Welcome to the 2015 – 2016 Metro Division Season Primers.
Last year was another disappointing finish for a Washington Capitals who have been lead by one of the best goal scorers in NHL history, Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals have longed for a team like they have assembled now. Defensively, the team is lead by Brooks Oprik, John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen; a group that has been slowly assembled by Capitals GM Brian MacLellan and a group that is ready to dominate the NHL.
Notable Additions: RW T.J. Oshie, RW Justin Williams
Notable Departures: RW Joel Ward, RW Troy Brouwer, C Eric Fehr, D Mike Green
The additions of both Oshie and Williams are going to be humongous for a team that was a top-10 scoring team last season. They are both better than Ward and Brouwer respectively, and Williams is infamously known for being a key player in the playoffs and is 7-0 in Game 7’s he has played in. Williams shares a record with Glenn Anderson for scoring the most Game 7 goals in NHL history, with seven and he also holds the record for most points in Game 7’s, with 14.
When the Capitals make the playoffs, as I expect them to, Williams will be a huge help in getting them over that hump.
LW C RW
Alex Ovechkin (9.539) – Nicklas Backstrom (6.700) – T.J. Oshie (4.175)
Marcus Johansson (3.750) – Evgeny Kuznetsov (3.000) – Justin Williams (3.250)
Brooks Laich (4.500) – Andre Burakovsky (0.895) – Tom Wilson (0.895)
Jason Chimera (2.000) – Jay Beagle (1.750) – Michael Latta (0.575)
Stanislav Galiev (0.575)
Brooks Orpik (5.500) – John Carlson (3.967)
Karl Alzner (2.800) – Matt Niskanen (5.750)
Dmitry Orlov (2.000) – Nate Schmidt (0.813)
Ryan Stanton (0.575)
Braden Holtby (6.100)
Philipp Grubauer (0.750)
Justin Peters (0.950)
In order for the Washington Capitals to be successful this season, they will need to rely on their number one ranked power play that lead the league last season, as well as the strong goaltending of Braden Holtby. The best case scenario for the Capitals this season will of course be a Stanley Cup Championship.
The fact is though, Alexander Ovechkin has never gotten past the second round of the playoffs. Despite that his performance has never seen a drop off, Ovechkin is now 30 years old and he isn’t getting any younger. The Capitals have begun to capitalize and finally have gotten some great cogs to fit in around the Great 8. It will be interesting to follow them this season.
As I said before, I expect the Capitals in the playoffs and vying for the Eastern Conference Championship.