The Capitals’ annual trip with the players’ fathers and mentors is this weekend as they visit New Jersey and Montreal in back-to-back games.
Given that they reside in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and four points out of a playoff spot heading into Friday night’s game against the Devils, where they will try to snap a six-game losing streak, it’s certainly an interesting time for the players to have those important figures along for the ride.
“Probably a great time for us to have dad there,” Coach Adam Oates quipped. “They can yell at them. That’s what dads do, right?”
Oates is only partially kidding, because parents and mentor figures always seem to be able to identify what’s not going well for their children and protégés with brutal honesty. His dad won’t be on the trip but Oates understands how important that bond is and how meaningful it can be for players to share the experience with their fathers.
“Everybody’s relationship is different with their dad but for me, my dad is involved in my hockey for 45 years. Still calls me after every game, still,” Oates said. “We talk about the game every day and that’s been the big majority of our relationship. He’s been my best friend that way. They deserve to see the life they’ve given their kids.”
Barry Svrluga will have more on the dads’ trip next Tuesday.