It is fair to say that in his four years behind the Capitals bench, Bruce Boudreau has never had a lineup this deep at the forward position.
And hes using that depth to his full advantage. Thursday nights 5-2 victory in Philadelphia was a case in point.
Alex Semin led all Capitals forwards with 18:11 of ice time, 15:23 coming at even strength. Joel Ward logged the least amount of ice time at 11:15, with 10:14 of that at even-strength.
The small disparity between the ice time Boudreau is giving his first and fourth lines is an indication of the offensive damage the Capitals can inflict when they roll all four lines.
We're hoping we can play them that much (in the case of the fourth line) or that little (in the case of the top line) and have the effect in four months or six months, Boudreau said after practice today.
The trick, everyone agrees, is getting stars like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Semin to agree to the reduction of ice time. Getting off to a 6-0-0 start has kept the complaints to a minimum.
None of the guys have said a word, Boudreau said. It's great. And I've said this all along, whether you believe it or not, they all want the same thing they want to win.
And if we were 0-6 and this was the thing that was happening, I'm sure they would be saying, Hey, play me more, maybe we'd be winning. but it's not.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth (bruised right foot) participated in a full practice Friday but is doubtful for Saturdays home game against the Detroit Red Wings. Look for Dany Sabourin to back up Tomas Vokoun on Saturday and for Neuvirth to return to the lineup next week when the Capitals head out west for games in Edmonton on Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday. Right wing Jay Beagle remains sidelined with concussion symptoms from an Oct. 13 fight with Pittsburghs Arron Asham.