Last years’ record: 55-19-8, lost in the 2nd round
Key additions: None
Key losses: Karl Alzner, Justin Williams, Kevin Shattenkirk, Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt
Outlook: The Washington Capitals have been champions of the regular season for what seems like a decade. They’ve won back-to-back President’s Trophies and have finished towards the top of the division for years. The playoffs are a whole different story.
This off-season the Capitals, crunched by the salary cap, lost both Justin Williams and Karl Alzner via free agency. The Capitals then traded Marcus Johannson to the the Devils. Johannson had been struggling, so getting his cap hit of the books was a win for the Caps. Washington avoided yet another loss when they re-signed TJ Oshie, who was coming off a career year. Oshie will need to have another great year for the Caps this season, especially with that new contract of his.
On the blue-line the Capitals have the task of replacing Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt, and Kevin Shattenkirk. They’ll rely on a few of the younger guys like Taylor Chorney, Madison Bowey, and Christian Djoos to help a crippled defense. Washington will also have to hope Brooks Orpik doesn’t continue to regress this season. If the young guys don’t play well and Orpik struggles, it will be a long season for Braden Holtby and the Capitals.
Braden Holtby will man the goal once again this year and will be tested more so than ever before. The Capitals defense will likely struggle, at least out of the gate, and Holtby will have to be superb.
It’s no doubt that the Capitals will score plenty of goals this season. They also may give up quite a few, no matter how great Holtby is. The Metropolitan is going to be a very tough division this year, as it seems like every team improved at least somewhat. The Capitals lost quite a bit of talent this off-season, but they should still have enough of it to squeeze their way into the playoffs yet again.