The Washington Capitals have clinched a postseason berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are set to defend their Stanley Cup Championship for the first time ever. With two games left on the slate, the Capitals have a big week ahead as they are still trying to clinch the Metropolitan Division.
The Capitals have had another great regular season under Todd Reirden. The Capitals hit their stride in March, and are hoping to have another memorable spring. It has been another good season in Washington, and it has been full of many surprises.
What surprises have Capitals fans seen this season? What are some encouraging signs for the future?
EMERGENCE OF JAKUB VRANA
Jakub Vrana is having his best season as an NHL player. He has recorded 24 goals and 47 points in 80 games.
The 2014 1st round pick of the Capitals has taken his game to the next level, and has played mainly on the Capitals second line this season. Vrana is going to be a restricted-free agent this summer, and will likely seek a lengthy extension with the Capitals.
Vrana is only 23 years of age, so the Capitals will likely want to lock him up long term with a better discount on his new deal. Vrana has taken his game to the next level and will likely be rewarded for his breakout season.
EMERGENCE OF TOP LINE TOMMY
Despite missing 16 games serving a suspension, Wilson has also emerged as an offensive threat in the Capitals forward rotation. Wilson has recorded 22 goals and 40 points in 61 games this season.
Tom Wilson’s role with the Capitals has expanded over the last few seasons. Wilson has emerged from being a reliable bottom-six penalty killer to a player that is used in all situations on the ice.
While Wilson is used to dropping the mitts and tough stuff, he is showing the hockey universe why he is more than just a one-trick enforcer. Wilson is showing his ability to score goals and contribute offensively for the Capitals.
The 6th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft has had a different journey to the NHL. With previous stints in Tampa Bay and Boston, Connolly has found his footing in the NHL in Washington.
The 26-year old British Columbia native is having his best season as an NHL player. Connolly has recorded 22 goals and 45 points in 79 games this season. Connolly is also another Capital that is up for a new contract at season’s end. He has earned himself a multi-year contract for his next deal.
By: George Foussekis