Friday, June 7, 2013

The Future of Your Washington Capitals

As more and more Capitals leave this year, I got to thinking, with the trade of Filip Forsberg last year, how does the future of the Caps look?

Assuming no big trades (and that Evgeny Kuznetsov decides to play), here are my projected line combinations.

Kuznetsov-Nick Backstrom-Ovechkin
Laich-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer
Stan Galiev-Matt Perreault-Tom Wilson
Joel Ward-Jay Beagle-Riley Barber
Scratched/Possibilities: Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, Matt Hendricks, Nicholas Deschamps, Michael Latta

Green-Karl Alzner
John Carlson-Dmitri Orlov
Tomas Kundratek-Cameron Schilling
Scratched/Possibilities: Steven Oleksy, Jack Hillen, John Erskine

The Caps have built up a good minor league system, with players that can be helpful in the future. Players like Kuznetsov, Stan Galiev, Riley Barber, Tomas Kundratek and Cameron Schillings have great upside and can be very helpful to the Caps eventually.

How does this lineup compare, though, to the lineup from the 2009-10 season, the Caps team that had the best chance to win a cup? Let's see:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Mike Knuble
Alex Semin-Laich-Fehr
Chimera-Brendan Morrison-Scott Walker
Tomas Fleischmann-David Steckel-Matt Bradley
Scratched/Possibilities: Quintin Laing, Alexander Giroux, Eric Belanger, Boyd Gordon

Shaone Morrisonn-Schultz
Scratched/Possibilities: Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan, Milan Jurcina

Personally, I feel the offense will be a little bit worse, and the defense will be better (when Jeff Schultz is playing, even on the third line, you're in pretty bad shape). Still, Kuznetsov could make up for the firepower lost when Alex Semin left, and players like Dmitri Orlov and Tomas Kundratek bring youth and stability to the D line. I actually believe this future team will be the best since than that 2009-10 season.

Of course, you could always have the sick lines on the ancient NHL video game you have where you can do any trade easily:

Ilya Kovalchuck-Jordan Staal-Laich
Fleischmann-Sergei Fedorov-Brendan Morrison
Alex Tanguay-Steckel-Knuble

Green-Brent Seabrook
Dennis Wideman-Shaone Morrisonn

Well, we can't win at everything.

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