Since this site is woefully prejudiced against us Capitals fans, I felt it was time to step up to the plate and fulfill the glaring need for a Capitals Blog. Granted there are only about four Capitals fans on this whole site, but that is really besides the point.
As anyone remotely familiar with the NHL knows, the Capitals were atrocious down the stretch, and in some ways, looked worse than the team that also missed the playoffs in the 2005-06 season. The Caps team this season is the second biggest dissappointment in DC this year; the first being any time our honorable president opened his mouth. I know everyone will point to all of the injuries, especially to Kolzig, as the reason for the collapse but I really felt the season ended the day that AO broke his stick in frustration on his way back to the locker room aginst the Penguins. But, we do not really need to dwell on the sad ending to what was at one point, a promising season.
Now, looking forward to the offseason (You know your team really blew when you start looking forward to the offseason), General Manager George McPhee (henceforth known as GMGM) has his work cut out for him. As much as AO professes his love for Washington, I have a feeling that if no talent is brought in soon, he will probably entertain offers as free agent as soon as he can. He wants to win. It is apparent in every interview he does. If GMGM and Leonsis can't make Washington a winning environment, I am sure 29 other teams will be willing to do whatever it takes to make him happy.
So who to target to center AO and shore up the horrendous backend that allowed 3.30 goals a game? I doubt any of the big name, free agent centers will be really excited about the possibility of coming to DC, even to center AO. Gomez will want too much money, Drury will probably go to a team that has a prayer of contending or stay in Buffalo, Briere will want too much money too. I guess that leaves GMGM in a situation to trade, but who is going to give up a #1 center when the Caps have so little to offer? As a GM would you give up a #1 center for the 5th pick in a weak draft and Steve Eminger? Hell no, you wouldn't, unless that center happened to be Eric "Glassjaw" Lindros or Jeremy "Uncle Rico" Roenick, but both of those guys are free agents, so I guess it is a moot point.
As far as the defense is concerned, Rafalski or Schneider would be great to mentor all of the younger blueliners the Caps have, but again, the odds of either of them coming to DC are pretty slim.
So, what do the Caps fans have to look forward to next season? Probably much of the same. Another year of development for AO will be great, Semin as well. Backstrom coming over from Sweden will more than likely fill the second line center position, but the Caps just have way too many holes to plug for a stingy owner, seemingly gunshy after the Jagr debacle. Unless some miraculous about-face happens; GMGM makes some really shrewd moves, Fat Ted opens up the wallet and Hanlon can get control back of this team - I am willing to bet the Caps will probably miss the playoffs next year as well.
Oh, yeah - Congrats to the Senators for beating the crap out of the Penguins so far. May they eliminate them on Thursday. Props to Volchenkov and Phillips for smothering Sid "2nd Assist" Crosby.