 until Reirden put Ilya Samsonov in net, who got the Caps the last two wins.

“That's a team that we do know we did better as the year went on against them," Reirden said. "Finding a different way of making some systematic adjustments, a little bit of our style of play and more of the intricacies of looking at the power play, penalty kill, special teams, late-game situations against them with the way things that they want to do.”

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But preparing for the playoffs without players being able to get some ice time poses a huge problem.

"That’s the one thing that you just can not simulate, the fact that these guys have not been on the ice and the chance of ramping it up right to playoff speed I think will be very difficult on their bodies and hard on some of the muscles that you’re not able to train by not being on the ice," Reirden said. "There’s some you can simulate but there’s nothing like getting out on the ice.”

While coronavirus has forced the world to take things one day at a time, Reirden says he, along with many others, just wants hockey back.

“To me, the big thing is I just want to play hockey again because that means that our world is in a better place than it was a month ago.”

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Former Capitals forward Brett Connolly offers options to take tangible action against racism

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Former Capitals forward Brett Connolly offers options to take tangible action against racism

The senseless murder of George Floyd has shed light on the racism that still exists within America. In the wake of his tragic death, there are many who want to take action but are not sure how. Brett Connolly is here to help.

The former Capitals forward tweeted out a heartfelt message on Tuesday in response to a Tweet from J.T. Brown.

Connolly then took the extra step of Tweeting out a number of ways to take tangible action against racism including organizations you can support and donate to, places you can contact and movies you can watch to learn more.

Connolly was largely a soft-spoken player in his three seasons in Washington, but he did decline an invite to the White House extended to the Capitals as Stanley Cup champions. Connolly would not go into detail on why.

Connolly left Washington as a free agent in the summer and is in his first season with the Florida Panthers.

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Capitals' John Carlson shares message of support for protesters, commits to being part of solution

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Capitals' John Carlson shares message of support for protesters, commits to being part of solution

John Carlson took to Instagram on Tuesday to voice his support for those protesting and the Black Lives Matter movement, as America comes to grips with civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

"#BlackLivesMatter. Like many, I grieve the senseless murder of George Floyd and countless other black Americans. The racism that plagues our country is unacceptable. While as a white man I have not experienced racism and its anguish firsthand, I stand in support of those who have and acknowledge the need to deeply transform as a country," his Instagram post read.

Carlson's message also included a call to action for his followers, encouraging everyone to become a part of the solution. Understanding the platform he has as an athlete, he did not want his voice to go unheard.

"We have to do better to eliminate all forms of racism and inspire positive, permanent change. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words, but I felt it was necessary and important to add my voice to help advance things in any way I can. I am committed to using my position to learn, listen and be a part of the solution."

Carlson joins those in the Capitals community such as Alex Ovechkin and the Holtby family, as well as numerous other figures and teams in the sports world, in voicing support. 

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