Bruce Boudreau likes Hershey. That’s no secret. He coached the Bears of the American Hockey League for two full seasons and won a Calder Cup there.
He enjoys taking in games at Giant Center, too. But when he was there sitting with Hershey general manager Doug Yingst Sunday – after a tumultuous couple games for injuries on the Capitals’ blue line – the timing of his presence was curious at best.
Monday, he downplayed it.
“I like going to Hershey and I try to make three or four, five trips a year. And it just seemed like a good, opportune time to go,” Boudreau said. “We didn’t play, they played, the schedules worked out. The Redskins were on at 1 o’clock. It seemed like an easy game to go to because there wasn’t much going on. I hadn’t seen all the guys since training camp, so I just went and watched them play.”
The Caps and Bears have about as good a working relationship as exists between NHL and AHL teams, with constant communication both ways. But Boudreau said even with a lot of reports from coach Mark French, it’s “always nice to see them live.”
“When you see them live and they’re not [three games in three nights], they’re not tired. You might get a better view,” he said. “They got a few injuries up there themselves, so you didn’t get to see everybody, but you got a good look at the guys that I hadn’t seen before.”
Boudreau, when asked if anyone in particular stood out, said: “It was a tough game. They outplayed them pretty bad but the Bridgeport goalie was pretty good last night.”
Was Boudreau also possibly shopping for a defenseman, just in case? Don’t rule out that possibility. The coach said he hasn’t gotten a chance to see players since camp. That could include guys like Dmitry Orlov and Patrick McNeill.