The Washington Capitals missed the playoffs last year for the first time in 7 years. They only missed it by 3 points as well, which is not to far off by my count.
The Caps added immediate help to what was a struggling defensive squad with Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. Both of these guys will come in and immediately make an impact for this Caps team. I also believe that these two guys will bring those 3 points needed to make the playoffs.
The Caps have the offensive prowess to put points up on the board and now they are able to help maintain the lead and walk away with a win.
Barry Trotz has added a defensive minded-squad that is focused on player development starting at the top and working its way down. These basic changes and huge additions are the keys that the Capitals needed to make the playoffs this year.
The Capitals making the playoffs will push someone out of the way in order to take their rightful place in the top 8 of the Eastern Conference. Detroit may be the odd man out this year ending their record playoff streak. If Detroit is not the team to move aside, look for Columbus to fail at the repeat attempt from last year.
Either way it really doesn’t matter who is displaced this coming year for the Capitals so long as they are in the top 8 which I am confident, with the moves that have currently made, there is no question that they will be part of the Stanley Cup Quest this coming year.