There were a few tweaks to the Capitals’ training camp groups Monday morning – arising some suspicion that “Group A” would be heading to Baltimore for Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators at 1st Mariner Arena.
“It’s a good chance that most of them are,” a tight-lipped Bruce Boudreau said.
Chris Bourque actually took part in two practice sessions Monday, and the Caps’ coach confirmed that he could be an option in Baltimore.
“Just in case that if there was another guy that didn’t practice didn’t participate, he might be added to the roster,” Boudreau said.
More veterans – or fewer veterans – could make the trip than made up Group A. The NHL requires teams to ice a lineup that includes a minimum of eight veterans (with various definitions of that in the collective bargaining agreement).
George McPhee noted over the weekend that the Caps are taking a “good team” up I-95 for this game, which as of last week had sold out 95 percent of tickets.
For speculation’s sake, here’s a look at the forward lines and defensive pairings for Group A Monday:
Alex Ovechkin – Marcus Johansson – Mike Knuble
Brooks Laich – Nicklas Backstrom – Alexander Semin
Stan Galiev – Cody Eakin – Chris Bourque/Samuel Henley
D.J. King – Jay Beagle – Garrett Mitchell
Karl Alzner – Mike Green
Brett Flemming – Sean Collins
Patrick McNeill – Patrick Wellar
Goalies: Michal Neuvirth, Philipp Grubauer
The most interesting thing there is Marcus Johansson on the top line, something Boudreau did a bit of last season. He explained trying Johansson there when asked earlier Tuesday.
“I just thought a little more speed,” he said. “At this stage Alex Semin always seems to have the rookie with him to start the year. Marcus played so well at the end of the year, and I thought he had good chemistry with Alex at the end of the year, so we just wanted to see how much he grew over the summer – not physically or anything but mentally after having that year under his belt.
“It’ll be interesting to see how they play together.”