Both teams held optional practices today. About half the Caps were on the ice, while seven guys went out for the Rangers at Verizon Center. The general idea from both coaches was to keep things light today so the players don’t get wound too tight between now and Saturday afternoon.
Obviously, the main theme at Caps practice with Bruce Boudreau were questions about the goaltending. Boudreau said he’s not telling the media who his starter is, and he’s not saying if he’s told his goaltenders the plan yet, either.
When asked if we were supposed to read into the situation that’s he is not coming right out and backing Theodore, Boudreau said, “Jose is my guy — I am playing [because] you guys are asking and I’m not divulging. [Ovechkin] — I don’t know if he’s going to play, either. What I am saying is I’m not giving out any part of the lineup.”
On that front, both Donald Brashear and Brian Pothier said they don’t know their status for Game 2.
Another general theme was the sky is not falling. Remember, the Caps didn’t play all that great in Game 1 last year but stole it at the end. Matt Bradley said last year was a feeling out process for the first three games and the team was lucky to only be down 2-1.
This year, he feels there is a much greater sense of calm about being down in the series.
“I was really surprised the sun did come up,” Boudreau joked. “We’re still fine. We know they’re going to play better on Saturday. We know they’re a real good team. We also know how we’re capable of playing. It was a loss in the loss column, but with seven minutes to go it was a tie game — it is not like a 5-1 game and, ‘Geez, we were outclassed and we weren’t ready.’ “
From Rangers practice, Chris Drury was on the ice and going pretty hard. He is still day-to-day, according to coach John Tortorella.
One thought might be that the Blueshirts have already accomplished what they needed to in winning one game in D.C., but Brandon Dubinsky wasn’t buying that.
“No, it is not [easier],” he said. “It is harder now. Now, we have our eyes set on Saturday. We know they’re going to come out and bring a better effort, but we’re going to come out ready to play. We have to be prepared for that and bring a better effort as well.”