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Revisiting the Capitals' roster needs following the trade deadline

Revisiting the Capitals' roster needs following the trade deadline

Before the trade deadline, we looked at possible needs and targets for the Caps. Now that the deadline has come and gone, let's review and see how they addressed those needs.

Goalie

Possible need: Third goalie

How did the Caps address it: Trading for Pheonix Copley as part of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade

Copley was a former prospect of the Capitals who was traded to St. Louis as part of the T.J. Oshie trade. He is someone the organization knows well and is comfortable with. With a 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage in the AHL, he represents a clear upgrade over Joe Cannata given Cannata's play this season. Copley also made his NHL debut this season, though it didn’t go well as he allowed five goals on 29 shots.

Did Hershey get stronger in net? Yes. Are the Caps likely to need Copley to play? No, but if you were looking for the Caps to have a Jeff Zatkoff type goalie as their No. 3 like the Penguins had last year, they appear to have fallen well below that mark. They likely could have done better considering there was zero market for goalies. Ryan Miller and Jaroslav Halak stayed put while teams that clearly needed another goalie like Edmonton and Calgary stood pat. Even Tampa general manager Steve Yzerman said the reason he traded Ben Bishop to Los Angeles was because it was his only option. With no buyers, that makes me think the Caps could have gotten a more established No. 3 for cheap.

RELATED: Trotz shows Caps video of Shattenkirk's fight with Williams

Defense

Possible need: Right-shooting defenseman

How did the Caps address it: Trading for Kevin Shattenkirk

If you’re trying to win the Stanley Cup and have a chance to add a top-four defenseman without losing a core player on the roster, that’s hard to turn down. Losing a first-round draft pick hurts, but the fact that the 2017 draft appears to be rather weak helps soften the blow. Shattenkirk was the best player on the market and the Caps not only got him, they also kept him out of Pittsburgh’s hands. Granted, deadline acquisitions tend to fail more often than they work and Shattenkirk still has work to do in terms of adjusting to the Caps’ system, but general manager Brian MacLellan did about as good a job as you can do adding a very talented piece without giving up anything to weaken the current roster.

Offense

Possible need: Scoring depth

How did the Caps address it: N/A

The original plan was for the Caps to carry Zach Sanford and Jakub Vrana as extras for the postseason. If you thought that was a gamble, you’re probably not pleased that Washington traded away Sanford and did not make any moves to add forward depth. Is this really a major issue? It shouldn’t be. I’m skeptical as to what Sanford would have added. He looked timid at the start of the regular season and it affected his confidence resulting in a trip to the AHL. He has played much better of late, but it’s not hard to imagine the timidity returning in what would have been his first NHL postseason. Vrana has looked fantastic in his return from Hershey, but the bad news is that now he’s pretty much it in terms of forward depth. If the Caps suffer even two injuries in the playoffs, they will have to turn to players like Chandler Stephenson, Zach Sill, Paul Carey and Riley Barber to fill those holes.

MORE CAPITALS: Prediction recap: Caps outlast Flyers

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Preseason Game 4: Capitals vs. Hurricanes, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

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Preseason Game 4: Capitals vs. Hurricanes, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Hurricanes will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (CSN channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals vs. Hurricanes game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME?

The Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. ET

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME ON?

The Capitals vs. Hurricanes game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic at 7:00 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME?

The Capitals vs. Hurricanes game is available to stream live through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-HURRICANES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone.

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Barry Trotz has some tough words for the Caps' defensive prospects following Friday's loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Barry Trotz has some tough words for the Caps' defensive prospects following Friday's loss

From the outside looking in, there wasn’t much on the line in the Capitals’ preseason game on Friday against the St. Louis Blues. Washington’s 4-0 loss won't hurt them in the standings, it won't hurt their playoff or Stanley Cup hopes.

But for many of the players, especially several of the defensive prospects, Friday’s game mattered a whole lot. That's what made it so disappointing.

“We didn’t have a lot of skin in the game there,” Barry Trotz told reporters following the loss.

RELATED: TYLER GRAOVAC IS THE SILVER LINING IN AN UGLY LOSS TO BLUES

Assuming the Capitals keep seven defensemen on their roster this season, there are two open spots on the blue line that players are competing for. Friday’s game offered Lucas Johansen, Christian Djoos, Aaron Ness and Tyler Lewington, who played with veterans John Carlson and Taylor Chorney, a chance to take the lead in the roster competition.

But they, along with the rest of the team, ultimately fell flat.

“It's one of those things where you come out flat in first two periods, you can't really expect to win a hockey game,” Ness said. “Your goalie's trying to make so many saves … it’s kind of unexcusable [sic] to do that to them in the first two.”

It was a rough game and a missed opportunity.

When asked if any of the defensemen had separated themselves, Trotz slowly shook his head and said, “No, not really.”

When asked if that was disappointing, he said, “Depending which way you look at it, I guess. Some guys have separated themselves in a positive way a little bit more than others and some more of a negative way. They'll figure it out. It plays out, we're just watching. I'm not too happy with our effort tonight. … I thought [the] group that was in Montreal was pretty solid. They came to play. Tonight we just didn't.”

That’s a damning statement considering Montreal’s game featured other defensemen competing for a spot such as Madison Bowey, Connor Hobbs, Jyrki Jokipakka, Jonas Siegenthaler and Colby Williams.

Clearly Wednesday's squad left an impression on Trotz. Friday's team left a much different, more disappointing one.

MORE CAPITALS:  LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW THE DEFENSE DID AGAINST ST. LOUIS