Capitals

Quick Links

Surprised by how things ended in Calgary, Chiasson hopes to catch on with the Caps

Surprised by how things ended in Calgary, Chiasson hopes to catch on with the Caps

The Caps are looking for a couple of wingers.

Alex Chiasson is looking for a job.

Can they help one another out? Training camp is just a couple of days old, but it already looks like a strong possibility. 

“He’s got really great size,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “You can tell he’s a pro. He’s got really good hands. He seems to have a good net front presence at times, and he gets around the ice really well.”

The Caps signed Chiasson to a professional tryout agreement (PTO) on Sept. 9 – two-plus months after Calgary did not extend a qualifying offer to him.

Asked if he was surprised by the Flames’ decision to cut him loose after he posted 12 goals and 12 assists in 81 games, Chiasson said, “A little, yes.”

His agent had conversations with a few teams but no contract offers were made.

“It’s frustrating as a player but then you just got to turn the page,” he said. “You have to accept that that’s the way it is. I’m still fairly young and I know I can play in this league for a number of years.”

He added: “I got an opportunity to come here on a PTO and there are some spots open on the team. I still believe in my ability to be an impact player on a team and in the league. I want to show that I belong here.”

Chiasson, a right shot, is competing for one of the two open wing spots on Jay Beagle’s line. Others in the mix include: Devante Smith-Pelly, Anthony Peluso and prospects Nathan Walker, Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd, Riley Barber and Liam O’Brien.

Chiasson hopes his experience—the 320 games he’s played for the Stars, Senators and Flames are the most among his competitors—as well as his ability to help on the penalty kill will give him an edge. Last season, he skated on the Flames’ third penalty kill pair with Sam Bennett and averaged 55 seconds of shorthanded ice time per game.

The Montreal native also has the ability to slide into a top-six role if injuries strike. And then there’s his size. At 6 foot 3, 205 pounds, he’s as tall as any forward who has a legitimate shot at earning a spot on the opening night roster.

The final roster isn’t due for a few more weeks, and a lot can happen between now and then. But Chiasson seems to have established himself as an early favorite.

“I have a lot of experience in the league,” he said. “I know the players. I know what makes me successful, as well. All I can do is focus on my play and the rest will take care of itself.”

Quick Links

Bruins coach takes issue with Tom Wilson coming to the defense of Dmitry Orlov

tom-wilson-ustat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Bruins coach takes issue with Tom Wilson coming to the defense of Dmitry Orlov

Tom Wilson is one of those players people love to have on their team, but others hate to play against.

An incident in the second period of Washington's 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday has once again drawn the ire of an opponent.

With the Bruins attacking, a deflection by Patrice Bergeron hit off the post and out of play. As the puck was going out, Brad Marchand gave a cross-check to the back of Dmitry Orlov.

Orlov took exception. So did Wilson.

You can see the replay here.

RELATED: 4 REASONS THE CAPS BEAT THE BRUINS

With Orlov and Marchand engaged in a shoving match, Wilson comes in to defend his teammate. That did not sit well with Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.

“Well, I voiced my opinion at the end of the period. I think it’s wrong and to me, to just put two guys into the box in that situation when a third guy comes in, there should have been an additional call,” Cassidy said after the game, per Bruins Daily.

“That’s the way I felt about it, they didn’t see it that way. Clearly, two guys, Orlov and Marchy [Marchand] were battling and for him [Wilson] to come in is unnecessary, to say the least in that situation. But their job is to police it on the ice, and in that particular instance, that’s the way the saw it and that’s the way it went.”

CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST: RECAPPING ANOTHER FIVE-GOAL GAME

Perhaps Cassidy was just fishing for an extra minor to Wilson, but it is probably no coincidence he said "a third guy comes in" when referencing the play.

There is a rule in the NHL against a "third man in" that states that a misconduct penalty will be assessed on "any player who is the first to intervene (third man in) in an altercation already in progress," but the term "altercation" falls under the terms of fighting in the rule book. Orlov and Marchand were assessed matching minors for cross-checking. The fact that the referees determined no fight was in progress means there was no "altercation" and the third man rule does not apply.

Marchand and Wilson were not done with each other and both players were assessed 10-minute misconducts late in the third period, but by then the game was already well in hand for Washington.

Quick Links

4 reasons the Caps beat the Bruins

usatsi_10479325.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

4 reasons the Caps beat the Bruins

The Capitals just can't seem to lose to the Boston Bruins. The Caps extended their win streak over the Bruins to 11 games on Thursday thanks to their 5-3 win in Boston.

Here's how the Caps extended the streak.

Braden Holtby, especially in the first and second period

Here is one where the box score won't tell the whole story. Braden Holtby gave up three goals on 37 shots. Looking at that, you may think to yourself that he was good, but not great. Let's be clear, Holtby was great in this game, especially early. The Bruins were buzzing in the first and second period—Washington was outshot 13-3 in the second—yet after 40 minutes Washington held a 2-1 lead. Holtby was brilliant allowing the Caps to take control of the game.

RELATED: CHECK OUT TARIK'S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

Finally solving Boston's penalty kill

The Bruins entered Thursday's game with the 3rd best penalty kill in the NHL. Washington failed to score on any of its first three power play opportunities in the first period so they changed things up. In the Caps' normal power play, there is some movement, but the setup is largely based on positioning. Players have spots they are supposed to be in and their movement is largely restricted to their specific areas. That changed in the second period. The players cycled frequently and managed to catch Boston's penalty killers off guard. Instead of playing the wall like he usually does, Backstrom was in front of the net for the easy tip-in off a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Rookies

Jakub Vrana scored one of the prettiest goals you will see this season as he split the defense and turned what looked like a normal play into a breakaway. In the third period, the ice began tilting in Boston's favor, but Christian Djoos slammed the door shut. Djoos took a pass at the blue line and had room to skate. He drove in, deked around Anders Bjork and set up Alex Chiasson beautifully right on the tape for the goal to make it 3-1.

MORE CAPITALS: CHECK OUT THE LATEST CAPITALS FACEOFF PODCAST

Alex Chiasson

Chiasson not only scored off of the great setup by Djoos, but he also was able to turn a blocked shot into a breakaway shorthanded goal. The Caps entered the third period up 2-1. Chiasson scored the next two to make it 4-1 and really iced the game away.