No team, in my mind, in the Stanley Cup playoffs, faces more pressure than the Washington Capitals.
The showy team has been very competitive for the last dozen years, but has nothing to show for it. Their playoff record fails to match their regular season record.
This season seems different, however. Barry Trotz has some defensive tenets to install in his team, and they have bought in. Ovechkin is still the best player, but they don’t seem to need him to do everything. They may have the league’s top goalie and Hart Trophy winner in Braden Holtby.
This seems like a different Capitals team. Can they prove it?