Best Caps Team in Ovechkin Era

For the first two seasons of what likely will be a superstar career, Alexander Ovechkin was pretty much a one man show for his team the Washington Capitals. He has amassed 98 goals in 2 season, and many have been of the highlight reel solo variety.


This season may be a bit different however for the Russian star. The Capitals for the first time in a few years have opened up the chequebooks and brought in some half decent talent to surround their franchise player. While Alex Semin did give the Caps a second scoring threat, it simply wasnt enough offence to make Washington competitive in the Eastern Conference.

Though the team did not score the big names available via free agency such as a Ryan Smyth, Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere, the team got some very useful players to add some needed depth at the centre and defence positions.

Mikail Nylander may quietly be the best off season acqusition this summer when it is all said and done. Throughout his career he has simply been a solid playmaker who has put up points. He stood out the last couple of seasons playing alongside Jaromir Jagr in NY and now has another highly skilled winger to feed pucks to. This is what the Capitals have lacked in Ovechkin’s first two seasons. Its quite the credit the kind of talent Ovechkin is to score 52 and 46 goals despite playing with a bunch of nobodies. Now that he has a top centre, how much better will Ovechkin be?

Another possible player who could centre Ovechkin is Victor Kozlov who was another free agent the Caps brought in. Though he has been a pretty inconsistent player throughout his career, he has put up some decent numbers when he got a chance to play with top level talent (i.e with Pavel Bure in Florida). Kozlov is a pretty skilled guy who adds an element of size up the middle the Caps needed. If anything he could use his big body to provide some space for Ovechkin. More than likely however he will play with another emerging star in Semin and give Washington a bonifide 2nd scoring unit.

Tom Poti was another quiet yet probably very efficient acquisition. He was very solid on Long Island helping out some younger blueliners and in Washington he may be asked again to do the same. He can skate and move the puck which is what the Caps really lacked from the back end. And the team’s defence really could use the experience. Since the team moved the likes of Sergei Gonchar, Brendan Witt and Ken Klee, they have not had much in terms of experienced blueliners other than the odd journeyman here and there.

As you can see the Caps had a pretty decent off-season and if anything have at least vaulted themselves to one of the many teams that are going to wage battle for the final two or three playoff spots in the East. I do not see the Caps being too far off from the likes of the Canes, Bolts, Flyers, Canadiens, Leafs, Bruins, Panthers and Devils who will likely wage a season long battle for 6th, 7th and 8th.

They have a solid veteran netminder in Olaf Kolzig.

They have added needed scoring depth and skill up front to give them two scoring lines.

They have improved their depth and experience on defence which should only help the development of their many young blueliners on their current roster.

The team even reverted back to their original uniform colours of red, white and blue to perhaps change their luck.

We will find out soon enough if these changes will be enough to get rid of the stench of losing the team has endured the last couple of seasons.

Lineup:

Top Line: Ovechkin-Nylander-Clark
2nd Line: Semin-Kozlov-Fehr
3rd Line: Pettinger-Sutherby-Gordon
4th Line: Brashear-Laich-Bradley

Top Pair: Poti-Pothier
2nd Pair: Morrisonn-Jurcina
3rd Pair: Erskine-Eminger

Goal: Kolzig, Johnson

Depth: Fleischmann, Klepis, Steckel, Clymer

Forward Prospects: Backstrom, Bouchard, Bourque
Defence Prospects: Alzner, Schultz, Green, Finley, Pokulok
Goalie Prospects: Varlamov, Neuvirth


12 Responses to Best Caps Team in Ovechkin Era

  1. wingerxxx says:

    I go to every Caps home game, since they are the only show in town (hockey-wise), and going back to the old jersey color scheme was a bit overdue.  A LOT of Caps fans at the MCI Center wear the old jerseys, and I think they'll really like the new jerseys. 

    I really don't believe the Caps will be a playoff team, but hey, you never know.  Ovechkin finally gets to play with a bona-fide playmaker, and the top line should be very good.  If Kozlov and Semin can develop some chemistry, then things should get exciting.  Ovechkin is becoming a better two-way player….now Semin has to do the same.  He is just horrific in his own end, and can loaf on some shifts.  But Caps fans do have something to look forward to this year. 

  2. nordiques100 says:

    i forgot to mention that they have a pretty decent coach in glen hanlon. he'll help semin get better. i think he has done a very good job despite coaching what is pretty much an AHL squad save kolzig, ovechkin and semin. now they have some half decent support players to help their stars. lets see what they can do. east is wide open save 4 or 5 teams.

    i catch the caps here and there on centre ice or when they play the sens or leafs. i dunno what it was but watching on TV, the MCI centre looks like a morgue. to me i think for the most part it was the dark, depressing colour scheme they had for their uniforms. now with the red white and blue that should translate much better on TV. i still may watch in mute though as craig laughlin's voice can break glass. LOL

  3. MR40 says:

    I think everyone shouuld watch out for Eric Fehr. Him and Semin could become a very deadly duo, and add Niklas Backstrom to that and all of those guys could be putting 60+ points, and Semin could get near 85. Put Kozlov with Ovechkin, and Nylander then put Clark on the 3rd line.

  4. KingCanada says:

    Im not one to give a spot to a prospect on one of the top lines but in Nicklas Backstroms case ill let it slide.  He was ready for the NHL last season but chose to spend one more year in Sweden strengthening his game and his body.  He is one of my early favorites for the Calder, prolly best forward.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    To be honest, the MCI is actually a GREAT building.  Ted Leonsis loves his team.  The problem (and the most depressing part), is that the building is almost always about the place is almost always one-third to one-half full.  The fans are always great, they know hockey.

    And I totally agree about Laughlin's voice lol! 

  6. goleafsgo1991 says:

    I do believe the Caps fully intend to have Backstrom at one of the top 2 centre positions so I figure they'll bump Kozolov onto the wing on the second line. I think between him and Clark there's a chance they could flip, and the question of who centres the first and who centres the second line will decide as to which combination of Backstrom and Nylander best suit the two star left wingers. I'd keep the rest of the line combinations the same, except perhaps giving Fehr a shot at a 3rd or 4th line roll as he's done enough in the AHL to earn a roster spot and from what I remember he's gritty enough he could handle a checking roll. laso, look for Green to get a shot on the blueline.

  7. ferron says:

    I think it will be more like this

    Ovechkin-Nylander-Clark
    Semin-Kozlov-Backstrom
    Pettinger-Sutherby-Bradley
    Brashear-Klepis-Gordon

    Poti-Eminger
    Pothier-Jurcina
    Clymer-Morrisonn

    Kolzig/Jonhson and we will see Varlamov at the end of the season.

      I also think that Fleischmann will finish the season with the Caps and so will Backstrom.

  8. Marc0427 says:

    I definately think that the Caps will be a much better team this year. However, they still aren't that great and will be having quite a hard time making the playoffs.

    They DO NOT have two good lines now, they have two good scoring DUO'S.
    Ovechkin and Nylander are probably going to have the same kind of chemistry that Nyl. had in NY with Jagr. And I was VERY impressed with Semin's play last season.

    This team has some pretty good talent coming up in the ranks when it comes to forwards, however, they are still lacking defense. At least two more defensmen (or over-acheivers) are needed to push this team into the playoffs.

    With all of this said; i'll probably target the pair of DUO's in my Fantasy Pool.

  9. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    The caps just didnt what Pittsburgh did two years ago… they just got Crosby and wanted to fill up on a bunch of free agents but only got second tier guys…. They way overpayed for a overrated Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov is not going to be enough to take you to the playoffs. Nylander isnt a terrible pickup but I think anyone can get some points when your linemates are Jagr and Shanahan.  This team might have set themselves back actually kinda like Pittsburgh did… ala finishing in last place.

  10. neilios says:

    I think the Canucks and Caps would be good trading partners I can see the Canucks aquiring Backstrom and Alzner for Ohlund,Morrison,Edler,and 2nd or 1st rounder.The Caps are a young team they have lots of great prospects I think they can afford to lose Backstrom and Alzner and I think that adding Ohlund and NHL ready Dman in Edler would be great fit with the Caps and would bring the Caps to the playoffs and plus Moe would be a great fit on the 1st or 2nd line,and the Canucks can sure use a prospect like Backstrom who is NHL ready too that can play with the Sedins or Nassy.What does everyone think if a trade went down like this.Cause Iam hearing lots of teams knocking on the Canucks door for Ohlund.

  11. Marc0427 says:

    That is WAY too much to give up for Backstrom and Alzner…They haven't even really played in the NHL yet…

    Plus I doubt that the defense-happy Nonis would give up Ohlund and NHL ready Edler. I'd give up Morrison and a pick for Backstrom any day though. If the Caps would be dumb enough to give him away…………

  12. mike7psu says:

    I would have to differ on the opinion of the MCI Center.  The place was almost depressing when it came to excitment and energy.  Being a Pittsburgh fan, whos near 1000 games in the Igloo, it was a huge difference.  Half, and thats being nice, of the arena was empty. And of the fans that were there, many seemed to not know or care what was going on. About the only time you couldnt hear a pin drop was after a goal, but there were no chants, no electricity, no emotion. Then throw in the fact that the arena is just dark and kinda gloomy, and it was just not a thrilling time for me.

    The nicest thing for me was that the Caps ended up winning 4-1, which made my DC girlfriend happy.

Leave a Reply