The NHL surely has been different this year after the lockout. Since teams didn’t have full practice time with each other, schemes and getting on the right page was more difficult than ever before. For the Washington Capitals, the offseason was a bit different. Sure, they didn’t get practice time like everyone else, but they really had a disadvantage. Adam Oates would have to implement a new plan as he only had about two weeks with the team before playing their first game and hitting the ice. Everyone knew it would be a tough road, but not as tough as the Caps have had it.
It has been a bit of a mixed up year, but coach Oates has handled it very well. Even though they are two games under .500, they are a mere seven points away from being in the lead of the Southeast division. Could they actually win the division?
Of course! The Capitals will need to win a decent amount of their games to have a chance, but I believe they can keep up with anyone in the league. They have the potential to be better than anyone else. They just have to put all of the pieces together. If they can be consistent, they will certainly have no issue making a run at the top spot.
Competing with the Winnipeg Jets will be tough. The Jets have been solid all year and Washington will have to play top-notch. Look for the April 23rd game with these two teams to be the best matchup of the year.