If only the preseason were the regular season. The Bruins came out firing and ran away with another win 5-2, sweeping the preseason set from Washington.
TJ Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Dimitri Orlov, Matt Niskanan and Braden Holtby made their pre-season debuts in front of a much larger than expected crowd for Washington’s first pre-season home game since the team won the Stanley Cup. With the five veterans, there were a lot of rookies and it showed as the game went on.
Takeaways from Tuesday’s game:
*Holtby looked a little rusty but was overall ok. The first goal allowed was a redirected shot and the breakaway goal after the power play ended was a clear defensive breakdown from inexperienced youth.
*Connor Hobbs and Liam O’Brien showed their toughness by dominating their fights tonight. They are still rough around the edges but the future looks bright for both of these players.
*Ilya Samsonov was very shaky in his Capitals debut. His first 2 shots came quick and he settled down after that allowing 2 goals on 11 shots with a .818 save percentage. I think a season in Hershey will do him some good and give him the experience of playing at a higher, faster level.
*Coach Todd Reirden put a lot of youth out there tonight. Many of these players pack tremendous speed, but lack the refinement in skills needed to stay at the NHL level. Inexperience cost the Caps on 2 goals tonight. We will see in the coming weeks who will establish themselves to take the 4th line Center position.
*The Power Play did OK tonight. The Caps tried several different types of power play formations. One they kept going back to was having Oshie set up in the center in front of the goal in hopes of a redirect or a one-time feed. Penalty kill was solid.
Caps go on the road to Montreal and Carolina later in the week and will return to Washington next Friday against Carolina after a stop on St. Louis.