The Caps are on the ice for their morning skate right now. Bruce Boudreau said Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov are likely to play tonight against the Panthers. They are on the ice (Donald Brashear is too). Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin are not, but they are here (and sitting on the bench in street clothes). He confirmed Jose Theodore will be starting in net.
Keith Aucoin, despite earning high praise for his play last night from Boudreau, will have to go back to Hershey if Fedorov is ready to play because he is on an emergency recall.
Boudreau was obviously still not happy about last night’s performance. He said the penalty kill made 17 mistakes — on the first PK opportunity alone. He said Tom Poti, normally the team’s best penalty killer, had the puck on his stick several times and was not able to get it out.
He pointed out the Caps did not have a power play in the first 35 minutes — which was a clear sign that they weren’t working hard enough to draw penalties. Once Ovechkin got mad and starting hitting people, the Panthers starting getting mad and took three straight penalties.
As Boudreau put it, this team’s strength is its power play and they have to recongnize that other team’s don’t want to take penalties to avoid Washington’s PP, so they should be able to work hard and control the game because of it. That just doesn’t happen some nights.
He also tossed out a couple of oldies but goodies like “the will and want” when it comes to rested teams versus tired teams. Clearly, tonight’s message is going to be all about effort.