Oct. 14, 2016
Previewing Capitals 2016-17 Season
After a disappointing end to their season in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to their arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins, some would seem to be pessimistic about this year. However, there should be more optimism. Now with a year under their belts as a cohesive group, they are more primed to not disappoint like they did last year and bring home their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Lets look at the roster.
Holtby is slowly becoming the best goalie in the league and he has yet to reach his prime. I mean his nickname is HoltBeast, you’d expect him to be pretty freaking good. Grubauer has shown his worth last year and that he could not only be a reliable backup, but also a starter if given the opportunity.
This part of the team has quietly become one of the strengths for this team after it used to be its Achilles Heel. Now, its pretty tough to beat. Alzner has been with the team for what seemingly feels like forever, but he has been one of the most consistent and steady defensemen they have had. Carlson is an all-star type player who other teams tend to forget about and scores a lot when that happens. Niskanen is very underrated, but he has been productive and very reliable. Orpik came in last season in hopes that his veteran presence and his playoff experience would help the defense and he still provides that coming into this season. Orlov and Schmidt both had breakout seasons last year and will be relied on a lot. Chorney provides depth, but he also showed that he can be pretty good.
This part of the team is just scary good. I mean its not even fair how good they are. Backstrom is one of the best forwards in the game. Beagle has been a very productive forward for this team, but he gets overshadowed by the other great forwards on the team that he doesn’t the recognition around the league like he should. Burakovsky will be replacing Jason Chimera who left the team, but he is another player to keep an eye on as he is pretty good. Eller comes over to bring more stability to the team which makes them even more dangerous on offense. Johansson is a really good forward who is more dangerous than people realize. Kuznetsov is slowly becoming one of the best players in the league and he is still very young. Sanford had an awesome pre-season that the Capitals decided to keep him on the team for the regular season. He is one of their top prospects, so there will be some high expectations for him. Wilson is their enforcer and a force to be reckoned with. Williams is known as Mr. Game Seven as he is known to come up in clutch situations during the playoffs. He brings a veteran presence as well. The Capitals have two of the three best forwards in the game in Ovechkin and Oshie (the other being Sidney Crosby) and are always primed for the MVP award. Ovechkin is the best player in the league while Oshie, who is almost as dangerous as Ovechkin, is more clutch and is better at shootouts. Winnik was acquired last season to give them more depth. Connolly is an unknown as this is his first chance to prove anything
So the scary part of this team is that they really did not need to make any changes this offseason to get better. They brought in Eller and let Chimera go, but the losses that might have hurt was having Mike Richards leave. Other than that, this team really has no weakness. That’s incredible to think about. They are a favorite obviously going into this season, but championships aren’t won on paper. They need to execute and play up to their potential if they want to make the citizens of Washington DC happy again.