Wednesday, September 9, 2015
12 days until the Capitals' preseason starts, 31 days until their opener against the New Jersey Devils. Can't wait, eh? Well, there is much to be optimistic about this season. From the acquisition of T.J. Oshie to the signing of Justin Williams, be prepared for an exciting year. I expect the Capitals to at least reach the Final this year, if not hoist the Cup.
The Caps made several huge offseason moves:
Their earliest was signing advanced stats deity Justin Williams, who last played for the LA Kings. Williams, known as Mr. Game 7, is a huge playoff performer, and scored one of the goals in Game 5 of the Cup Final 2014, where the Kings won the Cup.
However, they lost Joel Ward, who signed with the San Jose Sharks and was also a clutch playoff performer.
The Capitals also aquired T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Winter Classic game-winning-goal scorer Troy Brouwer, as well as AHL-caliber goalie Pheonix Copley and a 2016 draft pick. T.J. Oshie is best known for his performance in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he singlehandedly helped Team USA beat the Russians in a seven-round shootout.
The Capitals also re-signed playoff performer Evgeny Kuznetsov. Expect a lot from him his sophomore year; his playoff numbers were no joke. Kuznetsov should combine with fellow sophomore Andre Burakovsky for at least 60 goals.
Bottom-sixer Jay Beagle was also re-signed; he should help the Capitals acheive their goal.
Marcus Johansson, who should assume the role of third-line centre, was also re-signed; he hit career highs in goals, assists, and points last season. He might be able to do it again.
Last, but not least, Braden Holtby, one of the elite NHL goalies, was resigned. If Holtby puts up the numbers he did in 2014-15, expect him to be a Vezina finalist, if not the winner.
The Capitals should go deep into the playoffs this year. I nominate them to represent the east in the Final. Are you optimistic heading into this season? You should be. Let me know in the comment box.