The Capitals hosted a conference call this afternoon with Cristobal Huet and Matt Cooke. First things first: when are the new additions arriving in Washington? Huet comes in tonight during the game, Sergei Federov arrives tomorrow morning and will be at practice, and Cooke is having visa complications (which will hopefully be resolved quickly).
Huet was asked if he thought he’d be dealt today: “The only info I had last night was that I wasn’t playing with Montreal tonight. I was a little surprised.”
How does he feel about playing for Boudreau again? “Looking forward to being reunited with Bruce. We had a lot of success, he’s a very smart coach and from what I’ve seen this year, he’s done a great job.”
Other thoughts: “The [Caps] are excited to have me; I hope I can help them make a push for the playoffs.”
“I didn’t really have the chance to play after my game in Ottawa where I was pulled, so I didn’t really have a chance to redeem myself. I’ve been working hard; I’m not too worried about my game. I’m very confident that I can help the Capitals. The Capitals are very demanding; it doesn’t change much from that point of view and for me that’s the most important point.”
Huet’s impression of Washington: “It’s a really different place for players. [They’re] definitely tough opponents to play when we played them- young guys, tough to play against.”
Is Huet open to an extension at the end of the season? “I’m really open, I would definitely think about it, but right now it’s not really up to me. Definitely up to my play but that’s all I can really focus on right now, help the team get some wins and get closer to a playoff spot.”
Next up was Matt Cooke. His impression of the Caps? “[They’re] six points back right now…it can change in a hurry, we just need to win some games. For me in the past, the biggest way to do this is to focus on each game and make it the biggest win of the year.”
A Vancouver muckraker tried three times to get Cooke to bash coach Alain Vigneault and talk about why things didn’t work out in Vancouver, fishing for controversy. Cooke didn’t take the bait, with a tersely-worded “No Comment” followed by his intent to focus on his future here in Washington.
Cooke, on his style of play: “I pride myself on being on the forecheck and creating turnovers. I make people hear footsteps. I’ve had success scoring ‘dirty goals’ in the past. I don’t mind going to those places if that’s what it takes.”
What does he think about the Caps’ system? “We played there before Christmas or just after, definitely a dangerous hockey club to play against. Obviously Alex brings a lot of speed and passion to the game- that’s something you’d want through your whole lineup.”
Final thoughts: “I look forward to coming somewhere where you’re used in the proper way and you feel like you’re wanted; you’re supporting the rest of the cast as well. I look forward to the change and the opportunity with the Washington Capitals.”