Washington Capitals Ready for Final Leg of Season


The Washington Capitals will likely make the postseason. That much is known.

Sitting in fourth in the Metropolitan, seven points ahead of Boston who would be the No. 8 seed at the moment, the Caps would need a climatic fall to tumble out of the playoffs at this rate.

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Over the weekend, upper management made two trades to try and help the franchise for its postseason run. And while Washington didn’t make a blockbuster trade, the moves they made were solid and now leave Barry Trotz with a finalized roster heading toward the postseason (FWIW: Andre Burakovsky could still be called up from Hershey).

As the Capitals prepare for a return to the postseason, one of the major aspects of this team to watch will be the forward position next to Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Throughout the season, that position has been a revolving door, as Trotz has constantly tried to find the right man to succeed alongside two of the most productive players in the NHL. It seems easy from afar, as playing with a former MVP who leads the league in points and goals (65 & 41, respectively) and the top assist man in the NHL (47 assists) should be a piece of cake. But, for some reason, that hasn’t been the case.

That’s one of the reasons the Capitals brought in Curtis Glencross. They hope that Glencross can fill in with the top-six, whether it’s with Ovechkin and Backstrom, or with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Troy Brouwer. And while Burakovsky has shown flashes all season throughout the entirety of the lines, Trotz feels that he needs more time to develop.

There’s no reason as to why Glencross shouldn’t be able to help with the top-six, but there’s no guarantee.

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Another aspect to watch is the backline next to Mike Green.

That position has too been a revolving door. Jack Hillen didn’t work back there, and that’s why he was shipped out. Trotz is hoping that Tim Gleason’s style of play will blend with that of Green’s, and many believe it will.

But as we near the greatest time of the hockey year, the Capitals defensive unit as a whole will need to stand strong. Far too often this season we’ve seen lengthy spells where the defense is constantly getting handled by the opposition. And while Braden Holtby is having a spectacular year, all goalies need help.

Yet, any Washington fan will be quick to tell you that’s not always the case, as the Capitals have dominated teams but run into stonewalls at the net and find themselves eliminated. Holtby, many fans and those associated with the franchise hope, has the potential to be that stonewall in the playoffs.

The Washington Capitals will begin the final push for the playoffs tonight in Columbus, and as Trotz and others believe, this Capitals team has the pieces for a strong run in the postseason. The team hits, it has the two most productive offensive players in the league and it has a top goalie. It’s just a matter of those pieces fitting together.

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