Before the group of call-ups from Hershey – Braden Holtby, Mathieu Perreault, Patrick McNeill and Steve Pinizzotto -- took to the ice at KCI this morning, Coach Bruce Boudreau made sure they knew this trip to Washington isn’t for sightseeing.
“I told them this morning, I said, ‘You may not play till June 8, if we’re lucky. But on June 8, you better be great,’” Boudreau said. “So you’ve gotta stay in great shape; this isn’t a vacation up here – this is hard work for something that who knows might happen.”
Over the course of the season, Holtby made quite the impression when the Capitals needed him in spot duty when either Michal Neuvirth or Semyon Varlamov fell ill or injured. So while he knows that he may not see any game time, the young goaltender is anxious to soak up everything he can from the environment around Washington during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Every experience counts. You get to watch what the guys are going through in the playoffs and see what the playoff atmosphere is like, watching the games and whatnot,” Holtby said. “Who knows, all four of us are going to work hard here and stranger things have happened. You just have to be ready.”
Holtby admitted that while he’s happy to be back in Washington, it’s bittersweet for him and the rest of the Bears, who would have liked to extend Hershey’s playoff run.
“Obviously it would have been nice to go a little longer, but it was a little bit of a struggle for us down there in Hershey. I don’t think it went very smoothly,” Holtby said. “I think we were so used to the last two years that it came as a really big shock to us. After we lost out, we didn’t really know what to do. But it was good and it will definitely make us stronger.”