It’s been about three weeks since our beloved Caps’ season came to a screeching halt. A tough three weeks to be sure. But let’s be real….
For a team that missed the playoffs a season ago, we’ve taken great positive strides in the right direction. If you’re sorry we didn’t win it all, you should be. But let’s be pragmatic, and look at the Capitals status with a “big picture” perspective.
In the last 12 months, we missed the playoffs, cleaned house and fired our General Manager and the existing coaching staff (bye-bye McPhee, Oates and company), hired a new General Manager and new coaching staff (Hello MacLellan, Trotz, Reirden and Korn), thus implementing an entirely new “system”. As a result, the last year has seen the team make it to the second round of the playoffs (and yes, a hair on a gnats ass away from the Eastern Conference Final – a good thing). We are not only trending upward, but the future is extremely bright.
Additionally, Holtby has emerged as a top goaltender in the league, and we’ve also seen the blossoming of young guns such a Kuznetsov and Burakovsky, which not only filled gaping holes in our offense, but shed gobs of light on what the Caps future will look like. Our defense is sound and will require no additions this off-season. The addition of a solid top liner would be the ideal modification, in my opinion.
Having swept the Blackhawks and Ducks, (4-0) and winning the season series with the Lightning (2-1), one could argue that the Capitals are now one of the top six teams in the NHL. And yes, we were 1-3 against the Rangers, but as NoVa Caps Fan Eddie Healy pointed out, two of those losses were on the back end of a back-to-back set of games.
At some point this summer, I hope to finish processing and put away game 7. Then it’s time to shift thoughts to the 2015-2016 season and look forward with great anticipation and excitement. Winning championships is a process which takes time. We are close and heading in the right direction – our window of opportunity is opening.