Despite the amazing regular season the Washington Capitals had, a second round exit at the hands of the Penguins was evidently their fate. Another year, another failed attempt at the Cup for their Russian captain Alex Ovechkin. But only one team can win Lord Stanley’s Cup, and as we learned from the King’s 2012 Playoff run as the 8th seed, it’s anyone’s game.
So why did it not work for the Caps? I mean, they went 58-18-8 with 120 points, and the coveted Presidents Trophy, so where did that winning style go?
The playoffs have an entirely different atmosphere, much more intense and physical than the regular season, as well as continuous difficult competition. Sometimes a team just doesn’t have the experience or energy, typically teams that are young. The Caps had a good mix of young and old players, but playoff experience lacked.
Or perhaps it was just that they couldn’t match the Penguins, who were firing on all cylinders coming into the series. Either way, a team that good leaving in the second round is a failure. No question.
To try to repeat a great season and hope to make a deeper playoff run next year, the Caps won’t need to make many changes. The only thing to worry about is keeping the team together.
If it were that easy, you would be seeing dynasties like the Islanders and Canadians all over again.
The Caps have some very important off season signings to make, including the following players:
Marcus Johannson, Dmitry Orlov, Tom Wilson, Micheal Latta, Jason Chimera, and 14 other soon to be Free Agents.
Each of the players mentioned will more than likely ask for big contracts. Johannson and Wilson are young, and play big roles on the roster, Chimera is a leader and veteran, and Latta is one of their best grinders. Currently Wilson’s $894K contract will expire, as well as Latta’s $575K contract. Johannson will look to make more than his current $3.75M, and want a long term deal. Chimera is a wild card. He may want a large contract as he nears the end of his career, it he takes a small contract to aid the team, and make another run at it. Either way, the caps have a bit on their plate. Not to mention possible additions to the team, from free agency or via trades. Let’s remember they have a mid-late first round pick that could bargain for a solid roster player…