Arlington, VA—The Caps had a special guest at practice on Tuesday as Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken attended practice and spoke to the team.
"We reached out to Cal and his representative," head coach Barry Trotz said. "I think we're big on trying to learn from some of the best in the game. We've done team building, we've had different speakers in the past from the military to sports figures and obviously, Cal is one of the greatest players in the game, especially in this area."
Trotz explained that the idea of reaching out to Ripken stemmed from the recent loss of many prominent sports figures.
"The theme a little bit this year was the thought that we lost a couple of really great people, sports figures the last year. Not only sports figures, but people who had effect on, I'll say 'on and off the ice' in Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe in our sport. We were talking this summer, what can we learn from some of the great people in the game, not only our game but from other sports?"
Ripken addressed the team after practice and then took questions from the players.
"There was so many topics," Trotz said. "He talked about everything from dealing with slumps to dealing with different situations. Dealing with careers, dealing with longevity. I don't know if there was anything specific, but he had some great anecdotes and great things from a professional athlete to other professional athletes and to do it as long and articulate it from a different sport to our sport, I think he was really good.
"So the message I think is about professionalism, commitment, dealing with being a professional sport in general. I can't describe it as a coach, you can't describe it as the media even though we try. You have to be a player to know what you're going through on and off the ice or the field or whatever. It was quite enlightening."
MORE CAPITALS: Eller returns to practice
It's been a long time in the making, but a local Washington fan finally put the finishing touches on his Capitals-themed tattoo sleeve on Thursday.
Maryland-based fan Leah Carey posted a picture of her father's tattooed arm on Twitter, showing off the finished product.
John Carlson is credited with the final assist, as his signature was the last thing Carey's father needed to complete the tattoo collection. He finally got the signaure when Carlson took the time to autograph his arm after a recent practice. Carey then got it tattooed the following day.
In addition to Carlson's autograph, the sleeve includes various Caps' logos over the years, including their Stanley Cup championship crest.
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With Devante Smith-Pelly back with the Capitals following an injury to T.J. Oshie in Game 4, Washington is hoping that DSP will be able to perform similarly to how he did during last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. With seven goals last postseason, including one in the Stanley Cup-clinching game, Smith-Pelly was a vital part of the Capitals' success.
Before he takes the ice in Game 5 on Saturday night, let's revisit some of those goals that made NBC Sports Washington's Top 20 goals from the 2018 Stanley Cup run.
17. Devante Smith-Pelly's Game 4 goal vs. Vegas
Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the first period against the Golden Knights to put the Caps up 3-0 early and secure an eventual 6-3 win for a 3-1 series lead.
14. Smith-Pelly strikes in Game 6 against Columbus
Devante Smith-Pelly's series-clinching tally in Game 6 helped Washington advance to the second round of the 2018 postseason.
13. Smith-Pelly grows the lead in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. Vegas
Devante Smith-Pelly proved to be pretty clutch. He capitalized on a Golden Knights turnover to toss the puck top shelf over Fleury in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
4. Devante Smith-Pelly's game-tying goal in Game 5 against Vegas
About halfway through the third with the Caps down 3-2 in Game 5 of the Cup Final, Devante Smith-Pelly put the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to tie things up against Vegas.
Enjoyed that little trip to the past? Check out the full Top 20 here.
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