UNIONDALE, N.Y. | Cody Eakin appears to be the latest victim of the Capitals’ “numbers game” with 14 healthy forwards and just 12 spots to put them.
One day after scoring his first career NHL goal, Eakin is set to be a healthy scratch Saturday night at the Islanders. He was doing extra work on the ice with D.J. King and Mike Green – both of whom are expected to be out of the lineup – after the Caps’ already optional morning skate at Nassau Coliseum.
Eakin said he understood that these things happen at this level.
“I think it’s just part of coming up you’re not going to play every game,” Eakin said. “There’s guys that are healthy that have played here a lot longer than me.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau has talked about the problem of 13 forwards plus King being available to him. Eakin was called up last week and replaced Jeff Halpern in the lineup, and Halpern went back in Friday, replacing Mathieu Perreault.
“It’s not an easy job. You just try to implement who you think is going to do the job that night. You go over lines,” Boudreau said. “Everybody’s played with everybody on this team, so it’s not a big stretch to move one guy from one position to another position on our team. Especially with the maneuverability of moving them back after two shifts if it didn’t work. We don’t like guys to sit for a long time, for the most part, if we can help it.”
Eakin had a goal and an assist Friday night at Carolina.
“It’s just the way it is. I don’t think too hard about it,” Eakin said. “It’s just the way it goes, I guess.”
Boudreau spoke before reporters knew it would be Eakin and talked in general terms about the rotation of forwards sitting out.
“It’s like a day-to-day, game-to-game thing. I don’t want to look down the road too much,” he said. “I know what we’re going to do today, but I don’t know what we’re going to do on Tuesday.”