Quality Time With Bruce Boudreau
Here's the marathon post you were all waiting for, beginning with Boudreau, who's really in his element during development camp. He reveling in the chance to be hands on and run the show with these young players. "They're fun," he said. "They're like sponges. They take it all in and they show the love of the game and they keep you young."
He saw players he knows aren't at their peak physical level and a few guys who were still in awe of the process, but said he's hoping they'll be comfortable soon enough.
He's looking forward to having Jose Theodore, who's expected in Arlington sometime this week, join the team. "He had a great year in Colorado. If you look what he did, they had so many injuries to top-notch players and still made the playoffs and to still play as well as he did. I wish Cris the best of luck in the world... but he's on a different team now, so we're not worried about him."
On Sergei Fedorov: "I got to know him personally. He fit in well and I know as a player, when I was 38 and playing my last year, the young guys gave me life and made me want to come to the rink. I think our young guys did the same thing for him. He was enthusiastic, he loved the game again and he was very good for our team. If it happens it happens, but if it doesn't it doesn't."
More normal training camp fodder on the extended page.
--Simeon Varlamov continues to show the pure athleticism and flexibility that makes him a viable prospect. We'll see in the first scrimmage Wednesday, but he needs more polishing though. What stood out to me most was his rebound control, pucks were flying high into the corner glass or pop out toward the blue line, and that's the difference with NHL goaltenders. Their pucks, more often than not, sent into the corners where they're not a threat.
Valramov, though, has his trademark scary-goalie stare out of the mask down pat. Out of all the goaltenders in camp he's the one who is downright intimidating when you look at his regular expression in net.
--Neuvirth update. Today was only the second day that he's been on ice since undergoing right knee surgery three months ago. He's still feeling his way back into a regular rhythm. Another thing that could have contributed to his play this morning was indeed Brent Johnson's mask. He's not used to the sight lines on the cage and the mask itself is too big for him. Apparently he was unable to bring any of the masks he used with the three OHL teams he played with to camp.
--RW Andrew Gordon is much more comfortable here the second time around and after his successful time in Hershey (16G, 35A in 58 games). It may have been his familiarity with the systems Bruce was drawing up, but he was a quick study and looked fast.
--RW Francois Bouchard looked at ease at well, I want to see him more though. The problem for guys like Bouchard and Gordon is that they need to put in as flawless development and training camp showings just because of the players that have been added to the Capitals system.
Quote of the day comes from when Bruce Boudreau was asked if he's sqeezed in any vacation time this off season:
"I've been on the road almost the whole summer," he said. "I feel like a rock band. I'm looking for houses, the draft, (I've been) all over the place."
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