That whole competition for the Capitals’ third-line center job seems to be coming into focus going into the final full week of the preseason.
Gone are Christian Hanson and Ryan Potulny, but a couple long-shot candidates remain along with front-runners Mattias Sjogren and Cody Eakin.
With the roster down to 29 players (17 forwards), the undersized Mathieu Perreault and Chris Bourque are still at Kettler. What those two have that Hanson and Potulny don’t is an intimate knowledge of how the team works: Perreault played 35 games with the Caps last year and Bourque had been with the organization for most of his time in the league before going to Europe.
“I feel very comfortable in this organizations – I know the coaches, I know all the players. It’s basically the only thing I know other than that brief stint in Pittsburgh,” Bourque said last week. “I definitely felt comfortable coming in this situation where I knew that they would give me some sort of opportunity, and the rest would be up to me.”
He and Perreault have survived a few elimination rounds, and now there are four more preseason games to prove their worth to this team.
But Bruce Boudreau hasn’t seen any of them step up yet.
“We’re just waiting for somebody to say, ‘It’s mine and somebody take it away from me,’ ” he said. “It’s out there, guys. Know it’s out there.”