Washington Capitals: This Year It’s Different

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images /

After having a loaded team and running away with the President’s Trophy last season, the Washington Capitals fall from grace hasn’t been as bad as many predicted

There are less than 15 games left in the regular season for the Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin has reached another milestone with his 600th goal. Nicklas Backstrom is still underrated and the Caps are poised for another high seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sound familiar? This year it’s different. The Capitals are in a tight battle for the Metropolitan Division crown, as opposed to running away with it in years past. They hit rock bottom by losing to the Penguins in Game 7 last year.

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The players, who usually stick to the proverbial script, seemed to still be in shock during their exit interviews. Yet the Capitals are right back to where nobody expected them to be – competing for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. 

After a down year of 33 goals, captain Alex Ovechkin is closing in on 50 goals for this season. Ovi’s buds Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom are racking up the points. Meanwhile, defenseman John Carlson is having a career year.

Their support staff of Lars Eller and Tom Wilson have both already set career highs and are great role players that execute their assignments. Though goaltender Braden Holtby has looked human as opposed to subhuman, backup Philipp Grubauer has steered the ship at points in the campaign.

As for their coach Barry Trotz, we all know he’s ending up in the Hall of Fame. Across the hockey world, this version of the Capitals is shrouded in mystery. They didn’t make a splash at the deadline and chose to go with the team they had.

Previous versions of the club brought the worst out in us prognosticators. We all predicted the collapse at some point, and we were right!

So, which version will we get this year? No matter what the result, this team is different. The demeanor, their response to adversity, their goalie not bailing them out time and time again. It’s all different.

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Now the Capitals wants something different – to get past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Do you think the Washington Capitals will make it past the second round this time around? Let us know in the comments!