Tomas Vokoun used to play for the Florida Panthers, for four seasons.
Dennis Wideman used to play for the Panthers, albeit for less than a full season.
But the Florida team both got used to is hardly the group they’ll face Tuesday night at Verizon Center.
“From coaches to players, there’s not really many people left on the team I played for,” said Vokoun, who is expected to start in net for the Capitals.
Wideman, when told there were only eight players remaining on the team from his time there, the defenseman’s joking response was “There’s still eight guys?”
It’s been a heck of a makeover for the Panthers, who have a dozen new players this season. They traded for defenseman Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg, signed Scottie Upshall, Marcel Goc, Caps playoff killer Sean Bergenheim and ex-Caps Matt Bradley, Jose Theodore and Tomas Fleischmann.
Oh, yeah, and they fired coach Peter DeBoer and hired Kevin Dineen.
“I was there. There are still a few guys flying around. But it’s a total different team,” Wideman said Monday. “It’s a new coach, a new team. We have no idea how they play yet. I haven’t seen any video yet. I’m sure it’s 100 percent different there.”
In that sense, it might be hard for the Caps to prepare for the Panthers, though Wideman said a few games can provide enough game film to get a general idea.
Coach Bruce Boudreau said he’d spend Monday afternoon and night watching film and then Florida’s game at the Lightning, a 7-4 win that featured five power-play goals. That’s a good general idea of what the Caps might need to prepare for – even if a lot of the Panthers’ moving parts are still settling in.