With just two preseason games left, coach Bruce Boudreau said it was time for the Washington Capitals to "get our act in gear and start playing better."
Michal Neuvirth was the man.
Braden Holtby knows that — barring injury — he has no chance to start the season in the NHL. In a strange way, that might be a good thing for him.
Before stepping onto the ice for an informal preseason workout Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin learned the awful news: A plane carrying Russian team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League had crashed, killing at least 43 of the 45 people on board.
Usually how well a team performs in free agency is a matter of debate. Naturally, people around hockey value acquisitions and contracts differently.
With his team's prospects off the ice Saturday afternoon and the Zamboni ready to smooth over the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, George McPhee took a deep breath.
At the NHL draft the Washington Capitals traded for right wing Troy Brouwer. Then when free agency opened up on July 1, they signed right wing Joel Ward. Soon after, they went over the salary cap by signing goalie Tomas Vokoun and agreeing to a two-year deal with Brouwer.
Usually, the trade deadline in February is when NHL general managers take a look at their teams and make moves to prepare for the playoffs. But after a few years of failure in April and May, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee got a head start.
The Washington Capitals were in an advantageous position Friday when the Colorado Avalanche called, interested in a goaltender.