The Washington Capitals have never won a Stanley cup, even with NHL leading goal scorer Alexander Ovechkin on the lineup; but the rapidly approaching season looks promising for the Caps.
Last season, the Caps once again fell in the playoffs, losing their series 4-3 to the New York Rangers. Although the season ended in playoff defeat, it offered insight into the Capitalsâ€™ future. The teamâ€™s high-scoring style of play is highlighted by Ovechkinâ€™s staggering 50 goals and Nicklas Backstromâ€™s 60 assists. These two powerhouses practically run the Capitals offense and are linemates for good reason; keeping Ovechkin and Backstrom together on the same line is necessary for a strong season.
If Ovechkin and Backstrom record a majority of the teamâ€™s points; separating them in an effort to spread the wealth into the lower lines would be a mistake. Ovechkin and Backstrom produce big numbers because of their chemistry on the ice. If the Capitals were to separate the two of them, they would still produce outstanding numbers, but the chance of repeating 50 goals and 60 assist seasons would be slim.Â Good chemistry between line mates is essential to the line’s overall production on the ice. It is okay for the Capitalsâ€™ lower lines to produce less goals because of the big 1st lineâ€™s efforts and goal scoring output.
The Capitalsâ€™ offense has no problem scoring a goal, and goalie Braden Holtby has no problem stopping a goal.
Holtbyâ€™s 41 wins last season put him in a three-way tie with Carey Price and Pekka Rinne for most wins in the NHL. The Washington goalie has created a buzz in the nationâ€™s capital as one of the best goalies in the league. He is also no.7 in the nation for save percentage, saving a goal 92.3 percent of the time. The leagueâ€™s undisputed leader in the ranks of goaltending is Montrealâ€™s goalie Carey Price, but not far behind Price is Holtby. He is tied in both regular season and shootout wins with Price, and does not show signs of slowing down.
The glory of winning a Stanley Cup has eluded the Capitals for so many years, but the scoring power of the 1st line and the outstanding goaltending of Braden Holtby might finally help the Caps lift the Cup high into the air of the Verizon Center.