Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Twenty-eight regular-season games with the Caps complete, Oleksy will play his first in the Stanley Cup playoffs this week against the New York Rangers. It's fair to say no one saw this coming.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was smiling while sitting at his locker, almost for the first time since returning to North America. First he got the flu, then he watched as Braden Holtby started the first two games of the Washington Capitals' season.
In last year's playoffs, Ovechkin saw as his ice time dip as low as 13 minutes and 36 seconds, even as he was scoring goals and helping the Washington Capitals win. That was under Dale Hunter, who put an emphasis on defensive play. Don't expect any of that from new coach Adam Oates, who could be the perfect guy to take Ovechkin's career back to superstar levels.
In an alternate universe where NHL owners and players got a deal done over the summer to prevent a lockout, Adam Oates would be coaching the Washington Capitals. He'd be spending his early mornings at the practice facility and 41-plus nights at Verizon Center.
The Washington Capitals are getting the band back together.
Even after general manager George McPhee conceded Saturday the Washington Capitals are close to naming an assistant coach, Adam Oates wasn't willing to say exactly who it would be. But the first-time head coach shed some light.
Oates and assistant coach Calle Johansson have told all of the team's defensemen not to be afraid to jump up into plays and contribute on offense.