BALTIMORE | The Capitals’ “Baltimore Hockey Classic” roster includes stars like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, but the third line might be the most interesting part of the game.
That group features Cody Eakin, considered one of the top candidates to fill the final roster spot and the only one of the competitors to be in the linuep against the Predators. He’s playing on a line with Stan Galiev and Chris Bourque – a grouping that could see a lot of ice time, especially late.
It’s no secret that the competition for the final spot or two will come down to Eakin, Mattias Sjogren and Christian Hanson. So Bruce Boudreau is eager to see what they have.
“I think the ideal thing is we’d like to see him – or we’d like to see anybody – and Cody being a guy that is highly touted, step up and push himself above the rest – as we’d like to see Sjogren do that or Christian Hanson,” Boudreau said. “Somebody come up and say, ‘This job is mine, and nobody’s going to be close to it.’ That’s the guy that’s eventually going to get that job.”
Eakin said he didn’t expect to get power-play minutes, but he could get in on the penalty kill. Any chance for him to show off his balanced game.
“I’ll just go out there and play as just a solid third-line guy and just work hard and try to create energy,” Eakin said. “Always keep my foot moving. Just show that I can understand each position I’m in and each scenario that I’m in on the ice, whether I’m on the backcheck or the forecheck, just to do smart simple things and always keep my feet going.”
This is Eakin’s second preseason with the Caps. Last year he played in three games and scored two goals. This time around, he’s more prepared for what to expect.
Michal Neuvirth was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, and he’s expected to start. He’ll split time with Brandon Anderson.
Tuesday night’s game will not have any television or video streaming coverage. Fans can listen to the call by John Walton and Ken Sabourin on AM-1370 in Baltimore or on WashingtonCaps.com.