Now that teams are advancing towards the Stanley Cup Finals, we'll review the seasons of teams as they're eliminated from the playoffs. Obviously, the last team reviewed will be the one that wins the Cup.
Now the next team to be eliminated from the playoffs: Washington Capitals
Our prediction: We thought the Washington Capitals weren't going to finish atop of the standings, but had the capability of being a Cup Contender if they could play their cards right. We predicted they'd get out of the opening round of the playoffs, but waited with bated breath to see if they'd emerge from the Conference Semifinals.
The truth: The Capitals finished second in the Metropolitan Division and ended up defeating the New York Islanders in seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. They'd go to seven games in the Conference Semifinals against the Islanders' cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, but found themselves on the losing end after seven games in their series.
So what was good?: Any team that has Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Bacstrom playing for them is (or at least, should be) going to perform well. In any case, the off-season addition of coach Barry Trotz was simply a good one - He knew how to properly tap into the players' potential and get them into the post-season. Jeff Carlson was fantastic from the blueline. Mike Green wasn't terrible either, but one may have expected a bit more for him as he's going into a contract year. Braden Holtby arguably had a great season for the team - Appearing in 71 games while showing flashes of absolute brilliance at times.
So what happened?: The team, as a whole, was inconsistent all year. No team with consistency issues should be expected to go far into the postseason. Though big things would be expected of them with Ovechkin on the team, the reality of it is that Trotz probably still needs a season to get the team at it's maximum capacity. Plus Ovechkin probably jinxed himself by saying they'd win Game 7; only to deleiv
So what's next?: Green's all but out the door unless he takes a steep cut from what he'd probably get as a free agent. That might not be a bad thing, however, if they can find a way to manage a capable top-six forward or two to round-out their otherwise industrious group of forwards (with Ovi, Backstrom, Marcus Johannson, and Evgeny Kusnetsov seemingly being the guys who are driving the scoring.) Otherwise, they're still going to come back with many of the same parts, but will need to overcome the "underachiever" tag if they're ever to be taken seriously as a Cup Contender.