Goalie Darcy Kuemper, 33, is playing in his second season between the pipes for the Washington Capitals. We talked with the Saskatchewan native about the team’s new coach, why he came to Washington, and what it’s like to face an Alex Ovechkin slapshot.
What can fans expect to see on the ice this year?
We’re gonna have a lot of energy. We got a new coaching staff this year. That’s led to a lot of intensity in training camp and a lot of competition within the practices. And that’s going to translate into our production on ice.
The big news in the offseason was Spencer Carbery coming on as the head coach. What are your thoughts on the addition?
It’s been a great addition. Obviously, Carbery was here with the organization for many years in the minors, so he’s very familiar with the group and organization. He’s brought a lot of energy, a lot of intensity to the rink, and that’s contagious down into the roster.
Why did you decide to sign with the Caps?
It’s a great organization that’s known around the league. There are some unbelievable players here. It’s also a team that knows how to win. After winning with Colorado, I wanted a chance to go somewhere else and win, and it was a great opportunity to join a team that has that potential.
What made you decide to be a goalie over other positions?
When I was younger, I used to play all the positions. What I liked about goalie the most was that I never had to get off the ice. I didn’t like going on the bench in between shifts, so that’s why I was drawn to goalie.
From a goalie’s perspective, what is it like to face one of Alex Ovechkin’s slapshots? How happy are you to not be on the receiving end of those during a game?
It’s fun having the challenge in practice and getting to go against him every day without facing the consequence of letting goals in against him in the game. It’s fun watching him score on other goalies and not having to worry about him scoring on me.
What are some of your favorite local spots? Where do you like to take your dog?
We always like to try new hikes and find new creeks, somewhere nearby where we can take him and let him run around a little bit.
When we have company in town, everybody wants to go down to DC and see the monuments and see the museums. It’s awesome having all of that nearby. There’s just so many different things that you can do in the area.
Feature image courtesy Washington Capitals