Luckily for me (and more importantly, for you), Eric at Off Wing Opinion has posted a Caps Preview that I fully endorse. Give it a read and see that he comes to pretty much the same conclusion that I do: if everything comes together just right, the Caps could challenge for a playoff spot. More likely, however, the team will continue to develop but be on the outside looking in come mid-April.
For kicks, I went back and looked at the season preview I did last season, in which I concluded that:
If the Caps can score, they'll be entertaining. If not, they'll be painful. Either way they will lose early and often and will have a great shot at the #1 pick in the 2006 entry draft. But don't judge this team by its wins and losses. Instead, watch players develop and watch Alexander Ovechkin dazzle.I'll let you make the call as to whether or not things have changed drastically in the past year.
In other news:
- The Caps made their first cuts today, sending Oskar Osala, Daren Machesney, Sasha Pokulok, Francois Bouchard, Matt Stefanishion, Trevor Byrne, Louis Robitaille, Stephen Werner, Joey Tenute, Michal Neuvirth and Patrick McNeill off to spend a season riding buses and having tea with Miss McGill.
- Also out at camp today Brian Sutherby beat down Chad Wiseman in the first fight of camp. These guys have obviously had enough of each other - bring on Tampa tomorrow and let them take some aggression out on Frodo et. al.
- Two great new (to me) Caps blogs have appeared, first being Dan Steinberg's WaPo D.C. Sports Bog and the second is Mike Vogel (senior writer for washingtoncaps.com)'s Dump and Chase. As I've said before, the Caps will easily have the highest blogger-to-wins ratio in the NHL this year.
- Speaking of Dan's blog, today he asked GMGM about the highlight reel of his (McPhee's) fights that were posted (among other places) here the other day. Quoth George, "I don't know what to say about that. My father taught me to fight. And when it came time, I was okay at it." Indeed.
- According to the WaPo, Alex Ovechkin and Olie Kolzig will play in tomorrow night's game (expect to see AO on a line with Richard Zednik and Sutherby and for Olie to play the whole game).