Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
The Washington Capitals preseason is under way, and Capitals fans have gotten a little preview of how their team will look in the 2016-17 season. It is a new season for the Capitals, and fans have seen some new faces in the lineup.
The expectations are high surrounding the Capitals in the new season. They are expected to compete for the Metropolitan Division title, and be one of the top teams in the NHL to compete for a Stanley Cup.
The Capitals have gone 2-1-1 in the preseason so far, and have 3 preseason games remaining. When the Capitals hit the ice on October 13 in Pittsburgh, it will be for real.
How have the Capitals looked in the preseason so far? What lineup could Capitals fans see on opening night? Who has impressed in the preseason games?
LARS ELLER IS FITTING IN NICELY
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 2, 2016
Eller was acquired by the Capitals at the NHL Draft in June. He is expected to slot in to the third line center position. He scored his first goal as a Capital in the preseason game versus the Islanders. Eller, 27, has impressed everyone early as he has shown good speed and skill with the puck. He should see some time on the Capitals powerplay and penalty killing units throughout the season.
ZACH SANFORD IS GETTING A LONG LOOK
The 21-year old signed his professional contract over the summer. He has spent the last couple of seasons in the college hockey ranks at Boston College. He has seen some action at wing and at centre throughout the preseason. The Capitals brass are very high on him because he is a big skater with good hands. He has a strong chance of making the Capitals opening night roster since he can provide plenty of versatility in the Capitals attack.
A NEW AND IMPROVED 4th LINE
With the acquisition of Lars Eller, Jay Beagle will most likely return to his normal 4th line centre position. His linemates will probably be Daniel Winnik and newcomer Brett Connolly. This line will have plenty of size and snarl heading into the new season. Beagle and Winnik will probably take a big chunk of the Capitals penalty killing duties.
THE ORLOV EXPERIMENT CONTINUES
Dmitry Orlov has been paired with John Carlson throughout the preseason. Orlov signed a 1-year extension with the Capitals in late September, after a bit of a contract stalemate. Orlov is expected to get a bigger role with the club this year. He will probably get a bump in minutes at 5-on-5 play, and he will likely receive a bigger role with penalty killing.
By: George Foussekis