Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Washington Capitals 2018-19 season preview



           After another Metropolitan division victory, the Washington Capitals finally pulled through and won the Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin scored about 50 goals again. Evgeny Kuznetsov was a point-per-game player. And, they re-signed John Carlson. Before we look at their roster, here's some fast facts for the Washington Capitals.

Head Coach: Todd Reirdan
General Manager: Brian McLellan
Arena: Capital One Arena
AHL Affiliate: Hershey Bears
2017-18 record: 49-26-7 (105 points)
2017-18 placement: 1st
Division: Metropolitan
2017-18 goals leader: Alex Ovechkin (49)
2017-18 assists leader: Evgeny Kuznetsov (56)
2017-18 points leader: Alex Ovechkin (87)
2017-18 points leader (defensemen): John Carlson (68)
Captain: Alex Ovechkin
Assistant Captains: Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik
2018 first round pick: Alex Alexeyev

Offseason additions: Nic Dowd

Offseason subtractions: Phillip Grubauer, Jay Beagle, Alex Chiasson, Jakub Jerabek

Forwards: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom are locks for 70 points when healthy, but TJ Oshie is coming off a year without 50 points. Lars Eller is coming off a season with nearly 20 goals. Jakub Vrana and Alex Burakovsky underperformed, and need to get 20 goals this year.

Forward lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - TJ Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Devante Smith-Pelly
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Nic Dowd - Tom Wilson

Defensemen: John Carlson is coming off a season with nearly 70 points. Dmitry Orlov added 10 goals. Matt Niskanen is falling off, but Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos are rising. It is a good squad.

Defensive pairs:

Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson
Christian Djoos - Matt Niskanen
Madison Bowey - Michal Kempny
Other: Brooks Orpik

Goalies: Phillip Grubauer is gone, but Braden Holtby is still one of the league's best goalies. They are hoping that Pheonix Copley can bridge the gap until Ilya Samsonov is ready.

Goalie alignment:

Braden Holtby
Pheonix Copley
Other: Ilya Samsonov

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Evgeny Kuznetsov
Alex Ovechkin
Nicklas Backstrom
TJ Oshie
John Carlson

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 2nd

I think the Washington Capitals will be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

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