- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2002

PHILADELPHIA Training camp ended for the Washington Capitals yesterday, and this much is certain: There will be new and younger faces on the team this season. Just how many and, in some cases, how young is yet to be determined.
Coaches and management are scheduled to sit down early tomorrow and select the opening day roster. The makeup of the defense will be determined, as will the backup for goalie Olie Kolzig.
The Caps dropped a 3-2 preseason decision to the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday afternoon on a bunch of seeing-eye goals, giving Washington an exhibition record of 3-4-0-1.
Sebastien Charpentier, battling veteran Craig Billington for the backup job, went the distance. There were times when he made near-impossible stops, but a few of the goals that got through should have been stopped.
In his defense, he didn't have the real Caps in front of him. There were five call-ups, plus the addition of defenseman Rick Berry, obtained Friday from Pittsburgh via the waiver draft.
"This was our last day of training camp, and for the young guys coming up, now is the time," coach Bruce Cassidy said. He said nervousness might have caused some lackluster performances in the first period by players trying to make good on one last chance and added that they played better in the second and third periods.
Cassidy said he didn't want some of the veterans to be forced to play when it wasn't necessary, and yesterday gave him a chance to look at others.
"I wanted to see if the other guys could step up," he said. "Let's face it, we're playing in Philadelphia, they've got a big club, you're on the road and you have to show up to show you're a man, so you find out a bit about guys like that. It was an individual assessment today; the team assessment was the last two weeks. At least we came and showed up for the last 40 minutes, but in the first period we were awful tentative."
It is hard to determine where Charpentier stands after yesterday. Donald Brashear, better known for things other than scoring, had a pair of goals, including a strange one that dribbled through the goalie's legs with five seconds left in the first period.
"He made some good saves, but I also think some of the goals were stoppable," Cassidy said. "He was OK, but I don't know if that's going to be good enough to win us games."
Washington's goals game from Steve Konowalchuk, his third of preseason, and Ivan Ciernik, his first.
On the plus side, the Caps scored on one of their five power-play chances while holding the Flyers scoreless in their seven opportunities. On the minus side, the Caps gave Philadelphia seven power plays, one of them their fifth bench minor in eight games.
Meanwhile, Berry said he was "a little bit shocked" when he was exposed by Pittsburgh.
"I've got high expectations for myself, so I was put in that situation," he said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity I have here. I have a clean slate, and hopefully I can make the best of it. I like the lineup here. They're strong everywhere. I hope I can come in and help out in the back end, and we'll be super strong."
He suited up for Washington yesterday but looked rusty.
Notes
Rookie center Brian Sutherby's shoulder injury may be more serious than originally thought. Because the team is already short on centers, Colin Forbes, recalled for yesterday's game, will stick around until the club is sure about Sutherby's situation.
Negotiations between the team and agents for rookie defenseman Steve Eminger reportedly have gone well so far. He has to be signed to play next week, assuming he makes the team, which is a pretty good assumption right now. However, the assumption that veteran Sylvain Cote has a slot isn't so solid. He hasn't had that good a camp, team sources said he's not in the projected top 7 and he is 38. And at $1.5 million, a guy with a smaller contract might look better.
The five players the Caps called up from their Portland, Maine, farm team for yesterday's game were Forbes and four forwards: Krys Barch, Chris Corrinet, Graham Mink and Trent Whitfield. Cassidy said it was a chance for those guys to show what they can do individually should the need for a call-up arise, which is what occurred with Forbes.
No news on the labor front; Andrei Nikolishin and Dainius Zubrus continue to sit. Center Jeff Halpern (groin) did not make the trip. The Caps are off today and will practice at the MCI Center for the next three days.


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