Can Matthew Phillips make the opening night roster?

Matthew Phillips, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Phillips, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the biggest surprises from the Washington Capitals preseason has been the emergence of Matthew Phillips. He was the overtime hero in their win over the Boston Bruins last night but this article will dive more into what he’s done.

Last night he skated 15:28, had two shots and a plus minus of plus one. Phillips also had a goal and an assist for two points in Saturday’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings as he skated 18:25 and put up four shots. In the preseason opener against the Buffalo Sabres, Phillips skated 18:13, had four shots and one hit along with two penalty minutes.

“It’s been great so far and I think I have a similar kind of view of how to play the game and how we’re trying to play the game here with a lot of speed and quickness. So I’ve been learning a lot and it’s been good so far,” Phillips told reporters after Monday’s training camp sessions.

Phillips was signed to a one way contract over the summer. That contract is one year and worth $775,000. If he got cut he would have to go through waivers and with the preseason he had, he would get scooped by another NHL team quick.

What makes Phillips one of the more unique forwards in hockey is his size. The dude is five foot eight and 165 pounds. But with that short size comes speed and that speed was on full display in overtime of last night’s Capitals game.

Phillips had a breakaway in overtime that had him gliding down the ice with ease. He quickly deked past a defender to the point said defender actually gave up and Phillips ripped it past the goaltender to win the game.

Related Story. Matthew Phillips wins it in overtime for Capitals over Bruins. light

There’s now two preseason games left but the pressure isn’t on Phillips. That pressure has shifted to the coaching staff that’s making these roster decisions.