Capital One Arena saw its first action of the season on Tuesday, albeit in a preseason game, as the Capitals fell 5-2 to the Boston Bruins. T.J. Oshie looked like he wanted to hit everything that moved every time he was on the ice. Matt Niskanen also scored a power play tally, but both he and Oshie’s spots on the team are already secure. There were plenty of other players with a lot on the line looking to make an impression in the home preseason opener.
Here are four players who impressed:
The Caps scored less than five minutes into the game thanks to a nifty deflection by Barber on a quick shot by Alex Alexeyev. Barber was Washington’s top offensive threat on the night and was all over the net with nine (!!!) shots on goal and another four attempts. His goal was a dirty one, but Barber also showed some soft hands and good stick work as well.
At 24, Barber is at a critical point in his career as he is battling to make the NHL and not become a career AHLer. Right now he still looks like a long shot to make the roster and will likely need a few more efforts like Tuesday’s game to really give himself a shot to stick around in Washington.
Dowd is in a battle for the fourth line center job to replace Jay Beagle. Tuesday was a good dress rehearsal for him in terms of winning the job. Dowd was the team’s best player in the face-off dot, took 17 draws and won 12 of them, by far Washington’s top face-off man on the night (not counting Jayson Megna who won the one draw he took). Dowd also drew two penalties on the night.
Dowd’s biggest competition for fourth line center looks to be Travis Boyd who also played Tuesday. With both players in action, Dowd had the greater impact on the game. The offensive upside looks much higher for Boyd, but Dowd looks like he provides more of those little things that Beagle provided such as face-off wins and penalty killing.
Hobbs took exception to a hit delivered to him by Tanner Pond and the two dropped the gloves. Liam O’Brien dropped the gloves as well and took on Mark McNeil, but Hobbs gets the shout-out here because it was a pretty darn good bout with Hobbs delivering several pretty nice rights to the pond.
Just in case you were wondering, yes, Holtby is going to make the team. While you could put him in the same category as Oshie, Holtby makes the list for having the top play of the night.
In the first period, former Cap Daniel Winnik looked like he had an empty net to shoot on, but Holtby stretched out the toe to make the fantastic save and somehow deny Winnik.
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In the NFL regular season, Tuesday marks the quietest day of the week. It's supposed to anyway. For the Redskins heading into Week 3 that was not the case.
The team announced seven roster moves, bolstering the receiving group and making changes to the practice squad. The biggest additions, however, came at wide receiver.
Through two games, Washington is not getting a lot of production out of the receiver group. That's not all on the players running routes. There are a number of factors, starting with new quarterback Alex Smith getting used to his new weapons, offensive line performance, play calling and the success of the run game. Even given all that context, still, the Redskins wideouts have underperformed as a group.
Josh Doctson has five catches for 48 yards and Jamison Crowder has five catches for 40 yards. Paul Richardson leads the team with eight catches for 85 yards.
In Week 1, rookie WRs Trey Quinn and Cam Sims injured their ankles, and both players got put on injured reserve. The team brought in Brian Quick and Jehu Chesson to replace them, and both players primarily functioned as special teamers.
This week, with another subpar performance from the outside WRs, the Redskins took a different path. Chesson got moved to the practice squad, and the 'Skins added a pair of former first round pick WRs in Michael Floyd and Breshad Perriman. Neither player has a history of playing special teams, and Floyd has logged a 1,000-yard receiving season.
To make roster space, the team cut Chesson and moved him to the practice squad, and put third-year RB Rob Kelley on the injured reserve. Kelley injured his toe in the loss to the Colts and would miss at least a month.
What does all that mean? Here are the updated RB and WR depth charts:
1) Adrian Peterson
2) Chris Thompson
3) Samaje Perine
Notes: The Redskins now only have three running backs on the roster, though Kapri Bibbs is stashed on the practice squad and Byron Marshall opened the season on the IR. More than likely, all three RBs will be active on Sunday against the Packers.
1) Josh Doctson
2) Paul Richardson
3) Jamison Crowder
4) Maurice Harris
5) Brian Quick
6) Michael Floyd
7) Breshad Perriman
Notes: While the Redskins top three options (Doctson, Richardson, Crowder) remain in the same spots, the rest of the WR position group seems like a big question mark. Harris’ health and availability remain unclear, and that leads to other concerns. Quick knows the offensive system but had just six catches in 11 games in 2017. Floyd has the best resume of any wideout on the roster, but will he be able to perform right away? It seems likely two of these seven WRs will be inactive on game day, but which two?
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Week 2 Recap: Redskins Road Map
- Week to Weak: No answers for Redskins Week 2
- Redskins-Colts: Five plays that decided the outcome
- Need to Know: Stock up, stock down