After three years of playing in nothing but seven-game series in the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s finally Coach Bruce Boudreau who is able to sit at home and watch other teams duke it out for one win to keep their season alive. So what goes through his head now that he’s not the guy on the bench?
“I hope it goes to five overtimes. I hope it’s really hard-hitting. All of those things,” Boudreau said. “But that’s what you’re looking at. And you’re watching on how they’re playing, paying attention to are they doing this, are they doing that? Just kind of keep it in your mind when we finally know what’s going on.”
Boudreau will watch tonight’s schedule of games as he has all postseason when the Capitals aren’t playing, but with a little more interest than before. Finally, after the outcome of Game 7 between Montreal and Boston and Game 7 between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay tonight, Washington will know its Eastern Conference semifinal opponent.
If the Canadiens win, Washington will play Montreal. If the Bruins win, the Capitals will play the winner of Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay.
Even though the pool of potential opponents has been narrowed down to three, Boudreau said he isn’t going to get too carried away with the scouting until he knows for certain whom the foe will be.
“Well, we’ve got all our pre-scouts on all of them. We’ve got videos of all their games here. We’ll probably start randomly going through some games,” Boudreau said. “But I don’t how you guys are, but if you have too much information sometimes it gets all garbled in there and you end up knowing nothing. And whenever we start I think we’ll have enough time to go over stuff and maybe starting as early as tonight.
“But it’ll definitely take its turn tomorrow where we’ll know what we’re up against and we’ll have at least a practice [geared toward stopping an opponent],” Boudreau said. “If there’s any advantage, if you’re looking at advantages, we’ll be able to practice tomorrow on stuff that our opponents are going to be doing, maybe, whereas I’m sure that whatever team wins will have sort of a day off.”
After a third day of focusing on tightening up their own systems, though, Boudreau and the Capitals are just ready to play.
“You know, at this point we don’t care,” Boudreau said. “We just want to start soon. It’s getting a little antsy.”