Washington Capitals: New Fan Guide to 2015-2016 (Part 1)

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Washington Capitals’ Head Coach Barry Trotz. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals’ 2014-2015 Season

The Caps got a new set of coaches and a new general manager to start off the year. Barry Trotz (the current head coach of the Capitals) left the Nashville Predators after 15 years with them. He was majorly sought after by other teams in the off-season, but the Washington Capitals secured him. Sweet. He brought with him a philosophy of coaching that preaches defense first and smart play from all players. Another cool tidbit: he got his coaching start with the now defunct Baltimore Skipjacks, so he has ties to the city of Baltimore.

General Manager Brian MacLellan was the former assistant general manager. He was promoted within the team to the top spot. He looks more in sync with the coaching staff in terms of picking up new players than the old general manager did. Both on the same page, Trotz and MacLellan gave the Capitals a new identity.

MacLellan made a big splash before the season started and paid big bucks for two defensive players (Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik) that came from the Pittsburgh Penguins (the Caps biggest rival). Although many think that Orpik’s contract is way too long, the Washington Capitals really needed to improve defensively. The short-term trade off has been worth it thus far. The defense was and is much improved.

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The Washington Capitals missed the playoffs the season prior (2013-2014), so the overhaul on defense was priority number one for new GM MacLellan. With the new system under Trotz in place and a more solid defense, the Caps returned to the playoffs last year. They were one disallowed goal away from going back to the penultimate series of the championship for the first time since 1998. It was pretty epic despite the disappointment.

Fast forward to this summer and the Capitals have rounded out the roster even more. This time on offense. They picked up two players (Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie) that will help them keep the puck going into the other team’s net. They also signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a long-term contract after he put up a record-setting season with the team. Building momentum for year two under the team’s new identity, the Capitals are ready to aim for something that has never happened in the 40-year history of the franchise:

Win the Stanley Cup for Washington Capitals fans around the globe.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the roster and get to know some players.

Next: The Rockstar