Coach Bruce Boudreau has said that he doesn’t necessarily expect the Capitals’ NHL veterans to be in full regular-season mode during the preseason, but that he does want the roster assembled as quickly as possible so that new players can be integrated into the lineup and new systems can be absorbed.
With Hershey’s camp set to open this weekend, more cuts are on the way to continue whittling the roster down, and Boudreau will soon have the squad he will direct for the rest of the year. So with five days of training camp and two preseason games already gone, what kind of progress does Boudreau want to see over the course of the preseason?
“We’ve thrown a lot at them in three days,” Boudreau said. “To me, what I wanted to see was everybody get that one game under their belt first. Everybody that’s been here with me, we’ve had almost three full scrimmage games before we played a game. So we sort of had to go on the fly [this year]. That being said, the progression I want to see, obviously our power play start to improve. I want to see our special teams improve and I want to see them starting to pick up naturally what we do.”
Boudreau continued on, breaking down different aspects of the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime preseason loss to Columbus, where despite controlling the play for most of the first two periods, a few defensive lapses cost goals.
“I thought we did a good job on a lot of the aspects,” Boudreau said. “On their third goal our D-zone coverage wasn’t very good. Obviously the power play — the shorthanded goal they got wasn’t very good. But other than that I thought we really worked hard and played a pretty solid game for [a lineup with] a lot of guys that this was their first NHL game.”
*Also, in case you missed it, here’s today’s story on the Capitals’ power play.