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The Greyhound

Could it finally be the Capitals’ year?

The Washington Capitals proved to be one of the best teams in hockey in the 2016-17 season, winning the President’s Trophy for the best regular season record in the NHL. The top-seeded Capitals, led by left-winger Alex Ovechkin, sought to prove their worth in the postseason and avenge years of early playoff exits. They then ran into the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and found their season over earlier than they expected. Seeking to turn Washington legitimate contenders, team manager Brian MacLellan immediately resigned rising star T.J. Oshie to an 8-year $46 million deal and young defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a six-year, $30.6 million deal. However, this long-term deal left the door open for a number of departures, including two stout blue liners in Kevin Shattenkirk (Rangers), and Karl Alzner (Canadiens), and forward Justin Williams (Hurricanes). Washington also lost defenseman Nate Schmidt to the expansion draft and were forced to trade very promising forward Marcus Johansson to the Devils to free up cap space. They then resigned center Evgeny Kuznetsov to an eight-year deal, another lucrative contract for a young player. Finally, Washington signed Devante Smith-Pelley to a one-year deal in July, wrapping up a rather disappointing offseason. Washington secured their young talent, but lost a lot of postseason experience in the process. However, a strong core of players including an aging Ovechkin, TJ Oshie and goalie Braden Hotlby understand that Washington’s Stanley Cup hopes rest on their shoulders. Let’s hope they play accordingly.


2017-2018 Predictions: 92 Points, 3rd in Metropolitan Division

Washington opened their season on Canadian soil for the first time in team history on Thursday night against the Stanley Cup runner-up Ottawa Senators. Alex Ovechkin led the scoring attack for the Caps, tallying an opening-night hat trick in Washington’s nail-biting 5-4 victory over last year’s Eastern Conference runner-up. He scored all three of his goals in a 6:32 span in the third period, leading the Washington rally from 3-1 down and 4-3 down to tie the game at four late in the third. Hotlby put up a brick wall after the second intermission to keep Ottawa’s offense at bay, and he only allowed one goal in the shootout. He finished with 28 saves. Ovechkin’s and Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shootout goals were enough in the end, and Washington headed back to DC with a great team win to start the season. Kuznetsov impressed, assisting in three of Washington’s four goals to go along with his shootout goal. Rookie Jakub Vrana also had a couple of assists, indicating a promising chemistry from the blue line to start the season.

The Capitals played their home opener on Saturday night, as they faced the Montreal Canadiens in the Capital One Arena. Alex Ovechkin remained red-hot with another statement game, scoring four times in the 6-1 victory. The first period saw the most scoring, as Ovechkin casually entered the first intermission with another hat trick and TJ Oshie netted a goal of his own. Ovechkin added his fourth late in the second period, and Australian-born left-winger Nathan Walker added the sixth and final goal with 1:55 left in the game. Kuznetsov tallied another two assists and Braden Hotlby finished with 38 saves on the night. This was a dominating performance for the Caps, who hold an early division lead sitting at 2-0-0 and with 4 points. Ovechkin’s performance earned him the first instance in a hundred years where a player opened the season with two hat tricks, and he only needs one more to break the team record of 19, held by Peter Bondra. Washington travels to Tampa Bay on Monday night and looks to continue their hot start.


*Photo by Jessica Wittle Photography via*

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    mattOct 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Great article! Thank you for the great details on the Caps!

  • AnonymousOct 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm


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  • AnonymousOct 20, 2017 at 7:57 pm


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Could it finally be the Capitals’ year?