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What can the Caps expect from Oshie, Williams at right wing?


What can the Caps expect from Oshie, Williams at right wing?

With players starting to trickle into Kettler Capitals Iceplex from all corners of the world, we’ll spend this week looking at the Capitals’ depth chart at each position and what we can expect heading into what promises to be a very interesting 2015-16 season. Today, we examine the right wing position:

T.J. Oshie

Age: 28

Games: 72

Goals: 19

Assists: 36

Points: 55

Plus-minus: Plus-17

Penalty minutes: 51

Power play goals: 3

Power play assists: 10

Average ice time: 18:50

Power play ice time: 2:21

Shorthanded ice time: 1:19

Hits: 99

2015-16 cap hit: $4.175 million

Analysis: In replacing Joel Ward (6-foot-1, 226 pounds) and Troy Brouwer (6-3, 213) with Oshie (5-11, 189) and Justin Williams (6-1, 189) the Capitals lost some of what Barry Trotz likes to call a “heavy” game, but Oshie makes up for his size disadvantage with a feisty style that fans in St. Louis grew to love. He generated 99 hits last season, which would have ranked sixth among Caps forwards last season behind Alex Ovechkin (259), Brouwer (206), Tom Wilson (205), Jason Chimera (132) and Brooks Laich (107).

“He’s a little pit bull,” Williams said. “He hits like a truck but he can stickhandle through a phone booth.”

Oshie likely will set up in the diamond position on the power play in the slot, a position vacated by Brouwer and Ward. If matched alongside pass-happy Nicklas Backstrom and shot-happy Ovechkin, it will be interesting to see when and where Oshie will find his shooting lanes. Under the direction of Ken Hitchcock he improved his defensive awareness (plus-17) and should be a very nice fit on the Caps’ top line.

Projection: Oshie’s numbers have been pretty consistent in recent seasons, so it’s safe to assume he’s good for at least 20 goals and 35 assists in his first season in Washington. However, if he finds a home on the Caps’ top line, he could be due for career highs in every offensive category. Like many of his new teammates, Oshie is looking to improve on his playoff performance, where his .30 points per game are well off his .70 points per game in the regular season.

Justin Williams

Age: 33

Games: 81

Goals: 18

Assists: 23

Points: 41

Plus-minus: Plus-8

Penalty minutes: 29

Power play goals: 4

Power play assists: 9

Average ice time: 15:49

Power play ice time: 1:37

2015-16 cap hit: $3.25 million

Analysis: Essentially, the Capitals signed Williams to help push them over the second-round playoff hump that has grown into a mountain. Williams is not the world’s fastest skater and he doesn’t possess the hardest shot in the NHL, but he plays a smart positional game, allowing him to find seams in the offensive zone to get off his deceptively quick shot. He saw time on the Kings’ second power play unit last season and he’ll probably be used similarly in Washington, also setting up in the diamond, where he can release that quick shot and bury some of Ovechkin’s rocket-launch rebounds.  

Analysis: Williams has won three Cups with two different teams (one with Carolina in 2006, two with the Kings in 2012 and 2014) and was the 2014 Conn Smythe winner. His 14 points in seven Game 7s are the most in NHL history and his points per game in the playoffs (.68) are slightly higher than in the regular season (.63). It is with that in mind that Caps fans are hoping Williams gives the Caps’ second line a boost and is fitted with his fourth Stanley Cup ring next summer.

Tom Wilson

Age: 21

Games: 67

Goals: 4

Assists: 13

Points: 17

Plus-minus: Minus-1

Penalty minutes: 172

Fighting majors: 12

Hits: 205

Average ice time: 10:56

2015-15 cap hit: $894,166

Analysis: From both a development and financial standpoint, this is a big season for the big kid. A broken ankle last summer curtailed Wilson’s ability to work on his skating, something he’ll need to improve if he hopes to become a top-six winger in the NHL. Wilson’s ice time (10:56) increased by 3 minutes under Barry Trotz last season but it dipped dramatically in the playoffs (7:43) and that will need to change for Wilson to become the impact player the Caps believed he’s be when they drafted him 16th overall in 2012.

Projection: Wilson said he would spend this summer working on his stickhandling and shooting skills and if he shows improvement in those areas he could find himself alongside creative players like Marcus Johansson or Andre Burakovsky. If not Wilson will continue developing as a seek-and-destroy fourth-liner who could complement hard-edged players like Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle and Michael Latta.

Chris Brown

Age: 24

Games: 64 (AHL)

Goals: 17

Assists: 11

Points: 28

Plus-minus: Plus-3

Penalty minutes: 70

Power play goals: 5

2015-16 cap hit: $575,000

Stan Galiev

Age: 23

Games: 67 (AHL)

Goals: 25

Assists: 20

Points: 45

Plus-minus: Plus-5

Penalty minutes: 24

Power play goals: 15  

2015-16 cap hit: $575,000

Jakub Vrana

Age: 19

Games: 44 (Swe)

Goals: 12

Assists: 12

Points: 24

Plus-minus: Plus-3

Penalty minutes: 12

Power play goals: 2

2015-16 cap hit: $894,166

Analysis: When it comes to cap room, Brown and Galiev make a better fit at $575,000 than Vrana at close to $900,000. Brown is strong on the puck and in the corners and can kill penalties if needed, while Galiev can provide scoring punch to any line and fill in on the power-play if necessary. Both will be watched very closely at training camp. The Caps’ scouts love Vrana’s speed and his shot is off-the-charts and that could create an interesting debate when the club trims its training camp roster for the start of the regular season.

Projection: If Galiev has a strong camp he appears to have a leg up on Brown for a roster spot. Vrana (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) could stand to add some muscle and experience the rigors of the AHL before being called up by the Caps.

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals' depth at center hinges on Backstrom's health

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings: The West is set while the Caps still have work to do


NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Power Rankings: The West is set while the Caps still have work to do

There are only two series left in the first round that have yet to be decided. The Caps just so happen to be playing in one of those series.

After falling into a 0-2 hole to start, Washington has rattled off three straight wins and now sits just one away from putting away the Columbus Blue Jackets and advancing to the second round.

Should the Capitals advance, they will play the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third consecutive season.


The Penguins ended their series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday in Game 6. Jake Guentzel scored four goals in the effort proving once and for all that yes, goaltending is important in the playoffs. Head coach Mike Sullivan has still yet to lose a playoff series as the head coach of Pittsburgh as he led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons.

In the Atlantic, the Tampa Bay Lightning await the winner of the Boston Bruins - Toronto Maple Leafs series after dispatching the New Jersey Devils in five games. After a strong regular season, the Maple Leafs looked poised to take the next step, but Auston Matthews has only two points in five games and Toronto faces elimination at the hands of the Bruins Monday in Game 5.


All four series in the West, meanwhile, have already been decided. Both the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks managed four-game sweeps in the first round and will face one another in the second  The miraculous season of the Golden Knights continues and it would be hard to argue at this point that they are not legitimate Stanly Cup contenders considering all they have accomplished in both the regular season and the playoffs.

Wins by the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets now sets up a second-round battle between the top two teams in the league from the regular season.


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Game 6 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 6 Capitals at Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

After three straight wins, the Caps now sit just one win away from closing out the Columbus Blue Jackets. They will get their shot to finish the series Monday in Game 6.

Nicklas Backstrom was the hero in Game 5 for Washington with three points including the overtime winner. Who will step up in Game 6? The Caps will need to make sure it's not Artemi Panarin who has been held without a point in two straight games. Washington will also need to make sure their penalty kill stays hot as they have killed off 13 straight power plays for the Blue Jackets.

The Pittsburgh Penguins await the winner of this series after closing out the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Will the Caps close out Columbus and set up the rematch?

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 6

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 6 on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 6 on Monday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Columbus. Washington currently leads the series 3-2.


Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blue Jackets
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30


Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 6, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Here are the Caps' projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.