Washington Capitals 2021 Season Preview
(Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals have had quite a bit of fun these last few seasons. But they’re down to the old guys. They’re obviously still very talented, and very good with a lot of power. They made it through the qualifying round of the playoffs and lost the Islanders in five. Is it time for the Capitals to rebuild? Maybe. But Nicklas Backstrom is on a long-term contract worth more money than I’ll make in my entire life and Alex Ovechkin is the heart and soul of the Capitals and won’t be caught dead on another team. 

Key Additions: Head Coach Peter Laviolette

Peter has previously coached for the Islanders, Predators, Canes, and Flyers. He coached the Canes to a Stanley Cup win in 2006, the Flyers to the finals in 2010, and the Preds to a win in 2017. Despite only playing 12 games in the NHL, he’s a very successful coach, and having his talent and experience paired with that talent and experience on the Capitals, I can’t imagine anything less than a successful season. 

Losses: Braden Holtby (Vancouver Canucks) 

Braden Holtby has played in Washington since 2010. It came as a bit of a surprise that they let him go in free agency. In his first couple of seasons, he went back and forth between starting and not. However, he turned out to be a very successful goalie in Washington that mended well with their defense. I’m sure they’ll be missing him quite a bit along with the loss of Henrik Lundqvist. 

Forward Line Predictions: 
LWCRW
Alex Ovechkin Evgeni KuznetsovTom Wilson 
Jacob VranaNicklas Backstrom T.J Oshie 
Carl Hagelin Lars Eller Richard Panik 
Daniel Sprong Nic DowdGarnet Hathaway 
Defensive Pairing Predictions: 
Brenden Dillon John Carlson 
Dmitry Orlov Justin Schultz
Jonas Seigenthaler Nick Jensen 
In the net: 

Yikes. This is going to be an issue for the Washington Capitals this season. Braden Holtby was let go and signed with Vancouver in the free agency frenzy. They signed Henrik Lundqvist after he left the Rangers on a one year deal. He’d split starts with Ilya Samsonov and act as a mentor for him. Then he announced he’d miss this season because of an ongoing heart condition. Ilya is the guy right now. He’s only 23 years old and he went 22nd overall in 2015. The great big question for the Capitals is can he do it? Can he step up to the net and deliver?  

The Verdict:

It’s too early to say whether or not this is a playoff team. I think they definitely have the potential and the talent to be a playoff team but we’ll have to see how they do with only divisional games. They’re in the same division as the Islanders and the Flyers who are big breakout teams who had very successful postseasons. This one is really going to be a game-by-game situation. 

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