Although Washington has a two-point hold on the top spot in the Southeast Division and are two points behind Philadelphia, which has two games in hand, for the lead in the Eastern Conference Coach Bruce Boudreau said he doesn’t believe the Capitals are getting too far ahead of themselves.
“I don’t think we’re dwelling on first place or any of that stuff,” Boudreau said. “We all saw what happened last year. At the same time, you want to be as high as you can [in the standings] but we’re not going to dwell on that. Philly’s two points ahead and they’ve got two games in hand and they’re going to start winning again pretty soon.”
A handful of players skated briefly this morning, none more than a half hour and Mike Greenskated for less than half that time. But as the grind of the regular season continues there was a businesslike approach to what the Capitals still want to work on.
Although they will face an unfamiliar and young Edmonton Oilers squad for the only time this season on Wednesday, the Capitals want to treat the game with the same kind of urgency that they played with to get four points over the last two days in Florida.
“I think we need to come with the same mindset that we came with in the last two games,” Matt Hendricks said. “We looked at those four points as desperate points. We wanted those points. Obviously we had a lot to look forward to in getting those points. First place was on the line, but we want to stay there now. I think that’s going to be our mindset going into tomorrow night that every point is crucial.”
Boudreau didn’t offer any additional update on Michal Neuvirth and Nicklas Backstrom, both of whom left in the middle of Monday night’s game against the Lightning and did not return. Neither player skated today but we should know more about their availability tomorrow.
“Today was an optional,” Boudreau said. “They chose not to take it. They got treatments and we’ll see how it is tomorrow.”