So today I attended the Capitals rookie exhibition game between Washington and Philadelphia. I wasn’t expecting much from a game where I knew less than 10% of the players. Turns out it was a lot of fun. The Caps blanked the Flyers 7-0.
Here are some of my thoughts and interesting stats from the game.
1) Watch out for Center Travis “Scorin'” Morin (yeah, I made that up); He had two power-play goals and an assist and always seemed to find the puck. He was certainly fun to watch.
2) The Caps scored their first four goals on the power-play. While the Caps’ rookies seemed to be fighting for a roster spot, the Flyers rookies just seemed interested in fighting.
3) I know hockey’s a violent sport, but every time the players crash into the boards in front of you, you just know that this is the time when they are going to crash through and kill you.
4) Bruce Boudreau is so down to earth that you could forget he’s the coach if you aren’t careful. Near the end of the game, the Caps are up 7-0, I asked Coach Boudreau if he had any rookies he liked; “We’re winning 7-0,” he replied, “I like ‘em all right now.”
5) Simeon Varlamov looked really sharp in his only period (each of the rookie goaltenders got one) I don’t know if he’s good enough to make the roster, but he’ll certainly make a great call-up if necessary.
6) Even though they didn’t play, some of the Caps’ starters stopped by to check out the rookies. This was the first time any of them had gotten a chance to see them.
7) I always wondered what would possess an NHLer to take on Donald Brashear in a fight, after seeing him up close and in person; I’ve determined some people are just suicidal. “The Donald” was there the entire game, and interestingly enough spent a great deal of time hanging around just outside the Flyer bench.
8) The Caps’ rookies played a pretty stout defense for the most part. I don’t have the stats for shots on goal, but I’d say it wasn’t very many. Many of the fans seemed to be pretty excited about rookie defenseman Karl Alzner’s chances of making the team, I can see why. He was one of those hits on the boards that I thought was going to kill me.
All in all it was a great showing for the Caps’ rookies, but just like with pre-season football, you have to remember that this game didn’t mean anything, and that these Flyers (while they certainly dressed like the Flyers) weren’t anywhere near the real deal.
I will try and have some player interviews, and post some pictures from today’s game tomorrow!