Starting tomorrow, the Caps play 33 games in 65 days. That is...
Showing Off for the Boss: Boudreau Visits Hershey to Scout the Blueline
There’s a well known bit of quantum theory called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which argues that by observing something the observer inherently changes it (Heisenberg was referring to particles. However it applies across the board). The classic example involves workforce productivity – if your boss wanders over and peers over your shoulder mid-afternoon, you’re less likely to screw around on Facebook while he’s standing there.
Tonight’s game in Hershey was one such occasion, with Bruce Boudreau in the house to get a look at the prospects currently serving on the Hershey Bears defensive lineup. Notable names among the collection who were on display tonight included twenty year olds Brett Flemming and Dmitry Orlov, twenty-four year old Patrick McNeill, and recent trade acquisition twenty-one year old Tomas Kundratek. Coincidentally, Kundratek saw his first appearance in the Hershey lineup earlier this evening, with both Sean Collins and Zach Miskovic scratched (Patrick Wellar was also scratched, but is not a possible call-up).
Despite the 4-3 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders), on the whole the defensemen put on a good show for the visiting coach. The most notable example was Dmitry Orlov, who saw increased time on both the power play and penalty kill. He walked away from the game with a +1 rating, having scored the third Hershey goal of the evening following the decision to pull Braden Holtby for the extra attacker late in the third period. Orlov was one of two defensemen tonight who was on the ice for zero goals against; the other was Tomas Kundratek.
Orlov spent most of the evening paired with Brett Flemming, another young player whose development the Capitals are watching carefully. Boudreau’s observations on the pair were positive. In an intermission interview he took part in with Hershey’s Scott Stuccio, he complemented the boys’ compete level and developmental progress while talking around the issue of a potential call-up.
Defensemen of Interest:
Note: Tomas Kundratek does not appear in this image collection, simply because up until today he’d only been seen around the rink wearing a suit and tie. Expect pictures of him next week.