5 Reasons Why the Washington Capitals Will Remain A Competitive Team in 2017-18

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It has been another long summer for the Washington Capitals.  After failing to capture the Stanley Cup in 2016-17, the Capitals have had to make some significant changes during the offseason.

With players like Marcus Johansson and Karl Alzner playing for new clubs next season, the Capitals will have a fresh look in 2017-18.  While the Capitals will likely not be as good as they have been the last 2 years, the Capitals should still have a competitive club in 2017-18.

Why will the Capitals remain a good club for the upcoming season?  Here are 5 reasons why:

STRONG CENTER DEPTH

The Capitals have strong depth in the middle of the ice.  The Capitals have arguably one of the best 1-2 punches up the middle with Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.  Both players can produce a lot of points, as they are dynamic playmakers on the ice.

Besides Kuznetsov and Backstrom, the Capitals depth continues with Lars Eller and Jay Beagle.  Beagle is one of the NHL’s top centers in the faceoff circle.  Eller has given the Capitals extra speed and good defensive play in the middle of the ice.

BRADEN HOLTBY

Holtby is one of the best goaltenders in an NHL net right now.  Holtby has given the Capitals 3 straight 40+ win seasons, and he won the Vezina Trophy in 2016.  His stellar 2.07 goals against average and .925 save percentage were among the league’s best in 2016-17.

INTERNAL COMPETITION

The Capitals will likely have 1-2 new defensemen in their 2017-18 lineup.  The good news for the Capitals is that they have a lot of candidates for those positions.  Lucas Johansen, Madison Bowey, Jonas Siegenthaler, Tyler Lewington, and Christian Djoos will be competing for the Capitals remaining roster spots during training camp.  Competition within an organization is never a bad thing.  Competition from within creates a stronger, more cohesive unit.

STRONG SPECIAL TEAMS

If the Capitals continue to execute well on special teams like they have in recent seasons, that will keep their offensive attack healthy.  The Capitals powerplay was 23.1% effective, which was 3rd best in the NHL, and the penalty kill was 83.8% effective, which was 7th best in the NHL.  Good special teams can keep teams in the playoff hunt.

YOUTHFUL UPSIDE

The Capitals have plenty of players who have not hit their top potential yet.  Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Tom Wilson, and Dmitry Orlov are all 25 years of age or younger and have not hit their peaks.

The Capitals have a strong core group, and the younger portion of their core group is only going to improve over the years to come.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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7 Responses to 5 Reasons Why the Washington Capitals Will Remain A Competitive Team in 2017-18

  1. Randy says:

    Don’t forget lefty defenseman Aaron Ness and righty defenseman Connor Hobbs. Both are young. Ness is a very fast skater. And Hobbs has a lethal shot from the point — 31 goals last season in the WHL.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tj says:

    Trade ov

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    I still think they should have protected Nate and exposed Eller. I would rather have Mojo and Nate than Grubbie and Eller. Lets talk about who they trade Grubbie for.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It wouldn’t have been Eller for Nate. It would have been either niskanen, Carlson or Orlov. Or they could’ve protected 8 skaters. Which would have exposed Wilson Eller and Mojo. In hindsight we lost Mojo anyway so that could’ve been the better way. But at the time it was Mojo or Nate.

      Like

  4. Clifford Keefe says:

    It appears that fatso (Scotty Bowman wanna-be Barry Trotz) will be FORCED to actually DEVELOP young players on their roster by actually PLAYING them…

    Now let’s see if GMBM can suppress the urge, (for once) to take shortcuts that involve trading youngsters for over-rated rentals whose contributions never seem to result in us winning Lord Stanley’s Cup…

    Can anyone say (at the time) 32 y\o future Hall of Famer Martin Erat and perennial All-Star Mike Latta for bench warming scrub Filip Forsberg…

    Disgusted,

    Clifford
    Santa Monica

    Like

  5. Jerry Levine says:

    I too am more optimistic. The Caps can field three good lines capable of scoring. Goal tending should continue to be outstanding. The defense might struggle at the beginning of the season but any new players on defense will grow through playing. Burrakovsky getting more ice time on a top six line will help him break through as a top offensive force. Vranna might surprise and add considerable offense. Fourth line additions may prove to be good penalty killers. The Caps might surprise and exceed expectations.

    Like

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