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I'm just a Bill..... Capitals year in review


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mKB68P9ZHtgC63QSY74e4Sg.jpgPRESEASON OUTLOOK: They missed the playoffs by the slimmest of margins and signed Niskanen and Orpik to shore up the back end and signed Barry Trotz as the head coach, hoping a defensive style would help get back to the playoffs.


FINAL RECORD: 45-26-11 101 points second in the Metropolitan division.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: A brilliant first year by Coach Trotz and company where they fought the Rangers all year for the division and then ousted the Isles in the first round. In short, the whole season was a high point.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: They did start slow. a loss to the Flames on November 4th slipped the Caps to 4-5-3 before they righted things.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: Start with Braden Holtby391142213366_1.jpg who came into his own as a premier tender going 41-20-10 with 9 shutouts and a .923 save pct. Ovie led the league with 53 goals. Backstrom was a premier center and a power play God. Marcus Johansson (20-27-47) came into his own. Rugged Troy Brouwer chipped in 21 goals. Tom Wilson racked up 172 PIMs. Rookie Andre Bukarovsky showed flashes of offensive skill. Eric Fehr contributed 19 goals and played solid two way hockey. John Carlson (12-43-55) is now the king of the back end in Washington but Mike Green (10-35-45) still has some bite in his game. Matt Niskanen (4-27-31) was good (not great) in his first year in Washington.


WHAT WENT WRONG: Orpik was a non issue for such a big contract. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a poor season, never getting on track. Joel Ward contributed 19 goals but disappeared for long stretches. Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera are aging and eroding.


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR:One trick pony: Ovechkin banged in a whopping 25 power play goals, the rest of the forwards COMBINED managed only an anemic 27 between all of them.



Mike Green

Joel Ward

Eric Fehr

John Erskine

Jay Beagle

Curtis Glencross

Tim Gleason



Madison Bowey should bounce between Hershey and Washington on the blue line this year.....honestly I don't like the ready now mix coming up, a couple of decent goalie prospects (Grubaur and Copley) and a few bottom shelf forwards Chandler Stephenson and Liam O'Brien) are about it. Help is on the way, but several years from now. As of now, the cupboards are pretty bare.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: Is the Mike Green era over? Very likely but he has not ruled out a return. Useful Fehr, Ward and Glencross could all walk and the team lacks depth to replace them. Holtby is a RFA due for a big payday, do you have enough to replace all the free agents?



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If Trotz has his way, he will outfit this team with players he feels are not only more defensively conscious, but are able to perform that way in the bright light of the post season.


He did a wonderful job in getting Caps players (including Alex Ovechkin) to see things his way....a winning way...and I think that message is loud n clear in that locker room.

With all the UFA's the team has, perhaps one maybe two come back, the other slots will be filled by young, moldable up n comers, or staunch, defensive minded free agent players put in to compliment the team's already dynamic offense.


About the ONLY danger I can see here moving forward with Trotz at the helm would be if he goes over to the defensive side TOO much to the point where it starts to hurt the offense.

Dale Hunter, during his short stint as coach, as many of you may remember, tried doing that, and while Hunter's teams were much better defensively, they lacked woefully in offense and reallyl didn't make use of the talents of guys like Ovechkin, Johansson, and Backstrom.


Trotz' Nashville teams were mostly defensive, low scoring, but nasty, nasty groups....but was that because the coach set things that way, or because Nashville never really had, outside of a lone player or two, enough offensive players to do anything else?

I am betting Washington fans hope its the latter.


The coach can still instill a good defensive scheme while making use of the wonderful offensive talents he has at his disposal.

If this season and this playoff run is anything to go by, things should be fine in Washington over the short term.


No question though, with the internal clock on a superstar like Alex Ovechkin ticking away, the big picture goal for this franchise HAS to be win now before Ovechkin's skills, like any other players' over time, begin to decline.

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Nice add TFG.


I swung and missed on one thing in here, under low point of the year it had to be blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Rangers  but I didn't give them much of a chance against the more experienced battle tested Ranger squad. It was the low point, not bowing out but the way they did.


Trotz has the team playing his style, but he has molded himself around his talent. I wondered how he would do with Ovechkin, his history with Russians to put it mildly is not good, Radulov twice, the Kostytsyn brothers, but he seems to have figured out a way to get Ovie to occasionally back check and actually cross the blueline and go into the defensive zone and help out every now and again. I doubt they are best buddies like Ovie was with Oates but this seems to be working.

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