Washington Capitals 2008 Offseason Report
The 2007-2008 season saw the Capitals go through two coaches with one of them, Bruce Boudreau taking the team from worst to first. This included winning the final seven games of the year to claim the Southeast division while seeing the playoffs for the first time since the days of Peter Bondra. Expectations were exceeded, accomplishments were met and Alexander Ovechkin became the new king as the leagues MVP.
The Caps had no problem scoring goals thanks in large part to Ovechkin who scored 65 goals and 112 points. After him it’s all a team effort with second best 26 goals from Alexander Semin and second best point tally from Nicklas Backstrom with 69. This proved to be a young team willing to grind it out in the NHL to battle with no fear. Washington had a terrible start to the season that was changed completely after the hiring of the 08’ coach of the year Bruce Boudreau.
With the free agent market going bananas it was shocking to see the Caps allow Cristobal Huet to sign with Chicago, thus leaving them goalie-less. Huet was a key factor in the stages of Washington’s playoff run and kept the city hopes and dreams alive. Now they signed and look to Jose Theodore to lead the franchise to another run at the cup but this time, to win.
Washington could only improve in following seasons. They are so young, talented, skillful, and are full of players who want to win.
There is a definite vibe that the 43-31-8 will improve next season.
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Notable top players staying for the Washington Capitals:
Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Viktor Kozlov, Micheal Nylander, Jeff Shultz & Mike Green
Washington Capitals - Players lost to free agency:
Cristobal Huet, Olaf Kolzig, Steve Eminger
Washington Capitals - Players added via free agency:
- Jose Theodore
What Washington has:
- The Art Ross, Rocket Richard, Lester Pearson and the Hart Trophy winner in Ovechkin. A simply phenomenal player.
- An army of scorers. Putting goals into the net is easy for the Caps including from defenseman; Green and Tom Poti combined for 87 points last season.
- The Coach of the Year. Bench boss Boudreau has done a great job with the Caps in turning the season around in 08’. Next season he has a chance to make a legitimate run at the Cup.
What Washington needs:
- The Caps did put the #1 goalie tag on Jose Theodore and this will hurt the Caps in the long run. There is enough talent on the team to trade for a franchise goalie especially since the back-up goalie is Brent Johnson.
- Jeff Shultz is an amazing defensive defenseman but more is needed. The team does need a big, strong mean machine on the blue line.
Re-sign Sergei Federov. He was crucial on the power play in the season and has the key playoff experience to help this team go far.
Expectations for the Capitals next year:
- Playoffs. This team will not win the Southeast division, though it will be close. Washington will finish the season in five to seven spots in the East but the city will want more. The Stanley Cup is still far away for this team.
- Here we have a team that is incredibly fun to watch and easy to become a fan of.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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