Wow, hard to believe it's here - the end of summer 2014. For the Washington Capitals I keep hearing how it's been a very long off-season. After seven straight year of making the playoffs, not making the post-season will surely play on the minds of the Capitals players, for many of whom missing the playoffs in 2014 was a new and first time experience they definitely don't want to repeat. Did it make this summer long for them? I'm sure it did. For me I can't believe its September, let alone September is almost over. While it's hard to think about Ice Hockey on such a lovely day, I'm glad I can though.
I look forward to the resumption of Capitals Hockey every September. This September I'm as optimistic as ever, perhaps more so. If you, like I, believe what the Capitals have needed was a stronger defense to compliment their awesome cadre of forwards, then you too are probably are pleased with the majority of what we've seen the Capitals do this summer. I'm optimistic and excited.
I'm excited to see what new coach Barry Trotz does with a team that has so much offensive talent. I'm excited to see what Caps D-Men Green, Carlson and Alzner do as part of a cadre of blue-liners that means whoever is out there for the Capitals on the blue-line can "take it to" the opposing team if they let up one little bit. I'm excited to see what Evgeny Kuznetsov will do with a full season in the NHL to mature and challenge his hockey skills and sense. I'm excited to see if Joel Ward and Jason Chimera can match or exceed the year they had last regular season. I'm excited to see who Trotz pairs Ovechkin and Backstrom with and how he uses and leverages their world class skill sets - I don't know what he will do, but I'm sure we will see yet another perspective on how these two dynamic players can propel their team forward. I'm looking forward to seeing new Caps Orpik and Niskanen play in Capitals Red, I'm really interested in seeing how these two play against Malkin and Crosby when the Caps meet the Pens during this seasons Washington - Pittsburgh games, but I also expect to see them bring a fair amount of drive and grit against the Rangers, Islanders and Canadians. Like I said I'm excited.