Latest Braden Holtby Items
The Caps would be heading to Dallas with an 0-2 mark if not for the work Michal Neuvirth did after coach Adam Oates decided to pull Braden Holtby 16:22 into the game with the Caps already down 3-0.
The Capitals surrendered three unanswered goals in the third period to lose 6-4 to the Chicago Blackhawks in the season-opener Tuesday. They almost spoiled the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration, but Washington's defense failed to make Mikhail Grabovski's hat trick and the team's three power-play goals stand up.
Mike Green scored in the fourth round of a shootout and former Belleville Bulls goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped all four Winnipeg attempts in the Washington Capitals' 4-3 victory over the Jets on Saturday night in the exhibition opener for both teams.
With the amateur draft looming Sunday and free agency set to begin July 5, the Capitals are focused on their future first before they turn to tying up remaining loose ends on the current roster.
Perhaps the early struggles and late run to the playoffs should have been predictable for a rookie head coach, especially given the lockout and shortened training camp. In looking back at his first season running a team, Adam Oates might take all summer to hone his craft for next year and beyond.
Easier said than done, of course. No one is going to hand the Caps a top-level player. Can they afford to sign one? Can they put together enough of a package to trade for one, even if it might cost them someone like Braden Holtby? If they can get one, they need to make sure they do it.
Because the Washington Capitals were done before the final horn in Game 7 Monday night, those watching had some extra time to contemplate general manager George McPhee's work this offseason. But after the Caps became the only NHL team to make the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the past six years and not reach at least the conference finals, don't expect much to look different when they open the 2013-14 season.
Given the tightness of the series, it was shocking that the Caps did not put up a fight in being eliminated. And the end unfolded in stunning fashion.