Capitals 2017-18 Season Preview

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Posted October 4, 2017

(Caps Outsider)

It’s that time again. It’s getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, the MLB playoffs are on, football is in full swing, but most importantly, hockey is back. Caps fans (once again) have a bitter taste in their mouth as there was another payoff disappointment in the spring. The same summer questions: “What happened?” “Is DC cursed?” “Should the Caps trade Alex Ovechkin?” Like clockwork, some of these questions were answered and others were not. This season, the Stanley Cup should not be expected by the fanbase.

The Caps parted way with some fan favorites and some really skilled players this offseason. The losses of Karl Alzner, Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt, Daniel Winnik and Kevin Shattenkirk left big holes that will need to be filled.

Those holes might be filled by young, inexperienced players such as Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness, Christian Djoos, Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Vrana, who have played a combined 73 NHL games.

The Caps are still good, and they should still make the playoffs, but the Metropolitan Division is one of the best in the league. Carolina has gotten much better, the Rangers are a good team, and Columbus is good as well. The Caps will be fighting for home ice in the first round of the postseason. If they were to finish as the wild card team that plays in the Atlantic, that may their best shot at getting to a conference final.

Do not be surprised to see the young players in and out of the lineup. For those who are waiver exempt, such as Madison Bowey, expect to see them moved between Washington and Hershey. The salary cap will be a factor in this, too, as the players do not count as much against the cap if on the AHL roster.

The Caps, at the very best, should finish with 95 points, 3rd in the division.

Worst Case Scenario for the Caps in 2017-18

Best Case Scenario for the Caps in 2017-18