Lots of pre-game surprises before the season opener tonight. Tomas Vokoun was told he would not start until Monday. Welcome to Gabby's Caps, Tomas. No Haagen-Daz for you.
Another surprise was the apparent healthy scratch of Marcus Johansson, but according to Katie Carrera"s report in the Washington Post earlier, Boudreau said of Johansson, “He practiced hard this week, he’s taking warmup tonight--you never know he might still be in.” Yeah, we pretty much know what that means - No Haagen-Daz for you.
Still, we should be used to this by now. Boudreau has a way of taking what is expected and switching it up. I liken it to him pulling cards out of his sleeve, throwing them down on the table with a flourish, and exclaiming "Aha, take that!". I see a lot of fans want to play armchair coach, but do we really know what's going on day to day behind the closed doors of Kettler? How many times last season did Boudreau switch out a player or a line and we all screamed in frustration "WTF?". Personally, I had hoped Gabby would have played Varly one game against Tampa in the semi-finals last year. I thought it might have helped to shake things up, but even then, Bruce denied even me. No Haagen-Daz for you.
So, now the first game of the regular season is in the books. Caps win in OT by none other than Game Over Green. Boudreau's choice to play Neuvy worked out, considering how hard he worked tonight between the pipes. A .903 save % is pretty darn good for a 1A goalie, don't ya think? And saving Vokoun for Tampa (especially after the playoffs last season) could become a very strategic move. As to scratching Mojo, I still need to see the % of face-off wins tonight before I speculate on that. Let's hope whatever message he was trying to send has been heard and noted.
I do know one message that was sent and heard tonight, and that was to the Carolina Hurricanes: No Haagen-Daz for you.