I missed the Caps' first preseason game against Winnipeg the other night. I just missed that it was even on. I also missed the second game, against Philly. That one wasn't on TV at all (supposedly it streamed in Philly. What a stupid idea: let's go to the trouble of creating the stream, but then block it to a large part of the potential audience).
But I did watch a chunk of last night's game against the Bruins. What are the odds that three games in a row will go to a shootout? And that Wrecker would get a winning shot (the one in Philly)? Or that last night's shootout would go eight rounds?
Anyway, I didn't watch it all the way to the end.
Like most Caps/Bruins games last season, Boston looked much better through the first period, although Washington did get the only goal. That one came on a very nice feed from Nathan Walker (USHL player, undrafted, presumably playing on an Amateur Try Out (ATO) contract), with Wilson (who did look good, again) providing the smooth finish.
I saw Galiev a couple of times, but, unfortunately, not in the flow of play.
Schmidt (signed as NCAA free agent a few months ago) stood out a few times, both for good and bad. He had some very nice play on one of Boston's power plays, but then, a few minutes later, had a pretty bad play leading to a good Boston chance.
As a team, they were very erratic (mixed-up lines and lots of sub- (or 'not yet'-) NHL talent will do that for you). There were some really terribly broken defensive plays in the second period that led to some really good chances that Holtby had to stop. But the offense was doing quite nicely for a while, too, even taking a 2-0 lead (briefly, and after I'd stopped watching).
I really wonder about a couple of things relative to the preseason. One, why play so many games so close together? It seems fine for the players, since they have enough, but it would seem to eliminate much of the benefit for the coaches, as they'll have to play a second game before absorbing performances from the previous game.
Two, why do they do split-squad games? In baseball, where they have forty or more players around, it makes total sense. In hockey, when you've got thirty-ish (and need more than baseball does, as well), it seems quite a bit more questionable. I guess that maybe it's just a way to get more playing time for the more marginal players.
Anyway, I guess that's it until Friday, when the Caps play the Blackhawks. I assume it'll mostly be the group that played in Philly (perhaps with Grabovski, now that he's finally got a visa).