The Power Play is Humming, Per Usual

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Posted October 4, 2015

(Caps Outsider)

The Capitals lost key pieces to their power play unit this offseason. Troy Brouwer was sent to the St. Louis Blues, Joel Ward left for the San Jose Sharks and Mike Green headed to the Detroit Red Wings.

But you could hardly notice anything changed in the final preseason game of the season.

John Carlson opened the power play scoring with a blast from the point for the Capitals fourth goal of the night. Alex Ovechkin scored from his usual spot from a cross-ice pass just five minutes later. And for the final power play goal of the night, Ovechkin scored from, you guessed it, his usual spot.

For the most part, Barry Trotz rolled with Ovechkin, Carlson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie. Every player knows their role, and they know it really, really well. Carlson’s role? Slide the puck over to Ovi.

“There’s a lot of moving parts to defend on (our) power play,” Carlson said. “Everybody’s got their own jobs. Everybody does their own thing. Certainly (Ovi’s) shot is one of the deadliest shots in the league by far.”

It did take a while for the Capitals power play to finally break loose. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Capitals had three power play goals. So it might have taken a while for some of the new guys like Oshie to fit in, but, hey, he’s a skilled hockey player. It’s really not that hard to fit in with other skilled hockey players.

“I think that we always had our chances,” Carlson said. “I think it’s nice to get some success out of those chances, just to kind of feel better. (But) those guys, they know what they are doing. It’s not rocket science or anything.”

It’s literally that simple. But it is so, so hard for opposing teams to keep the Caps from scoring on the power play.

“When we do our job and move the puck, you can’t stop it,” Ovechkin said.

Some additional team notes.

  • Barry Trotz said that Jay Beagle was told by the trainers that he could go back into the game. Trotz told him not to worry about it and to just stay off the ice. It was a lower back injury, but doesn’t sound too serious.
  • Most of the decisions that the Capitals will make for the start of the season were made prior to this game. “I think we went into this (game) pretty prepared, and I think we sort of got to the point where we were really 90 percent on the decisions,” Trotz said. “To be quite honest with you, we really made decisions within the last day here.”
  • The Capitals cut Chandler Stephenson prior to the game. Trotz believes Stephenson is “almost there” as far as making the Capitals roster, and believes he has made a huge step in his growth in comparison to last year.
  • Trotz did not give a clear answer on whether or not Roy will get a contract with the team. Roy is currently on a professional tryout contract. Trotz said he wants to make sure Roy has a clear role on the team when they make a decision on whether or not to keep the forward.
  • Trotz is pleased with both Liam O’Brien and Sean Collins. Trotz said that while Collins isn’t a “sexy” player, he’s impressed him all throughout camp.

The team will continue to make the final cuts tomorrow before noon. Players have to go through waivers, so the cuts need to be made tomorrow.

That’s the final game of the preseason, and the rest of the games count from here on out!