At around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Capitals will jet off to Edmonton, arriving more than 48 hours before they take the ice for their game against the Oilers. But that wasn’t even the start of the team beginning preparations for a few days in Western Canada.
No, that started with a couple practices back home in Arlington at later times than usual – an attempt to get used to later workouts.
“We’re trying to get more acclimated, I think, to the time,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We don’t know if it works or if it has any effect or whatever, but we’re going to see.”
Boudreau wasn’t sure who came up with the original idea but cited studies that the Caps are trying to follow.
“I think body rhythms, body clocks and everything else,” he said. “It’s been known that it works, so if we can get it ready, it’s not like we’re playing Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday. You have an opportunity to do something like this with later practices.”
Getting used to Mountain (and then Pacific) Time may have been a large part of the Caps getting to Edmonton a day early, but it might not have been the primary reason.
“Well, I think Vancouver and Edmonton play tonight,” Boudreau said Tuesday. “Get a chance to see them play might also have something to do with it.”
But that’s not a fool-proof plan. Boudreau pointed to a 3-2 loss to Vancouver in December 2009 as evidence that pre-scouting doesn’t always lead to wins.
“Sometimes we’ve won. Sometimes we’ve lost. I don’t know if it’s an advantage or if it’s a disadvantage,” he said. “You always think it’s great to watch a team play, but it’s what happens when you play on the ice with them. They’ll have a day off before. We’ll see.”