Next is the Washington Capitals. They finished with a 42-32-8 record last season, 2nd in the Southeast division. They were fighting for a playoff spot the whole season, sitting at 9th place until the very end, where they ended up 7th in the Eastern Conference. They defeated the Boston Bruins in 7games in round 1, each game decided by 1 goal. They lost to the Rangers in the 2nd round. I think they had a very successful off-season.
They lost some pretty big names like Dennis Wideman, a star defenseman, and Alex Semin, an 80+ point scorer. Semin, of course, went on to sign with the Hurricanes. Even with the amount of points he could put up, he received a lot of hate from Capitals fans. They also lost good goaltending in Thomas Vokoun, but they still have very skilled goalies in Nuevirth and Holtby.
The Caps’ additions were better, though. They grabbed Mike Ribeiro, who can score as much as Semin. Joey Crabb was added; he keeps getting called up and sent down, but he can score some. In around 67 games last season in the NHL, he scored 26 points. They also signed Wojtek Wolski, who can put up points, but he hasn’t played a full season in awhile. They have a lot of offense now, and still have great defensive players like Mike Green, Dmitry Orlov, and Joe Ward.
I believe they are a better team than last year, and like I’ve mentioned, the “Battle for the Southeast” rivalry will be a battle for the Southeast division title. It’ll be fun to watch the Canes and Caps compete to win the division.