SEE IT: Peter Laviolette takes ice with Capitals for first time originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Capitals’ quest to win the 2021 Stanley Cup officially got underway Monday as the team held its first on-ice practice of training camp at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. With the season opener just 10 days away, newly hired head coach Peter Laviolette joined his players on the ice with a stick in hand.
Players were required to arrive at the Iceplex by Sunday for COVID-19 testing and physicals. The Capitals then held practice Monday in two groups, with one beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 3 p.m. They plan to follow the same schedule Tuesday and Wednesday this week before holding a scrimmage Thursday and taking the day off Friday.
Washington hired Laviolette, 56, as its 19th head coach in franchise history last September, replacing Todd Reirden after he went 89-46-16 over two years with back-to-back first-round playoff exits.
Laviolette has 637 career wins over 18 seasons as the head coach of the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. He’s appeared in three Stanley Cup Finals, winning the title in 2006 with the Canes.
The Capitals enter the 2021 season with high expectations, hoping to make another run at the Stanley Cup before Alex Ovechkin calls it a career. With Day 1 of the Laviolette Era underway, the pressure is officially on for him to mold the Capitals’ roster into a championship contender.