Two Jobs Vacant On The Capitals Blue Line

By Bryce Jurkovac

The Caps are looking to fill two defensemen positions and maybe have a seventh in a backup/emergency position. 

Orlov-Niskanen

?-Carlson

Orpik-?

Potential Candidates: Ness, Chorney, Lewington, Djoos, and Bowey. Let’s play the mix-and-match game and see how each potential pairing would ride out based on last season and play style.

Chorney & Carlson

These two already have history playing together last season with Coach Trotz’s line shuffling and due to injuries. These two did not play too bad with each other in my opinion. Carlson obviously plays a risky, offensive style game and can provide defense when capable. Only issue is that he gets beat when caught flat-footed with no support from the other defense partner. Chorney can bring that steady, defense game to the other side of Carlson. Very stay-at-home, defensively smart style of play. I think this would work out great.

Ness & Carlson

I haven’t looked into Aaron Ness too much with the Hershey Bears, but from what I’ve seen in the preseason (this year and last), I don’t think he’d be the best fit on the 2nd defensive pairing. He plays smart, but every time I’ve watched him play with the Caps, he gets beat by pure speed or can’t control the supporting man. I do, however, think he would be a fantastic 7th. He would be a good filler for the Caps blue line and who knows, he may improve and blow us all away.

Lewington & Carlson

I see Tyler Lewington heading back down to Hershey to lead them to the playoffs. He has a strong presence and I personally think would be nice to have on the Caps roster. Injury dependent, could see him called up in the future.

Djoos & Carlson

I was really hoping this pair would click and it still can. Christian Djoos has more growing to do before he lines up with “the big boys.” The talent is definitely there, but I would keep him in Hershey for now. Let him flourish there and make sure he’s ready to bring his ‘A’ game next season. Maybe shoot for the top pairing. Still chance for him to be called up, too.

Orpik & Bowey

To me, this is the ideal pairing we all want to see. You have a young and talented defenseman from the AHL coming up and getting paired with a seasoned veteran and Stanley Cup Champion. He’s a right-handed shot, which is perfect for Brooks Orpik. He’s a talented defenseman and has held his own in all the games I’ve seen him play. I think it’ll be a huge disappointment if Barry Trotz doesn’t stick this kid with Orpik.

Orpik & Chorney/Ness/Djoos

It wouldn’t be ideal to stick a lefty with a lefty as we have seen in the previous seasons, but it is doable if the right-handed shot is not available. This year it is and I think it would be a mistake to put the Caps in that position again. If it came down to it though, I would like to see Djoos or Ness with Orpik. 

In conclusion, my ideal pairings for the Caps regular season opener would be:

Orlov-Niskanen

Chorney-Carlson

Orpik-Bowey

Ness*

What do you think?

Preseason Capitals-Devils: Caps Practice the PK

One more preseason game for the Capitals is behind them and Coach has had a good look at six prospects for the Caps roster. The line up for Wednesday:
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So how did the prospects do? Here’s our take, including some of your thoughts:

Vrana: He looked good when he stepped in for Oshie on the power play. Kid can shoot, now just need to see more get in the back of the net. He has good hands – the puck just glides with him.

Boyd: We still aren’t seeing anything from him. Not sure why there is so much buzz for him.

Graovac – still one of our top contenders. He scored the first goal for the Caps after a scoreless first period. He is making it clear he wants to stay.

Peluso : More impressed with Anthony Wednesday. Still not all the way in.

Ness: We are still unimpressed. What are we missing???

Bowey – look we like him. We think he has potential but as smooth as he is on the ice and as much as he plays both ends, we are left wanting more.  Maybe a good seventh D?

This is the time for these guys to show that they are the best to slide into the vacant slots. With only four forward and three defensemen positions open, the competition is tight and each needed to step  it up tonight. We want to see how Walker and Siegenthaler  do and then we think the cuts will come.

First period was a disaster. Three penalty kills that the totally blew. Period ended 4-0 Devils with Holtby in the net. The second period was a slight improvement. Tyler Graovac, with an assist from Jay Beagle, finally got the Caps on the board. However, it was sad to see a power play with 92 19 77 8 and 74 (with a tradeout of 77 for 13) unable to come close to scoring. Period ended with three more Caps penalties and two from the Devils–two of them were matching penalties. 4-1 end of second. So that brings us to the third period and the penalties kept coming. Caps with two and Devils with one. Final score 4-1 Devils

Orpik had a bit of a tussle He took a minor and a 10 minute penalty for game misconduct.

Oh, and of course we had a first D.C. sighting of Marcus Johansson–just too weird for us…Before the game Backstrom told CSN that he would: “Give him a little tap on the back to say ‘welcome back'” sigh…

watermarked4(2017-09-27-2008)

Even though he scored on the Capitals first, and we shouldn’t be excited, it was pretty exciting to see the number one draft pick play. The kid has some chops on him!!

watermarked1(2017-09-27-2008)
Number One Draft Pick 2017 Nico Hirschier

Let’s end this on a beautiful moment note when this dad surprises his little girl. No matter what, this made it a great night!

The Capitals play the Hurricanes on Friday in Raleigh. The final cuts could be made before but certainly will occur shortly after this game. Lets hope they have a better showing.

And then it’s on to the regular season!!!!

Photos by Mel Abernethy

 

Capitals  and Fans Daily Media Review 

Most chatter today has been about prospects. 

Training camp just got smaller:

Isabelle talks about our number one defenseman pick:

Tricky Osh:

Ovi


CSN has ideas for the PP based on the last two days at camp:

PK

Wilson:

Burkie: 


Already taking UFA/RFA and Prospects 

Goalies: support our Warriors:

Chocolate Hockey

You:

On Walker:

https://twitter.com/capsneed2points/status/912484000480063488

Bragging rights:

Hockey rules:

And if you have insomnia- ya got this to entertain you:

More Capitals Camp Cuts 

The Caps announced late Tuesday afternoon that they were cutting a few more players:

They released defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka from PTO, loan Riley Barber, Colby Williams, and goalie Parker Milner to Hershey (AHL) for their camp.

Additionally, they placed Zach Sill and Liam  O’Brien on waivers for purposes of loan to Hershey (AHL), according the Caps PR. 

The new roster now stands at 30 with the following players:


Capitals Jay Beagle: What’s Not to Like

Washington Capitals third-line center Jay Beagle is one of the most consistent players on the team. When he signed his most recent contract, Brian MacLellan said: “Jay is a hard-working player who plays multiple positions and is an excellent faceoff man and penalty killer.” He is a versatile player, capable of playing wherever coach puts him.

Jay has had his fair share of injuries, including a broken left hand in 2015. The 2016-17 season was the first time he played nearly the entire season–he missed one game. This has the potential to be his best season yet, if he can remain healthy.  He should play in his 400th NHL career game, and then some. And he could record his 100th point, With a career high of 13 goals last season, he could also record a career 50 goals this time around.

The Caps need Jay in the faceoff. He continues to out-perform most of the team. He is a strong third-line player. “Faceoff prowess ” is the term most used to describe his talent. Coach Trotz certainly has a lot of confidence in this critical capability, and with all the the faceoff penalties called this preseason, the team will likely continue to rely on him.

Jay always makes us smile. He has a simple joy about him. He is often teased about his lack on technological savvy. He probably won’t even see this post–although maybe wife Ashley might! He doesn’t use social media but he is always more than willing to stop and take a selfie or sign an autograph. He has that refreshingly simple background that comes from growing up with a close-knit family in Calgary.

We hope Jay has a great season. We can only expect that he will. Lines will likely shift once the vacant spots on the roster are filled. CSN has projected a Nathan Walker – Jay Beagle – Alex Chiasson line. Time will tell.

He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017/18 season. Beagle signed a three- year $5,250,000 contract in June 2015. His previous three-year  contract was for $2,700,000. He began his professional career in 2008 with the Hershey Bears and made the jump to full-time Capitals in 2010.

Caps-Canes Preseason Photo Gallery

First off we have Mr. Jay Beagle who has more facial expression than anyone I have ever seen.

 

Then of course there are our FAVE Russians…

There are just too many to post them all but here are some of my favorites…

And we couldn’t have a post from this game without plenty of photos of the great J-Will…

Washington Capitals Clear the House: Who’s Left?

The Capitals, as expected, made a slew of cuts on Sunday morning. No big surprises.

Here’s who is still on the training camp roster

Forwards:

Riley Barber – Hershey Bears. He looked good on Saturday which probably earned him more time.

Travis Boyd – Hershey Bears. He seems to be a favorite. He has some good hands and is a smooth skater.

Alex Chiasson – He is looking for a new spot in the NhL and with the only goal on Saturday, he deserves more time.

Tyler Graovac – He certainly has proved himself deserving of more time after Friday. He was the only standout player in a shutout game.

Liam O’Brien – This Hershey Bear has long been on the Caps radar. He could be ready.

Anthony PelusoThe man from Manitoba is hoping for an NHL position. He has a lot of grit, which ended him in the box twice on Friday.

Zach Sill – Hershey Bears. We are still out on this one.

Chandler Stephenson –  surprised that he is still here. We would like to see more consistency from him.

Jakub Vrana – Hershey Bears. He is our front runner and most of you seem to agree. He is slick, fierce, and the most consistent of any prospects.

Nathan Walker – Hershey Bears. This guy from OZ is pretty spectacular too. He may be short but he makes up for it in tenacity and the will to score.

Defensemen/ Goalies:

Madison Bowey – Hershey Bears. Our top pick for defenseman. We look forward to seeing more in the next week or so.

Christian Djoos – Hershey Bears. Grabs attention but he is a bit inconsistent. We want to like him for the Caps but aren’t there yet.

Jyrki Jokipakka – From Finland. Hasn’t stood out for us yet. We’ll be watching to see why he stayed.

Aaron Ness – Hershey Bears. Coach seems to like him. The media likes him. We aren’t impressed enough. What are we missing?

Jonas Siegenthaler– Hershey Bears. Ok we like him. He may not have matured into an NHL player yet, but we have high hopes for him.

Colby Williams – Hershey Bears. We admit, he hasn’t been tops on our radar. We are a little baffled by this.

Pheonix Copley – Hershey Bears. The third goalie. If Grubi leaves next season we would expect him to move up to number two.

Parker Milner – Hershey Bears/South Carolina – He will be spending more time in training with the goalie coaches.

Tyler Lewington– Does well for Hershey, personally we don’t see him making the cut just yet.

So that is that for today. Camp and the next three preseason should show us who is prime for some NHL hockey. Follow us on twitter: @incoldplacesdc for updates and more video and photos.

Capitals Practice Photos and Pregame News

The Washington Capitals held Morning Skate on Saturday ahead of their preseason match with the Carolina Hurricanes. And yes, Justin Williams is schedule to play…sigh…

Anyway, here is who is in for both teams. Note: Tom Wilson is out pending a disciplinary hearing. 


The group seemed a little sluggish this morning. They were in good moods for the most part so we hope they are more energized by 7pm. 

Here are the projected lines for tonight. 

Ovechkin thrilled the crowd just by showing up:


Kuzy warmed up in front of us so we had a chance to see some stick handling from him:


Orlov sure looked happy to be in tonight.

 Grubauer and Copley will be in the net.


There were some onlookers waiting for their turn:

And finally, Jay Beagle was ever the gentleman meeting with fans:

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Other fans has a good long chat with JoeB

Capitals Play First Preseason at Home: Graovac Surpise

The Capitals hosted the St. Louis Blues for the first home preseason game Friday. It was a night of turnovers and missed chances as prospects tried to prove they can perform on the same level as the likes of permanent roster players. 


The first period was kind of slow. No penalties or scoring for over 10 minutes and then bam! Chorney and Wilson were called for slashing and one-two, the Blues scored. 2-0 at the end of period. The second period was fairly dull. Except for Anthony Peluso, who is looking for a job! He was first and last in the penalty box. Once for hooking and once for roughing. No score change. Third period it didn’t take long for the Caps to get a power play. Copley in the net, switching with Holtby who played two shifts. Lots of potential for this goalie! And Tom Wilson had his first real fight on the ice. Willy won.  Smoothly Thomas (Blues) got his second goal on Phoenix. 4-0 in the end. Ugh. 


We had some key players we were watching.  Here is our take on the night and those we kept and eye on:

Vrana – could he get a top six spot? He played a physical game again but like the rest of the team, didn’t have much to show for it. 


Stephenson – showing his speed as he was moved from center to left wing. 


Boyd
– he looked good in the corners. CSN likes him too. 


Johanson
– not much to say tonight. He was a -1 and had at least one giveaway. Happens  to the best of ‘me but maybe he needs more seasoning with the Bears. 


Djoos – he has some good stick handling.  He’s a real possibility. 


Ness
– the gents from CSN like him and think he will get the nod to stay. We have yet to see that in him. He plays low so maybe he has been under the radar for us. 

Graovac – ok, he surprised us. Tyler had some great opportunities and showed some real grit. He was rushing the net all night.

Bottom line is we wouldn’t want to be coach and making these decisions. Our top picks right now are Vrana, Bowey, and after tonight, Graovac. We have a vote for this guy too. 

Tyler Lewington

Morning skate at 10 on Saturday and a non-game scrimmage set for 11:15. 

First Look at NHL Centennial 

Mel had a first look at the NHL Centennial Fan Arena Friday night. The F Street display was free and open to fans before the game. It will be there on Saturday too, and so will we!

According to the Capitals, it’s a “touring  tribute to a century of hockey’s history, visiting all NHL markets in 2017. The interactive fan experience honors players, teams and moments through an innovative museum, original video content and a first-of-its-kind virtual reality games”

Here are some preliminary photos from Mel – more tomorrow. 

From the Fan Experience Zone:


And there are autographs to be had!