Coach Bruce Boudreau decided to rest veterans Jason Arnott and Scott Hannan earlier this week in the penultimate game of the 2010-11 regular season, but whether he will give players the game off in the finale in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday is still up in the air.
Boudreau wouldn’t divulge much — “I’ve got to get warmed up for playoffs too, where you don’t say a thing,” he said — but he did add that those decisions depend on results of other games tonight.
It’s possible the Capitals could clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference prior to the opening faceoff against the Panthers, depending on the outcome of the Flyers’ game against the Sabres tonight. If that top spot is locked up, Washington could opt to rest some of its key players or roll out a preview of the playoff lines and pairings to get one game with the full roster intact.
“I don’t know; I think it’s a lot of decisions to be made. A lot depends on tonight, so we’ll see how the lineup looks tomorrow,” Boudreau said. “There will be a lot of discussions. It will be between the coaches, myself and [General Manager] George [McPhee], almost like a round table discussion on what’s the best strategy.”
Boudreau did say that he believed the most comfortable situation for Mike Green in the defenseman’s first game after missing 19 straight contests with a concussion would be to pair him with Jeff Schultz. That was the only detail Boudreau would offer, though, in terms of lineup strategy for the final game.