It’s doom and gloom around the Washington Capitals these days. The team is a disappointing 5th place in the Eastern Conference and their franchise player, Alex Ovechkin, is on pace to score just 80 points this season… his lowest point total ever!

As if that wasn’t enough, various hockey pundits have claimed the Capitals Stanley Cup window is closing and closing fast during this season of horrors.

It goes deeper too. Some observers believe the Capitals must go all-in this season or their shot at Lord Stanley will be gone for years.

I realize not everyone feels this way, but frankly it’s ridiculous anyone could.

As it stands, Washington isn’t built to win the Stanley Cup with today’s roster. Sorry, it’s just not happening.

That’s not a shot at the team. They have their top line in place – albeit a struggling top line – and some very good pieces on defense, but they don’t have a solid second line center (or second line for that matter) or proven goaltending.

Thing is, all that good stuff is coming. That’s the beauty of building contending sports teams; it’s about patience, following the plan and patience. Did I mention patience? It’s clear GM George McPhee is following a pretty good blueprint with a number of key pieces still a few years away from the big club. Consider that Ovechkin, along with the rest of the Caps nucleus Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Jeff Schultz, John Erskine, Karl Alzner, John Carlson and others aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Also consider that most of those players, perhaps all of them, have yet to hit their primes.

Add in some developing players with great potential including Marcus Johansen (a potential solid two-way, second line center) and 2011 World Junior Championship stars Evgeny Kuznetsov (a very talented winger) and Cody Eakin. (another strong depth center). I didn’t even mention netminders Semyon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth, two goalies who are developing nicely for the Capitals.

This doesn’t mean the Capitals can’t or won’t go on a great run this season or next. In fact that would only help them in the long term. If you ask me, the Capitals window doesn’t truly open for a few more years. Everything that’s happening with the Capitals is part of the plan. The Capitals are learning and still very young. It’s not like McPhee set out to execute a short sighted strategy that wraps up with an all-or-nothing conclusion in just three or four years. Again, patience is the key to the growth of the team and its individuals. Would the Capitals like to be playing better and winning more? Sure, but the Caps are still among the top 10 teams in the league. It’s not all doom and gloom as I poked fun at earlier.

For any fans or naysayers claiming otherwise, this is a team poised to be contenders for years to come. This is a team that hasn’t come close to its potential and development yet.

This is a team who’s window hasn’t fully opened, much less begun closing.

Comments (4)

  1. the fact that bb tried to impliment a defensive style with this team partway through the year and keeps changing lines in the middle of games is 2 of the main things killing this team.

  2. Totally agree, but I don’t think BB is the one to lead them to the promise land. They’ll need to be a new coach, and I hope it’s sooner rather then later.

  3. About GM , BB , and future of our team – my point of what i think . More and more questions coming up about what going on with Caps top players ? In my opinion its a lock of effort , discipline , dedication , to play for 60 minutes every game ; Caps don’t need to go to OT or SO , this is the way for losers only which let them to get a point in the standings . Caps are a better team , and if they continue to play like this – they will not going to reach the point to play and bring the highest trophy to Washington ! I honestly suspecting that best players on team playing with injuries , otherwise i cant explain why they suddenly became very average ,lost intensity , and if GM & BB ignoring it and steel forcing them to play with injuries – its very wrong , we all know that regular season mining nothing for teams with high expectations . We have so many good players in AHL Bears who will bee glad to replace the injured players until they healthy and ready to go for the playoffs , meanwhile the young kids from Hershey will do everything possible with a given to them chance to prove that they can do it on a regular bases – the whole organization and Caps FANS will win . Otherwise GM&BB got to go and the season is lost again !!!!!!!

  4. @ Papa A O – Nice name! Perhaps some of the top Cap players are injured, but I doubt all their 1st line guys are. While there’s a few AHL Bears who probably could play in the NHL right now, it’s not like it’s hurting their development by staying there.

    @ Rob/Patrick – I’ve long felt the same way about BB. I’m not sure how much longer BB stays in Washington.

    Thanks for reading and commenting guys!

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