The Washington Times - September 22, 2011, 05:26PM

Tomas Vokoun has his Eagle-laden mask all ready to go, and he’s been on the ice with his Capitals teammates since camp started. But he’ll make his preseason debut in a Caps jersey Friday night at the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed that Thursday, though he’s not really sure yet about Vokoun’s preparation for the season.


“He’s played 15 years – does he need four or five games? Does he get ready in two games? What’s his workload in preseason been that he feels comfortable with?” Boudreau said. “Whatever his comfortability is, is what we work around.”

In the past, Boudreau said, Michal Neuvirth has played in two or three exhibition games – and will get in at least three this year.

But the 35-year-old Vokoun is a bit different – and the patterns Boudreau developed with Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov might not hold up in the same way.

“We’ll see,” Boudreau said. “It’s been a while since Olie [Kolzig] was here that we had a real veteran goalie.”

Other than Jose Theodore, yes. But after letting the kids play for a little while, Vokoun brings a different kind of element back. His English is also better than Neuvirth’s or Varlamov’s, and Boudreau said he talks to Vokoun every day rather than being “aloof” (his word) like with the younger goalies.

But Vokoun also doesn’t expect to be making the call on his own workload.

“I never in my career include myself in those decisions, and coach always makes the decision who’s going to play, and whoever that is, obviously that’s his job,” Vokoun said last week. “You prepare for every game, because, quite frankly, you never know. You may not think you’re going to play and you end up playing, and vice-versa. I never make those decisions myself, and I’m not expecting anything in that department [to] change this year.”