The Washington Capitals begin their first full week of the 2015-2016 NHL season this week. They have three home games, two of which are against teams that figure to be in the playoff picture.
The Washington Capitals are set to start their first full week of games after opening the season on October 10th with a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. It was kind of an awkwardly late start since games started on Wednesday and the Capitals were the last team to play in their first game. With Saturday night serving as their alarm clock, the Caps have awoken from their offseason slumber and are set to pursue their first ever Stanley Cup.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
The Sharks and Caps square off on Tuesday, October 13th. The San Jose Sharks are often referred to as “the Washington Capitals west”. Usually, that’s a cruel joke about how both teams struggle in the postseason. This year, that comparison is pretty true. The Capitals and the Sharks are fairly similar teams.
- The Caps and Sharks both rely heavily on a future Hall of Famer (Alex Ovechkin and Joe Thornton).
- Their blue lines both have a very strong top pairing (John Carlson and Brooks Orpik; Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brett Burns)
- Their respective future hall of fame player has an often overlooked sidekick (Nicklas Backstrom and Patrick Marleau).
The Sharks had an unsuccessful season last year as they missed the playoffs. They faced an uncertain future until they decided to go all-in and make one last cup run with Thornton. Paul Martin probably got too many years from the Sharks, but they’ll cross that bridge when they come to it. He’s still a very good defenseman and he definitely makes them a better team. They also signed former Caps forward Joel Ward and traded for former LA Kings goalie Martin Jones (after Boston traded for Jones).
They look strong so far this season. The Sharks always give the Washington Capitals a hard time. The difference: the Caps have Braden Holtby. I love Jones, but he’s no Holtby.
PREDICTION: The Capitals will win 4-3 in overtime. T.J. Oshie will score in the shootout.
The Washington Capitals will host the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. The Caps beat the Hawks twice last season. They beat them once in November and once in January in the first-ever outdoor NHL game in the nation’s capital.
The Hawks will come into DC looking completely different from the last time these two teams squared off. The Hawks have rebounded after an opening night loss to the New York Rangers to sweep the Islanders in a weekend home-and-home series. Thanks for that! Don’t expect us to take it easy on you, though.
Chicago will be a huge test early on for the Capitals. Are they ready to be considered an elite team? This game might give us the answer to that question.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks will win 3-2.
The Hurricanes and Capitals squared off twice in the preseason. The two familiar foes will face each other for the first time in the 2015-2016 regular season on Saturday. Carolina is a team that the Caps should absolutely beat. However, the Canes always seem to play the Caps tough.
PREDICTION: The Capitals will win 4-2 thanks to an empty netter by Braden Holtby. I’ll be right about this eventually if I keep on guessing it, right?
I think that the Washington Capitals need to get at least four points this week in order to have a successful week. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
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