The 2018 Stanley Cup winning Washington Capitals were set to go the distance again, but instead of breaking records, all the 2019 playoffs brought were broken hearts and very broken brackets. This season will be better. It has to be, doesn’t it?
First Key Game: St. Louis Blues – October 2nd.
Odds to win the division
7:1 (1st overall) (via Betway)
Is this a bet worth taking?
The Washington Capitals are rightfully the favorites to win this division. That said, the Metropolitan division is a competitive group of teams, with any number of teams having a chance at a playoff spot, even the scraps of Columbus. A 7:1 payout is a pretty good payout for a team that has been the tops of this division for some time. This is your safest bet for a division winner, so if you want to put some money on a front runner this is the one.
Keys To The Season
Story to watch
Playoffs! Come on now, that wasn’t a surprise was it? Carl’s Caps will go the distance in the regular season and win the division easily. They’ll do it with style and grace, and we’ll all continue our man-crush on Braden Holtby. He’s so cool. Alex Ovechkin will score many, many goals.
There’s no question about where Washington will finish the season, but how far can they go in the playoffs? They went all the way in 2018, then fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round last season. Head coach Todd Reirden has a lot to prove if he wants to keep his job in the nation’s capital, considering that he took over from Barry Trotz and immediately fell at the second hurdle.
Player to watch
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down. I realize that the only way I can win you back is to take ownership of my situation and my actions from this point forward.”
The big Russian forward will miss the first three games as he’s suspended, but has vowed to come back stronger than ever. While there’s no doubt he’s a quality asset, especially when it comes to moving the puck forward, he can be inconsistent. I’ll be watching Kuznetsov to see how he bounces back from this suspension and what he brings to the Capitals on his return.
The Caps need some love (don’t we all?). That first round implosion felt like a swift kick in the shins for fans, the hopes of so many obliterated by some jerks from Carolina. The team has lost a lot of experience on the blue line with Niskanen’s trade and Orpik’s retirement, so the new players have to quickly find their form.
If the Washington Capitals were an animal, what would they be?
The noble bald eagle. Sure that sounds like the easy way out, but while often viewed as an apex predator, the bald eagle is opportunistic and will take every chance to steal a kill. However they’ve vulnerable when young, and to finish this parallel, the Capitals, with their personnel changes are young and may drop points when least expected.