Bruce Boudreau speaks to Tarik El-Bashir of WaPo about his system and possible line combinations heading into training camp. He said that he'd like to have more of a balance or a "hybrid" of the team that led the league in scoring in 2009/10 an the one that ranked 19th in goals last season...
I'm always trying to be more of an offensive coach. I love offense. You have to score to win.
So this sounds like good news for those you us that own Capitals. Coach Bruce then talked about the training camp battles for center-ice spots:
[The coaches] "will obviously discuss it more. But at center, we've got Backstrom, Johansson and — if we went with the premise that Halpern establishes the fourth line — then what are we doing with the third? We could sit there and say, 'We've got [Christian] Hanson, [whom] we got from the Leafs, Cody Eakin, Mattias Sjogren, Mathieu Perreault and Ryan Potulny all fighting for that third line spot. That may be [training camp's] great battle."
So good news all-round as he seems to have Johansson penciled in to the #2C spot and throws Cody Eakin into the mix for the 3rd line job. Everything will change many times over but it's good to hear where his initial thoughts are.
I was impressed with Marcus Johansson last year and kinda thought he'd be a solid breakout candidate this season but after really digging into the details about him for the Breakout Bible, I came away thinking that he's probably a year away. He definitely improved as the year went on but the Caps are pretty deep up front and he's not likely to see much PP time.
The Coyotes re-signed Viktor Tikhonov on a two-way deal... I wouldn't be holding out hope for him. Recall that he was already 20 when he was drafted in the 1st round in 2008 and so a 33 point season in the AHL last year isn't very impressive for a 22-year-old.
At the Ivan Hlinka yesterday, Canada blanked the Swiss 6-love [recap & summary] to advance to the semi-final where they'll play the Russians on Friday. Andreas Athanasiou, who has impressed everybody with his speed over the past two weeks, with two goals for Canada. The US defeated the Slovaks, 6-5 in a shootout [recap & summary]... Alex Galchenyuk with a late goal & assist and then he scored in the shootout but it wasn't enough as the US didn't qualify for the semi-finals.