Chandler Stephenson Continues to Heat Up

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Chandler Stephenson has enjoyed a solid season in a Capitals sweater. After playing in just a combined 14 games over the last two seasons, Stephenson has been a mainstay in the Capitals lineup this since getting called up from Hershey in late October during the Capitals western Canada road trip. While Stephenson didn’t crack the opening night roster at first, his stellar play in Hershey at the beginning of the season and his solid start with the big club earned him a permanent place on the Capitals roster

With Andre Burakovsky suffering a long-term upper body injury after the Capitals loss to the Panthers back on Oct. 21, the Capitals had a hole at the left wing position, giving Stephenson an opportunity. Stephenson came up to the Capitals with an already impressive track record on the young AHL season, scoring five goals in the Bears’ first six games. In his last game before the call-up, Stephenson notched a hat trick in the Bears first win of the season.

Stephenson wasted no time lighting the lamp in his first Capitals game of the season as he notched a goal in the third period of a 6-2 loss in Vancouver for his first tally of his NHL career.

Stephenson added his first goal at Capital One Arena in a huge 4-1 win over the Penguins on Nov. 10.

Recently, Stephenson has been on a tear over two of the past three Capitals games. In Wednesday’s win over the Flyers Stephenson not only had his first multi-goal game of his career, he scored both goals 47 seconds apart in the second period which led to a 5-3 win. Stephenson’s quick back-to-back goals was the fastest back-to-back goal mark for a Capital this season and the fastest back-to-back scored by a Capital since Alex Ovechkin scored a pair 53 seconds apart on Jan. 28, 2014. Trailing 2-0, his two tallies helped the team turn the corner which led to five unanswered goals.

Even though Stephenson didn’t score in the loss last Friday to the Penguins, he had at least four chances according to Natural Stat Trick. During the next Capitals game which came on Super Bowl Sunday in an eventual loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, Stephenson notched the game’s first goal. It was his first time in his career scoring the first goal of a game.

“Couldn’t really see much. Just kind of threw it and it went in,” Stephenson said.

With three goals in his last three games, Stephenson is developing a confidence in his game.

“I’m just, you know, finding that chemistry with the guys I’m playing with. Like I was saying earlier, just trying to have some fun, playing more, getting some bounces and you know, just getting some confidence,” said Stephenson. “I think that just comes with the confidence thing and just knowing what to expect every game, just getting used to the speed and the guys out here in the locker room.”

Now that Stephenson, along with the rest of the team, has found that chemistry and camaraderie with each other, the Capitals hope to use this to their advantage in the homestretch of the regular season.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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3 Responses to Chandler Stephenson Continues to Heat Up

  1. Chandler Stephenson has been playing really well on both sides of the puck–not just offense..Yet, our coach–who tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth–played him just over 11 minutes in the 4-3 loss we sustained to GMGM’s Las Vegas Golden Knights. This was a game, mind you, in which we eked out a grand total of FOUR SHOTS on goal during the third period. That’s because the Caps tried to sit on a one goal lead against Vegas’ Penguin-like forecheck.

    This was also a game in which–as the home team–we had the last line change. All of that noted, why did Barry Bombast–who’s been heard to say that good play will be rewarded with extra minutes–fail to reward Stephenson with 18 to 20 minutes of PT?? With his speed, grit and heady play it might have prevented yet another pathetic ending to a game that Washington should have won handily…

    But Barry Trotz won’t say much that makes sense–he’s kind of like former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson in that regard…And many of his moves make even less sense…He’s poor at developing young players–like Stephenson–in my opinion. To illustrate, a couple of posts ago I pointed out that Jon Cooper’s four youngsters (Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Yanni Gourde have each scored 18 goals–that’s SEVENTY TWO TIMES!!!
    That’s also thirty four more than our four youngsters: Bret Connolly, Jakub Vrana, Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky.

    With that in mind, would you say that those four Lightning players are THAT much better than ours?? Or would you conclude, as I have, that Barry Trotz isn’t imaginative (or flexible) enough to extract as much talent out of his youngsters as Jon Cooper (and other coaches) are with THEIR young players??

    I’ll leave it to you to decide, but mark my words, the Capitals will NEVER get past the second round of the playoffs until they learn how to extract potential from their kids. Either they have the wrong system (likely) or they keep drafting the wrong players (possible–other than Filip Forsberg who our jackass former GM George McPhee gave to the Preds in exchange for a pair of future Hall-of-Famers named Erat and Latta who aren’t even on the team–or the league anymore…and NO, I will NOT let that stupid-assed trade deadline move by GMGM go…EVER…)

    End,
    Clifford
    Santa Monica
    i

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Game Preview: Capitals Prepare For a Two-Game Set With Columbus | NoVa Caps

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