We are very close to NHL action once again. Training camps open up across the league in just a couple of weeks. With that being a fact, big changes to most teams is unlikely at this point. Not to say it can’t or won’t happen. There are still some names out there that could be moved or want to be moved.
However, the teams that you see now will mostly be the same going into training camp, pre-season and even the start of the regular season.
That seems to be the case for the Washington Capitals. When you look at the Capitals roster it looks mostly set. The forward group looks to be somewhat set, the defense has just a couple of spots that are potentially up for grabs, likely to be filled by younger guys, and the goaltenders will be the same as last season.
On top of the roster seemingly being close to complete the Capitals also do not have a lot of cap space to make any moves if they even wanted to. According to CapFriendly the Caps have about $600k in cap space ($668,740 to be exact). That is basically nothing when talking about a move. If Washington wants to do something money and a bigger name player will have leave.
Right now I would say that is unlikely. So with a move not happening this is your team going into the early parts of the 2021-22 season. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this Capitals team right now and see why they could make a long run come playoff time or even go all the way and win the Stanley Cup.
As the season goes on, things can and probably will change. This is just a right now analysis. So why can this current team win the Stanley Cup?
A Deep Forward Group
The Capitals for the most part are bringing back the same team from last season. That is very much true for the forward department. There is nobody on the current team (forward wise) that wasn’t on Washington last season.
Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion, and only time will tell if that opinion is right or wrong.
What is not an opinion is the fact that last season the Capitals were one of the best goal scoring teams all season. The Caps scored 188 goals in 56 games last season. That was tied for fourth best in the entire league, tied with the Florida Panthers, behind only the Avalanche (197), the Penguins (193), and the Golden Knights (190).
Of those 188 goals 131 were 5v5, that was tied for third best with Colorado. Las Vegas scored 135 and Toronto scored 132 at full and even strength.
Ovechkin, Backstrom, Oshie, Kuznetsov, Wilson, Mantha, Eller, Sheary, Sprong, the fourth line of Dowd, Hathaway and Hagelin. This is a deep team at forward and there could be a prospect or two that could or should get some time and could make this group even deeper.
When going against the Capitals, whether that be in the playoffs or regular season teams have to fear that depth.