This Season Has Had Plenty Of Interesting Things For The Capitals Already

We aren't even halfway through the 2023-24 Washington Capitals season. We don't know how it'll end but it certainly hasn't been boring.
New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils v Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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This was a Washington Capitals season that had plenty of questions coming into it. Among those questions were health, could the older players stay at the top of their games, what was the goaltending going to look like, etc. Here we are in the early new year part of the season and some of those questions have indeed been answered, some need even more time.

While it kind of has been an up and down season for the Capitals, more up than down luckily, I think one thing is for certain about this campaign so far. It has had a bunch of interesting things happen and we're not even quite halfway through the season yet.

It feels like the Washington Capitals have already had a full seasons worth of stuff happen to them already. Some seasons can have more interest and intrigue in them, others will feel a bit more normal. The Caps are definitely the former in this case.

I thought it would be fun and interesting to take a look at all the things that have already happened to this Capitals team this season. So lets go ahead and do that.

Connor McMichael, Washinton Capitals
Connor McMichael, Washinton Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Rise of Connor McMichael

We should start with something positive, and not only is this positive this could arguably be the best thing that has happened to the Capitals all season.

The Capitals badly needed young guys to come in and cement themselves this season. We'll talk a little bit more why that was the case a little bit later, but Connor McMichael planting his flag on this roster, telling his team and everyone else that he is a definite NHLer has to be the best thing that has happened for the Caps so far.

While his stats aren't incredibly impressive they are still in line with what I wanted. Currently McMichael has 7 goals with 7 assists. That would put him on pace for just under what I wanted from him to start the season. I wanted him at 16-20 goals and 40-50 points. He is on pace for about 16 goals and lower 30's in points. But not everything is numbers.

Just watch the kid on the ice every game. At this very second I think you could say that McMichael is the best center on the Capitals. Dylan Strome would probably get that nod on most nights, but even he had struggled the last several games while Connor hasn't. With the play of Strome and McMichael, the highest paid center on the team, Evgeny Kuznetsov isn't even close to being the best on the team. Most nights you probably couldn't even call him the teams third best center. Another argument for another time.

The way McMichael has played has been terrific. AND, he has helped raise the level of his teammates and linemates. Which leads us to...