Madison Bowey’s New Capitals Contract

Defenseman Madison Bowey signed a new contract with the Washington Capitals Thursday for an average $1 million for two-years, according to the Capitals. The 23-year old Bowey was provided with a qualifying offer June 25. He became a restricted free agent with the expiration of his previous three-year entry level contract signed in April 2014.

Madison was back and forth this past season, playing for the Capitals and the Hershey Bears. He moved so much it was hard to keep track of which team he was playing with in the franchise. He played his first NHL game on October 14 to fill in for an injured Matt Niskanen. The management took a liking to Bowey during training camp; however, the blue line was pretty full and the Caps did not have a spot for him.

The Capitals played Madison in 51 games during the 2017/18 season, playing his first game October 14, 2017.  He recorded 12 points – all assists. Madison only played nine games for the Hershey Bears this past season because of his time in Washington. When home in Hershey he logged two goals and six assists. In the previous season (2016/17) he played 34 games with three goals and 11 assists. He had a very successful season in 2015/16 playing 70 games with four goals and 25 assists. He is the kind of offensive defenseman that the Capitals like and if he has an opportunity to develop consistency in his game, he could become the next John Carlson.

There is little doubt that Madison Bowey will be looking to secure one of the blue line spots this summer during training camp. He will have team mate Christian Djoos as close competition.

Read our Hershey Bear reports to meet other players.

Djoos

Bourque

Barber

Johansen

Boyd

Hobbs

Vrana

Copley

O’Brien

Capitals Defense Struggles

We knew there would be some growing pains this year for the Capitals and Saturday we saw how real the problem is. Matt Niskanen is on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and will be out for at least 10 games or 24 days. That was a blow to the blue line.

With Nisky out the door opened for Madison Bowey to finally see his NHL debut. We were pretty excited about it as we wrote Saturday. Unfortunately it was not as great a debut for him as it was for Hershey teammates Djoos and Walker. For example, he lost his stick and was outplayed by the Flyers which led to a goal by Wayne Simmonds. He ended the game a -3.

Bowey wasn’t alone with the defense struggles. John Carlson had two penalties for slashing, a turnover, and an assist. We need to see more consistency in his play. Brooks Orpik, with a -2 also recorded an assist. More consistency issues. Dmitry Orlov, while shooting at the net also had a -4. Awful for him. And Aaron Ness wasn’t really visible this game.

The Caps just couldn’t get the momentum to  stop the fast skating and slick passing of the Flyers. 

On the positive side, Christian Djoos was the only defenseman ending with a +1. Even when the Caps lost to Pittsburgh it was Djoos who stood out. Read more here.

  • Nick Backstrom remains solid with a beauty of a goal- a five game streak with 11 points. And Jakub Vrana is finding his groove with a goal himself. 
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov now has 11 assists. We are ready for his first goal of the season!

All-in-all, it was a brutal game. The forwards didn’t seem to connect, the defense wasn’t where it needed to be, and Grubi had a few errors of his own. There were too many turnovers. All part of the process of a team early in the season that is adjusting to change. They have time to focus on those gaps in performance and right the ship. 

Caps practice Monday, participate in a season ticket holder event, and practice again Tuesday before they meet the Maple Leafs at home at 7 pm. 

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?