One of the Washington Capitals top pair defenseman, Matt Niskanen, was placed on long-term injury reserve with a week-to-week upper-body injury after taking a slash from New Jersey Devils forward Jimmy Hayes last night. This is a huge blow to the Caps’ blue line, as they are still trying to figure out their combinations. There is, however, a silver lining to most things and this potentially being one of them. As of this morning, the Caps have recalled Madison Bowey from the Hershey Bears in the AHL. He is scheduled to make his debut tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Bowey played a very well, conservative game in the preseason and seemed to be a perfect fit for the Caps’ blue line. Unfortunately, he was sent to Hershey due to salary cap restrictions and fear of losing other defensemen to waivers. With Niskanen now ruled out with the injury, Bowey may be expected to step into a potential top 4 role. Being a right-handed shot really helps place him among the Caps. If he is not to play his debut tonight, John Carlson would be the only right-handed defenseman and that would prove to have difficulties with two other pairings with off side left-handed players. If so, the off side defensemen would have to be Christian Djoos and Taylor Chorney. Djoos because of his offensive prowess and Chorney because of his great poke checking abilities.
I have loved watching Bowey play since I seen him in Hershey before his long-term injury. He’s a very conservative, two-way defenseman that I believe would be a great fit on the third pair with Djoos or Brooks Orpik. If I were choose a defenseman to keep among all of the new players to stay, it would be a tough decision between Djoos and Bowey. I would love to keep both up in Washington, but cap salary and waivers is a thing. I hope Bowey stuns the hockey world in his debut tonight, as Djoos did, and in his games to come.