Key Stat: Bowey, a first year defenseman in the NHL, was one of nine rookies to play for the Capitals this year. He, alongside Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, and Christian Djoos, skated in more than fifty regular season contests for the club.
Interesting Stat: Bowey’s most productive offensive month was January with four assists through ten games. He finished his first campaign with twelve points (all assists) through 51 games.
The Good: In a season that saw Washington win their first Stanley Cup Bowey was a regular throughout much of the year. He made his NHL debut October 14th in Philadelphia and remained in Barry Trotz’s lineup consistently through early February. Bowey’s play was susceptible to the usual young mistakes but he persisted on Washington’s bottom pair while averaging a hair under 17 shifts a night. While in the lineup Bowey was remarkably healthy, missing only a single contest in early November.
After returning to Hershey Bowey turned it up a notch in the offensive zone. In nine regular season contests Bowey pumped home eights points, including two goals, as the Bears’ season ended before the playoffs.
The Bad: Bowey’s beginning was a tough one as the Capitals fell to Philadelphia 8 to 2 in Pennsylvania. Personally, Bowey registered a -3 on the evening including one that came as a result of Jakub Voracek turning the rookie rearguard around twice before Wayne Simmonds stashed the puck into the net. For most of the campaign Bowey skated alongside Brooks Orpik and did his best to cover ice for the both of them. This unfortunately led to scrambles in the defensive zone, often down below the goal line, and it occasionally burned the Capitals.
Washington’s acquisition of Michal Kempny in February signaled the end of Bowey’s season with the Capitals. While Bowey was learning to keep his head above water in the NHL it’s clear Washington’s management wanted to get their defense a bit stronger before the second season. Bowey would skate in his final contest the day after the Kempny trade.
Bowey and His Defensive Partners (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Bowey’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
Bowey’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):
The Vote: Rate Bowey below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: With a slot open on Washington’s last defense pair could Bowey fill that vacancy for an entire season? Next year, does Bowey deserve more than the 13 minutes of ice time he averaged this past season? With Todd Reirden behind the bench as Head Coach will that benefit the young defender? And if he can’t take that next step forward, is he in danger of being passed on the depth chart by other blueline prospects? What would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?
Other Bowey Season Reviews: RMNB
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