Washington Capitals NHL 2013-2014 Regular Season Countdown: 5 More Days!
Due to some technical issues, this post was delayed from last night. Apologies for the inconvenience.
The Washington Capitals kick off the season in five days. The next round of haiku previews will be out tomorrow but to satiate your Capitals thirst, here’s five quick thoughts to preview the upcoming season.
5. Five more days until we kickoff this year. This season is going to be extremely interesting in terms of the Capitals future.
The Caps have been treading water for the last few seasons and if they maintain the status quo, it is extremely likely that the architect of this team, George McPhee, will be fired.
If you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse. With the additional anticipated cap space, the Washington Capitals can either kick off a rebuild or they can make that additional push for the Cup. I would love to see a big trade deadline deal made to try to put us over the top.
4. Top four defensemen. Speaking of a big trade deadline deal, how do you feel about our top four defense pairing?
Like most in the Caps blogosphere, we want a better partner for either Carlson or Green on our second defensive pair. We can only dream of a defense like the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, or the Chicago Blackhawks.
To take it to the next level, we need to be a well-rounded team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ice.
3. Three quality goalies. The Capitals have been excellent evaluators of talent at the goaltender position. Braden Holtby, Michael Neuvirth, and Phillip Grabauer all have flashed starting goaltender talent.
Holtby will be the unquestioned starter and will likely be the goalie of the future. If I were the GM, I would be trying to get a defenseman, prospect, or a draft pick for Neuvirth. In GMGM’s credit, he did a phenomenal job when Semyon Varlamov was traded, producing a great haul of draft picks (now that pick became Filip Forsberg who was traded which is another story).
One potential trade partner is the Calgary Flames and they have a wonderful defenseman—Dennis Wideman—who could be available. I think Wideman is a special talent who could thrive in the Capitals system.
Please ignore the desire to vomit as I was being sarcastic about Wideman. I think that the best opportunity would be a young team on the rise like the Edmonton Oilers would be of interest.
2. Two more preseason games. So far the Capitals have been obsessed with overtime and the shootout. They beat Nashville in regulation but other than that every other game has gone beyond 60 minutes.
In the end, this doesn’t mean too much. The preseason is a chance for younger guys to shine and to gain reps. However, it is encouraging to see our team compete (and compete well) against the two Stanley Cup finalists.
Additionally, it’s always good to get the blood pumping via some overtime. It’s better to compete and to have to push yourself than to just walkthrough a blowout win/loss.
1. The one, the only, the Metropolitan Divison. Talk about a mouthful. The irony is that the so-called “Atlantic Division” has a few teams which don’t really qualify (Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa are right on the Atlantic right?).
While I don’t have a better idea of what to call it, I’m sure that the high-powered minds in NHL headquarters could have spent a few more hours trying to be a little more creative.
That being said, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how the Capitals hold up against the new completion and how they place in the division.