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NHL Washington Capitals

5 Reasons Why Washington Capitals Will Still Be Alive in May

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Washington Capitals May Be Happier This May

Washington Capitals May Be Happier This May
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough start for the Washington Capitals this season, and they’ll be hoping to capitalize on Monday’s 4-2 win over the lackluster Edmonton Oilers and start anew. The 2-4-0 Caps next face a New York Rangers team on Wednesday night that is in free fall at the moment. The once mighty outfit has lost three in a row and has scored only nine goals while allowing 25 in their five games so far.

As bad as October has been for the Caps, I’m predicting that the boys in red will be alive and kicking in May. The talent pool is huge in the club, and the “cardiac Caps” have proven year-in and year-out that they’re capable of scraping enough wins to make the postseason — often in nail-biting fashion. This season won’t be any different and once the smelling salts get passed around more frequently on the bench, the win streaks will happen.

It starts in the locker room and on the training ice. Head coach Adam Oates is now renowned for not screaming at his players when they under-perform. Instead, he takes them aside and mentors them; he teaches them. Whenever I hear about Oates’ calm and assertive approach, I recall the Caps’ former boss Bruce Boudreau and wonder how much more rewarding it is for Alex Ovechkin to be showered with expert advice instead of spit and cusses.

So, Oates is included here as we look at him as one of the five reasons why the Capitals will be playing in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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5. Adam Oates

Adam Oates
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Oates is a good coach, excellent in bringing out the best in his players. And, the respect from his players will grow in leaps and bounds over the season. It will turn him from being a good coach into a phenomenal coach.

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4. The Third and Fourth Lines

The Third and Fourth Lines
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Each player on the lower two lines is capable of greatness. Strength in depth is vital to a postseason appearance and with veterans like Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and young gun Tom Wilson out there — goals will flow.

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3. Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

This is Braden Holtby’s year. After a rocky start, I see him getting into his niche and ending up in the top-five this season.

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2. Nicklas Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Nicklas Backstrom has one hand on the ‘best supporting actor’ NHL award (if there was such a thing). No matter how things are going, the team can count on the icy cool Swede to produce the goods. He’s proven that every year he’s spent in a Caps uniform.

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1. Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The superstar doesn’t need too much of an introduction. He has the stuff to turn any period around, any game around and any season around. Is this the year he gets his gloves on the Cup?