It’s fair to say that Bruce Boudreau isn’t happy about his Capitals being 0-2-1 in the preseason. In the grand scheme of things, he admits, the results don’t matter. But he’s as competitive a person as you’ll find.
“In a personal thing I want to win everything I take part in. that’s why I get mad and call timeouts and get pissed off in a preseason game,” Boudreau said, drawing laughs. “I cheat at cards with my wife.”
Even though it’s more about the process this time of year – the coach isn’t all too happy with that either, judging by the drills he was running his team through Saturday.
The Caps have scored just five goals in three preseason games – albeit not with the whole roster together.
“One of the things we worked on was shots and going to the net and scoring,” Boudreau said. “We’re working really hard, we’re just not getting the scoring results right now.”
He wanted players to take better shots and also go to the net to score. He ran two-on-one drills with back-checking to provide some more game-like situations. And he had a shootout drill where players got to show what they could do on breakaways.
The key? More offense and some fundamentals.
“We wanted to shoot to go to the net to find rebounds with people in front,” the coach said. “It’s just the habit of keep going and not play on the perimeter.”
Marcus Johansson missed practice Saturday after leaving Friday night’s game early with what Boudreau deemed a cold.
“From what I’ve gathered, his girlfriend’s sick at home and he had the sniffles and didn’t think anything about it,” Boudreau said. “But he got dizzy during the game, he didn’t get hit, but he was just feeling under the weather, so when he was feeling dizzy we said, just shut him down.”
The Caps on Saturday assigned goaltender Dany Sabourin and center Keith Aucoin to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Both have to go through waivers.
With Bears camp opening Sunday, more cuts are expected, though Boudreau said no more would be coming Saturday. Guys like Matthew Ford and Patrick Wellar and perhaps Dmitry Orlov and Patrick McNeill could be next.
Currently, the Caps have 20 forwards, 12 defensemen and three goalies left in camp.
Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 26 shots in Chicago Friday night in his Caps preseason debut. Boudreau said he’ll probably alternate Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth during the final four preseason games.
Troy Brouwer will make his preseason Caps debut Monday against the Blue Jackets. More on that soon on washingtontimes.com.