Matthew Phillips and Lucas Johansen deservedly make Capitals opening night roster

Matthew Phillips, Washington Capitals (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Matthew Phillips, Washington Capitals (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals have until 5 p.m. to unofficially officially submit their 23 man opening night roster. More on what that means in a second. But we do know this after Monday’s practice per Spencer Carbery: Lucas Johansen and Matthew Phillips have both made the team.

Phillips was all smiles when he met with the media.

“Did you get good news today?”

“Guess so. Still here,” Phillips replied.

Phillips would add:

"“I guess I’m still here so that’s a good thing. I’m really excited. It feels really good. It’s something I was working all summer for and, frankly, have been working my whole life for.”"

Johansen has been around the organization since getting drafted in 2016. He had two good seasons in a row with the Hershey Bears and was a key piece in their Calder Cup run. He too, deserves this NHL opportunity.

Phillips is short and weighs only 165 pounds but that’s exactly what the team needs. Speed and lots of it. Phillips has that and showed it last Tuesday in a win over the Boston Bruins with him providing the overtime goal.

Now you’re probably asking why today’s roster reveal is “unofficial official”. Thanks to my good friend Tarik El-Bashir who I caught up with today at the rink, he told me that the Caps are doing some salary cap gymnastics.

Today is all about math and not going over the salary cap which is set this season at $83.5 million. Once some guys get placed on either IR or LTIR there will be another roster reveal before Wednesday’s practice and that folks will be the roster that takes the ice this Friday night in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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I will explain this again during that reveal later today to refresh your memory. In other news from practice Anthony Mantha was an extra forward and Ivan Miroshnichenko was absent. The latter will likely be heading to the Hershey Bears.