BOSTON | Cody Eakin is used to all this by now. He was getting ready for practice with the Hershey Bears on Wednesday when his plans changed after a meeting with general manager Doug Yingst.
“Doug called me into his office in Hershey and just said, ‘Go and meet the charter at Dulles.’ It’s been a few times this year, so it gets a little more comfortable,” Eakin said.
The Washington Capitals officially recalled Eakin later Wednesday and he was on the ice with them for the morning skate at TD Garden. Originally, the 20-year-old didn’t do line rushes, but he came off with the regulars will be in the lineup Thursday night at the Boston Bruins.
“He’s a good skater. We’re adding more speed to our lineup,” coach Dale Hunter said. “He’s been playing well down there, he’s been scoring some goals. Get him up in the lineup.”
Eakin scored in each of his past two games for the Bears but had just one in the previous 16. Speed is the attribute he brings, obviously, as Washington’s 12th forward.
It appeared as if Joel Ward would get back in, but instead the 31-year-old right wing will miss his fourth straight game after taking a shot off his foot last week in Philadelphia. Ward was on the ice for a lot of extra work with fellow scratches Jeff Schultz, Jeff Halpern and Nicklas Backstrom.
“We’re just skating him, getting him in shape,” Hunter said.
Eakin said he didn’t know his status as of early Thursday afternoon, but it was evident he was playing. It’s the second time in the past week he has been recalled just in case but made it clear that doesn’t alter his approach.
“You could be in, so you’ve got to prepare like you will be,” Eakin said. “I think of it the same way, the same pregame routine.”
But not just any old game. Eakin gets thrown into what could be a physical matchup against the big Bruins in the heat of the playoff race.
“I’ve been following and watching closely. They don’t get much more important,’ Eakin said. “Every game you get an opportunity to play, I’m just going to make sure I put everything on the line for the team.”