It was only preseason and a period and a half of action, but Darcy Kuemper felt good to be back as he took the ice for the Washington Capitals for the first time in Friday’s 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. And so far, he likes what he sees with his new club.
Kuemper had nothing but good things to say postgame after the victory, as he shared his thoughts on his first outing with the club, which saw several regulars like Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and more suit up.
“It was nice to get some game action again. You know first real action with this group in front of me, and I loved the structure we played with today,” Kuemper told the media. “We played tight and it wasn’t a ton of work, but it was nice to get back out there for sure.”
The 32-year-old, who is fresh off a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, also added that he felt good with Carlson and the D-corps in front of him. Although it wasn’t the usual top-6, Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen were also there to work with their new netminder, and the three young prospects in Lucas Johansen, Vincent Iorio and Bobby Nardella did a solid job of helping out Kuemper as well.
The Capitals blue line surrendered just 19 shots, as Kuemper was a perfect 9-for-9 with Charlie Lindgren coming in and stopping 10-of-10 in the second half of the tilt.
“We were all on the same page and the communication was great,” Kuemper added. “The guys were really talking back there which makes playing pucks a lot easier.”
As for how many more games he needs to get in shape, the veteran said that he’s good with whatever the coach’s give him, and that he has been working on fine-tuning his game in practice while becoming more familiar with the structure through video and watching the club on TV. However, getting back in the swing of things with preseason action is something that’ll be helpful for him going forward.
“Whatever they got on the schedule, that’s good with me,” he said, adding, “In practice, you’re working on certain things but then it’s hard to replicate those game reps. So that’s what exhibition games are nice for and it felt really good to be in there tonight.”