Grading the overall leadership of Capitals at season's end

Power of friendship with some stellar leadership was what got the Caps into the playoffs
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Think of all the great athletes past their prime who have broken records. Whether it's Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and many others. We have one here in Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin but he didn't do it alone.

Yes I put Ovechkin in the same paragraph as these other greats across sports for a reason. Ovechkin has a chance to do what many once thought was impossible and it could come as early as next season. But this past season it was a cast of characters and a friendship power that saw Ovechkin in the playoffs.

T.J. Oshie for example. Whatever he decides to do we have his full support. As with Nicklas Backstrom who despite stepping away from hockey for the time being still showed up to see his teammates when the Caps honored both Oshie and Carlson.

Max Pacioretty also had a good speech in the locker room in his third game back. The offseason aquisition from last year talked about not taking things for granted. That wasn't even in a postgame scrum, it was a video the Caps posted and you could almost tear up knowing he went through achilles injuries for two straight seasons.

John Carlson not only shouldered the defense but provided power play offense when needed to. Most importantly he was reliable. He played all 82 games and led Caps skaters in average time on ice finishing out at 25:54 in the regular season.

Then there was Dylan Strome and Charlie Lindgren who I think are the two MVPs of this past season. When Ovechkin was in a slump, Strome was there. When the Caps offense as a whole was struggling, Lindgren was there.

Grade A+: The Caps may have got swept but the culture and leadership is A okay. That leadership formed the power of friendship which got the Caps to the playoffs in the first place.