We’re almost there, folks! Training camp is less than two weeks away. The preseason starts three days after that, then the real thing begins on October 5. Here are the Top 10 games you should circle on your calendar!
10. @ Detroit Red Wings (10/20/17):
The Capitals will get their first look at the brand new Little Caesars Arena early on in the new season. Hopefully the Caps will be “Hot n’ Ready” for this one. This game is a rematch of the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, which took place 20 seasons ag,o and the Capitals will go up against former Capital Mike Green.
9. Thanksgiving Eve vs. Ottawa Senators (11/22/17):
If there’s one thing Caps fans are thankful for, it’s home games the night before Thanksgiving. Last year, Ovechkin gave fans a great appetizer before all the turkey they consumed with a hat trick against the Blues. How will the Capitals follow-up that performance?
8. vs. Edmonton Oilers (11/12/17):
Defending NHL Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid comes to town once again on a Sunday night in D.C.. In his career against the Capitals, McDavid has recorded five points(one goal, four assists). This game might be more intriguing than the Redskins-Vikings game earlier in the day, but if you’re the DC sports fan and have tickets to both games, you’re in for a sweet day/night doubleheader.
7. @ Vegas Golden Knights (12/23/17):
Christmas in Vegas! The Capitals will visit the NHL’s newest team on the night before Christmas Eve. How will defenseman Nate Schmidt play in his first game against his former team?
6. Home Opener vs. Montreal Canadiens (10/7/17):
The Capitals open at home on the first Saturday of October, as they christen Capital One Arena. While it is still the same building (just a new name), fans will get a first look at some of the renovations that took place. This game also marks longtime Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s return to D.C., after signing with the Habs as a free agent.
5. vs. New York Rangers (3/28/18):
The Capitals have a critical stretch in late March. during which they’ll take on the Rangers in a home-and-home, 48-hour span. On this Wednesday night in D.C., fans will get a clearer picture on what direction this Capitals team is going. With the Rangers projected to finish near the top of the division, this game could have playoff implications and Metropolitan Division seeding at stake.
4. vs. Nashville Predators (4/5/18):
The Capitals welcome the defending Western Conference champions to D.C.. I’m not mentioning Filip Forsberg for this one because that’s old news and we already know he’s there. This game will be the penultimate game of the regular season. Will this game feature the sibling match-up of Lucas and Ryan Johansen? Will a Predators fan sneak a catfish into the arena? I can’t wait to find out.
3. vs. Vegas Golden Knights on Super Bowl Sunday (2/4/18):
We all miss Nate Schmidt’s smile and on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll get to see it as the young defenseman makes his return to D.C.. I have no doubt he’s going to get a warm welcome and even a standing ovation from the Caps faithful.
2. vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (10/11/17):
The back-to-back Stanley Cup champions come to Washington and there will be blood. Bad blood. Lots of it too. This will be the Capitals’ second home game of the season and they’ll look to make a statement against a team that has haunted them for many years. We may have to wait until May for an even bigger statement to be made, but this will be a start.
1. NHL Stadium Series vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3/3/18):
The Capitals get to take their game outdoors for the third time and partake in the NHL Stadium Series for the first time. Under the lights on a Saturday night, fans will get to see the rematch of last year’s epic first round series against budding superstar Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs. The Capitals have won both Winter Classic games they participated in and will look to go 3-0 in the great outdoors. This game will be played at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and is sure to be a spectacle.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 29, 2017
These are what I believe are the Top 10 games to watch this season. Which game are you looking forward to the most Caps fans?
By Michael Marzzacco