The Capitals headed west on Tuesday for Game #5 of their 2018 preseason schedule, as they faced the Blues at the newly re-named Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Game recap here.) You can review the prospect grades for game 1 here, game 2 here, game 3 here and game 4 here.
This game 5 review covers Capitals “prospects” (non-roster players), and does not include players who were on the Capitals roster at the end of the 2017-2018 season. (Braden Holtby, Michal Kempny, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik, Christian Djoos, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Chandler Stephenson, Lars Eller and Brett Connolly). If a prospect doesn’t have a summary below, there was nothing significant to report.
The Capitals lineup for game 5:
Pheonix Copley – Copley got the start and went the distance in this one. Relatively untested early, Phoenix settled in nicely as the action picked up, making several solid stops and two beauties to bail out his leaky defense. (He would ultimately win the game for the Caps).
Copley was calm in the crease and showed good angle discipline and side-to-side movement in this contest. He stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first period.
The second period started with much of the same, as Copley made two nice stops in the first three minutes of the middle frame, followed by two more dazzlers towards the middle of the frame.
Copley continued with his scorching hot play, making two nice stops in a 5-on-3 penalty kill for the Capitals. He finished the second period stopping all 18 shots he faced, 28 for 28 after two periods.
Copley had a relatively quiet third period as the Capitals tilted the ice and reduced the number,of shots he faced in the final frame. Copley would finish the game stopping a whopping 42 of 42 shots for the game. Grade: A+
Jonas Siegenthaler – Another solid game for Siegenthaler, who has arguably had the best prospect tournament, training camp and preseason of any of the Capitals defensive prospects. Solid positioning on the backend while joining plenty of rushes on the other end. Solid two-way play for Jonas. One shot on goal for the game. Grade: B+
Madison Bowey – This was Bowey’s best showing in the preseason. He was caught out of position late in the first period, but Copley made a nice save on a close-range shot (see above). Bowey picked up his shot attempts and his overall game late in the second period. Bowey would score the Capitals third goal on the end of a nice feed from Alex Ovechkin in the third period. Bowey would finish the game with three shots on goal. Grade: B
Shane Gersich – Registered the game’s first tally with a beautiful top shelf laser from the left dot, beating Allen glove side. This was Gersich’s first goal and point of the preseason.
On the down side, Gersich got knocked around a bit, particularly along the boards, and on zone entry attempts. Regardless, this was possibly his best game of the preseason, was around the puck and involved in the play a good amount in this game. Grade: B+/A-
Riley Barber – Primary assist on Gersich’s opening tally. Picked up his game in the third period. Showed some grit standing up for Shane Gersich, who took a late hit in the third period. Shot attempts also increased in the third period. Probably had better outings the previous two game, but still another good showing for Barber. Barber led the Caps in shots on goal with 5 for the game. His second game in the preseason where he led the team in shots. Grade: B
Liam O’Brien – Another solid game for O’Brien. Not as impressive as his previous game, but still a solid showing. Dropped the gloves with Maroon in the middle frame. O’Brian had no shots on goal for the game. Grade: C+
Travis Boyd – Another relatively quiet game for Boyd. Made a couple of nice plays that went unnoticed by most, including a nice save on the defensive end late in the game. Registered 2 shots he n goal for the game. Grade: C+
Nathan Walker – possibly Walker’s best showing of the preseason. Registered the Capitals second goal with a dirty net front tally in the middle frame. John Carlson found Walker camping on the doorstep. Grade: B+
Preseason rankings to date (for players still in camp):
Forwards: 1) Barber 2) O’Brien 3) Gersich 4) Boyd 5) Pilon 6) Jonsson-Fjallby
Defensmen: 1) Hobbs 2) Siegenthaler 3) Bowey 4) Lewington 5) Johansen 6) Ness
By Jon Sorensen