To all the Capitals fans who feel a little lost and confused after not qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2014, I am in the same boat as you all. Watching the playoffs, but not your team just doesn’t have the same impact. The rushes and highs aren’t as great and thankfully the heartbreak is nowhere near the same.
Things may feel a little down right now, and righfully so, it felt like we were going to watch the Capitals play in April and May every year. But due to circumstances of not qualifying its best to move on, and lets try to make the most of the situation as fans and look foward. Here are several key areas to keep an eye out for during our “extended” off season.
Unlike past years, the Captials have the 8th overall best odds to win the NHL draft lottery and potential to win a top three pick. This is something that this era of Capitals have not had to go through. Its different, but there is some excitmenet around the draft, given the strength of this year’s draft class.
We can always ask ourselves the big “what if” question of if we do win the lottery and select the consensus #1 overall pick Connor Bedard. As for consolation prizes, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Will Smith, and Matvei Michkov are names that could stir up excitment around our fanbase. Esepcially how one of these players will boost our prospect pool and potentially shake up our franchise.
Its clear that the team will not rebuild while Alex Ovechkin, and the old core are still around. What this means is that we can expect the Capitals to make moves to ensure that we stay competitive for the near-future. Though this could mean saying bye to friendly faces, it will also be interesting to see what moves we do make to improve our roster.
Its clear that we are still in search of a top six winger, this addition could be made through a trade or free agency signing, but regardless it is still something that I know our managment will be looking to address.
We have also already seen the aqusitrion of Rasmus Sandin, someone that could be part of our roster for a long time, and be part of the next era of this team going foward. The future is bright and the transition period could be shorter then we expect if the right moves are made this summer
Peter Laviolette, and the rest of the coaching staff mutually terminated ways with the organization and this is something that most fans are happy to see. Given the issues with players, odd scratchings, benchings, and the list of players that seem to be “forced out” of our roster, it might have been the best decision.
Keeping and eye on who the best coach for the job is for the upocoming season will be something that the Caps fans can look foward to this summer.
Closing the Book on a Cursed Season
As unfortuante it is to be outside of the playoffs this season, the realistic outlook is that we would not have gone far if we did qualify. Regardless of the injuries we suffered and the coaching issues, we have to be realistic and understand that this year just wasn’t going to be our year. At least now we have time to reflect on how we can improve and give our team the long deserved rest that they need after countless years of playoffs, in which their bodies have acquired siginficant milage.
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