We now known who is on the Washington Capitals opening night roster. What we’ve known since Monday morning is that Matthew Phillips made the team. That was confirmed by new head coach Spencer Carbery. The kid deserves it after the dominant preseason that he had.
"“He’s put the coaching staff on notice. You’re starting to see a player that is obviously undersized but it doesn’t affect him a whole lot when it comes to his compete level, his ability to get in on forecheck and win loose pucks.”"
Since that quote, Phillips finished the preseason strong. We’ve been predicting players the last couple of weeks but had to go rapid fire currently now that we know who made the team and who didn’t.
Before I predict to his number let’s get to the bottom of his height and weight. Some say he’s 140 to 145 pounds. The Caps official opening night roster has him listed as five foot eight and 160 pounds.
Phillips has just three games of NHL experience under his belt, all with the Calgary Flames. The Caps signed him this past offseason and after the preseason he had, it looks like general manager Brian MacLellan hit a home run with this one.
The 25 year old can zip up and down the rink with his speed. It was on full display right from the beginning of training camp. Lots of people really took notice on the breakaway overtime game winner he had at the Boston Bruins.
“I don’t know about proving people wrong. There’s also a lot of people that I’d like to say I proved right,” said Phillips on Monday after he found out he made the team.
The people that he proved right weren’t complete strangers. At least one of them wasn’t. Phillips reunites with new assistant coach Mitch Love who was head coach of Calgary’s AHL affiliate, a place where Phillips lit it up night after night.
I predict Phillips will score 18 goals and add 15 assists for 33 points. But depending on how much he ends up playing, he could get 20 easily.