Boyd, whose goal was the first of his season, has been a solid contributor since getting called up from the Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, Pa., because of lingering injuries affecting the roster. Capitals Coach Todd Reirden said Boyd is “absolutely” competing for a long-term spot with the team after not making the opening-night roster. Boyd will move from the fourth line to the third to play alongside Richard Panik and Lars Eller for Monday night’s game against Anaheim.
“Absolutely, he’s known that,” Reirden said of Boyd’s chances to remain at the NHL level. “The message has been clear to him … he’s doing everything he can with his game to prove every night that he deserves an elevated role or to be here. Certainly with the low cap hit the offense he’s been able to generate, makes it an intriguing situation for sure. He’s been good for us when called upon for sure.”
Boyd, who carries a $800,000 salary cap hit, has one goal and four assists in seven games. Boyd has a point on five of the six even-strength goals he has been on the ice for this season, including the one he scored Saturday to Hayden’s delight.
“She usually always tells me before games to score a goal for her and just so happened that I did,” Boyd said of his daughter. “It was obviously a really cool, being able to get back on the bus after the game and see that. It put a smile on my face for sure.”
The Capitals soon will have to make a decision on Boyd. . After a player has played in 10 NHL games or spent 30 days on an NHL roster,he must clear waivers once again if he gets sent down. Boyd has been on the Capitals NHL roster for 27 days, including Monday.
Boyd can still play in Wednesday’s game against the New York Rangers, that will be Day 29, before a decision is forced.
“Yeah, you know a lot of it is completely out of my hands and I’ve got nothing to do with the business side of it, but when I get a chance to play just like tonight, I try to take advantage of it any way possible,” Boyd said. “Try to be detailed in the defensive zone and when you get a chance to make a play offensively, you make a play.”
Boyd’s latest call-up was Saturday morning, arriving in a salary cap-related move after injuries to Nic Dowd (hand) and Carl Hagelin (upper body). Both players are still day-to-day, with Hagelin closer to coming back than Dowd, according to Reirden. Hagelin will miss his sixth game, and Dowd his third. Hagelin has been wearing a light-blue non contact jersey in practices and morning skates over the past couple days, but Dowd was not on the ice Monday for morning skate and Reirden called the injury worse than they had originally believed.
Notes: Braden Holtby will start in net against Anaheim, with goaltender Vitek Vanecek backing him up after the team had to reassignIlya Samsonov to Hershey for salary cap reasons.
“If something were to happen it wouldn’t bother me one bit to see Vanecek in a game,” Reirden said. “He’s done well. He’s earned his opportunities and never seen him at a game in this level. It is good to have him here.”