What Needs To Go Right For The Capitals To Compete Next Season

Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /


Need I say more? Will he even be on the team? The Capitals still seem like they want to trade him. It seems like he may want to be traded. It seems like it almost happened at the draft when these two parties parted ways. But here we are. He is still a member of the Capitals and as long as he is the team really, really needs him to perform.

I hate to put to much on one player on a hockey team, but when Kuznetsov is going this team tends to be really hard to beat. If you have Ovechkin doing his thing, and if Backstrom can do his thing and your team is able to stay healthy and now you have Strome and Oshie and Wilson and maybe Pacioretty can come in and do well and maybe one of the young guys comes in and cements a spot for himself and Carlson can put up points from the back and maybe Sandin too then you can add Kuznetsov being an impact player?

That was a very, very long sentence basically just saying, if a lot of things go right and Kuznetsov plays well, this team suddenly can look really deep.

On the other hand, if all Kuznetsov wants to do it slip on a jersey and float on the ice almost every night, the Caps might have some issues.

If all of those other things have some bad answers and Kuznetsov has another lame season they’re in for another long year. Last year they did get bad answers, and Kuznetsov did have a bad year. We saw how that turned out.

He has top ten talent in my humble opinion. If he wants to he can be among the very best this game and league has to offer. Just for whatever reason it rarely seems like he wants to. Most nights you have to go looking for 92 on the ice. He doesn’t stand out nearly as much as he should with the talent he has.

If Kuznetsov has a good full year. Not a good half year like a couple of seasons ago, but a good full season and hopefully playoffs, the Capitals can jump back into contender status.

The unfortunate thing is that this is a question. You have to ask if one of the best Capitals players will show up every season and every night. When he doesn’t, which is most nights, the Caps have a tougher time. They need him next season. Again, assuming he remains with the club.

That’s all we’ll talk about for now. There are still plenty of questions. I can think of at least two big ones we didn’t talk about here. We did not discuss the new head coach and coaching staff. We also didn’t talk about Anthony Mantha. Those are two big questions that need to be answered as well.

The Capitals have somewhere around ten big questions going into this season. In my opinion most of these need to be answered positively for them to get back to a good spot. If they get half of these questions ending in a positive way I’m still not sure that would be enough to get back into the playoffs. There are too many good teams ahead of them and some teams behind them that are coming.

Hot. Capitals get it right with Tom Wilson. light

Every team has questions going into their seasons. Some just have more than others. The Capitals have a lot of questions, and they need a lot of those questions to be answered positively if they want to contend again this coming season.