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Barry Trotz isn't happy about the 'soccer mentality' creeping into the NHL or his team's lack of power plays

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Barry Trotz isn't happy about the 'soccer mentality' creeping into the NHL or his team's lack of power plays

Barry Trotz says the Capitals are frustrated by the low number of power plays they've been awarded and the way some opponents have gone about drawing penalties this season.

“I despise diving, and our guys know it,” Trotz said. “We don’t try to go down easy. We’re not getting any penalties. …We’ve got to keep our legs moving, which will help. But we’re getting a little bit frustrated because some of the soccer mentality is back in our league a little bit—go down easy.”

A moment later, Trotz cracked: “All of the soccer fans will be happy about that one. …It’s a sell. Some guys sell it better. We’ve got to stay out of the box and draw some more penalties.” 

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The Caps’ power play unit has been good though 12 games, clicking at a 21.6-percent rate. But Nicklas Backstrom and Co. are just 25th in power play opportunities (37), including a grand total of two over the past two games (none in Edmonton and two in Calgary).

For comparison’s sake, the Wild is dead last (29) and the Blackhawks are first (55). Twenty teams, meantime, have been on the man advantage 42 or more times.

In addition to resisting the urge to dive, Trotz said, the Caps have also been hurt by their own game. As he noted, his players can draw more whistles by possessing the puck more, generating longer shifts in the offensive zone and keeping their feet moving when engaged with opponents—all of which tend to lead to trips, hooks and holds.  

“We’ve been pretty good the last couple of years at extending shifts and drawing those 'tired' penalties on teams,” Trotz added. “We haven’t been able to do that as much. That’s partly on us, partly on our game.”

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The power play has converted on eight of its 37 opportunities. Backstrom has the most points (7), while T.J. Oshie and Ovechkin are first and second in goals with 4 and 3, respectively.

So it’s going okay. The Caps just need to find a way to get the unit more time on the ice.

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.

Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.

The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.

Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.

With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)

Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.

Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.

Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to www.capfriendly.com.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Checking in on Hershey

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Checking in on Hershey

In the present, the Capitals are the Stanley Cup champions. But what does the future hold?

The voice of the Hershey Bears, Zack Fisch, joins JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir to talk all things prospects!

Who stood out at development camp? How will Pheonix Copley look as backup? Which Hershey prospects could push for a spot in the NHL? All that and more on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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