Capitals Season Preview

Last season, the Washington Capitals finished with a record of 27-18-3. They were knocked out in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals losing the series to the New York Rangers 4-3. The season started on October 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks losing 4-6 to the defending champions.

The NHL has remodeled all the conferences in the league. The Caps are in the new Metropolitan Division. They won the previous division five years in a row, from 2007-2011 and won the division last season, but the new division is much harder. The Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and of course the Washington Capitals, make up the new division. Four out of the eight teams in the division made the playoffs last year.

“I don’t think they’ll have a chance with the new alignment of the division,” said Patrick Findle (12).

The Caps have added a few notable players, but have also lost quite a few players. They have added forward Mikhail Grabovski (Maple Leafs), and defenseman Tyson Strachan (Panthers). They lost forward Mike Ribeiro (Coyotes), forward Joey Crabb (Panthers), forward Matt Hendricks (Predators), defenseman Jeff Schultz (Kings), and forward Wojtek Wolski (KHL).

The Caps had the top power play last year, but the loss of Mike Ribeiro may hurt the power play. The defense is an area of concern for the Caps. Other than the first line of defense, they are not very strong on the defensive side of the puck. The Caps will most likely strengthen their defense before the trade deadline is over.

Stephen Seraphin (12) said the Caps will “maybe make the playoffs.”

“I think we’ll go to the playoffs, the first or second round,” said Dillon MacLellan (12).

Patrick and Stephen both think that the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the division and Dillon is not sure who will win.

So far the Capitals have a 5-5-0 record. They are in fifth place, behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, and Columbus Blue Jackets.