We're on the eve of the opening game of the season for the Caps, and I haven't really had much of anything to say about them in quite a while. I missed most of the preseason games, catching only the final one against the Blackhawks (well, most of it; somehow, I missed the first ten minutes, despite the DVR being set. Not sure what happened).
Despite this, I'm pretty excited about the upcoming season. McPhee made a number of very nice moves this offseason (I think I commented individually on pretty much all of them). I'm slightly skeptical of the signing of Ward, but hoping my skepticism is merely paranoia. I wonder, too, if Brouwer is worth the first-round pick; but again, I hope so. The rest are all good moves, in my book.
So we're left with a team that is deep, absolutely loaded with talent, and a legitimate pick for the Stanley Cup. There's a lot of years of playoff failure to get over, there are still questions about Boudreau's ability to coach in the postseason, as well as his ability to inspire discipline in his players. The new acquisitions should help with that latter (and the former, come to that).
So things are looking, right now, about as good as they've ever looked for the Caps. So I'm really just trying to keep from getting too excited when we've still got the whole season to look forward to.
The only big questions marks are at second center, where MarJo's so-so preseason did not inspire confidence (though Matty P's excellent one helps mitigate that. Perhaps, between the two of them, they can hold down the position), and with the salary cap, as the team will be riding that line all season. The downside to the latter, of course, is that it limits their ability to deal with the former (if necessary) at the trade deadline.
Looking at the team schedule, the only thing that really jumps out at me is that February and March are going to be absolutely brutal. Thirty games in fifty-nine days. As I said, brutal. Hopefully, they can find a little bit of time to rest in January and April.
So, as I said, a lot of reason to get excited, but we don't want to get too excited too soon. We want this season to stretch all the way to June.