After a long summer featuring the Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals will soon be back to work defending their Championship crown. Some of the Capitals players have already trickled back into town, and they are preparing for the long 82-game regular season grind to begin.
The Capitals had a remarkable 2017-18 campaign that saw plenty of highs and lows. Even with the challenging season, the Capitals pulled through and went on an incredible postseason run in 2018.
The Capitals will get into preseason action in the next few weeks. With the preseason looming, and the regular season a little over a month away, let’s look at what some of the Capitals key players might do in the upcoming regular season.
BRADEN HOLTBY WILL BOUNCE BACK
The 2017-18 regular season was a bit of a struggle for Holtby. Holtby should be able to recover easily with a quality defensive group in front of him. Holtby recorded a 2.99 goals against average and .907 save percentage in 2017-18. His numbers should likely improve – somewhere around a 2.50 goals against average and .920 save percentage.
TOM WILSON WILL SCORE 20 GOALS
Wilson saw more time with the Capitals top forwards late last season. In the playoffs, Wilson became a strong fit next to Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. With some star talent to work with next to him, Wilson should see a boost in his offensive production. Wilson recorded 14 goals and 35 points a season ago.
EVGENY KUZNETSOV WILL HIT 90+ POINTS
Kuznetsov is coming into his own as he enters his prime years. He has become one of the Capitals top overall forwards. He led all Capitals skaters in the 2018 postseason with 32 points. With elite playmaking and vision, Kuznetsov is one of the top centres in the NHL.
JAKUB VRANA WILL SCORE 20 GOALS
Vrana is still very young, but has plenty of upside in his game. He recorded 13 goals and 27 points in 73 games a season ago. Vrana should see more looks in the Capitals top six forward group in the upcoming season. If he can find the consistency in his game every single night, Vrana should become one of the Capitals top scorers soon.
JOHN CARLSON WILL SCORE 20 GOALS
Carlson had a great season in 2017-18, as he recorded 15 goals and 68 points. With Todd Reirden behind the bench now, the Capitals defensive core should see a boost in offensive production. Carlson signed a massive 8-year deal over the summer, and should have more to prove with his new contract.
By: George Foussekis