Cup champion Capitals have new coach, almost same team

September 25, 2018

Washington Capitals head coach Todd Reirden gestures during NHL hockey training camp, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


LAST SEASON: 49-26-7, 105 points. Won Metropolitan Division and Stanley Cup.

COACH: Todd Reirden (First season, first NHL season)

ADDED: C Nic Dowd, G Ilya Samsonov

LOST: C Jay Beagle, G Philipp Grubauer, D Jakub Jerabek

PLAYER TO WATCH: LW Alex Ovechkin. Coming off scoring an NHL-best 49 goals and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, Ovechkin has nothing left to prove as one of the best players of his generation. Now the Russian superstar is a father and a Stanley Cup-winner, though, so everyone’s waiting to see his next trick at age 33.

OUTLOOK: Stanley Cup hangovers are real, and the Capitals will have to manage that and goaltender Braden Holtby playing more games because they don’t have a proven backup. Washington has the talent on paper to make another deep run, but all those games deep into last June could have an effect. Reirden will have to be careful with that after replacing Barry Trotz behind the bench.


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