Washington Capitals 2012-13 Season Preview:
The Washington Capitals got over a major hump during the 2011-12 season, breaking their one-and-done ways in the playoffs and showing significant growth throughout the year. The Capitals finished with a 42-32-8 record and ranked seventh in the Eastern Conference, which helped them sneak into the back door of the playoffs. The Capitals shocked the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in a thrilling Game 7, and even pushed the New York Rangers to the brink in the postseason before falling in seven games. Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, the Capitals have revamped their roster and signed new head coach Adam Oates to guide the team to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
Offensively, the Capitals' scoring attack is lead by Alex Ovechkin, who posted another impressive 2011-12 campaign with 38 goals and 27 assists. He is joined on the first line with Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer, who will be taking over Alexander Semin's spot. The Capitals have done a great job accruing more depth on their scoring lines, signing players like Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro to strengthen the team's second line.
Perhaps the biggest changes for the Capitals will come on defense, where the team will lose the talented Dennis Wideman and will promote defenseman Mike Green to the starting spot. Green has played well over the past several years, but it may be difficult for him to match Wideman's impressive production from a year ago. Karl Azner, John Carlson and Roman Hamrlik should round out a formidable defensive group for the Capitals in 2012-13. At goalie, the Capitals rely on a pair of young goalies in Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth, but overwhelming talent in the net more than makes up for their lack of experience.
The Washington Capitals should continue to be one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference during the 2012-13 season, and their year will start off in thrilling fashion. The Capitals will open up their season against the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils at home on October 12 in the Verizon Center, before turning around and going on the road against the Ottawa Senators on October 13. The team will also play a handful of holiday home games, such as a Super Bowl Sunday showdown with the Los Angeles Kings and a Halloween matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals may have a tough schedule, but they certainly have the talent and the will to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup this year.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Washington, D.C.
Stadium: Verizon Center
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Southeast Division
Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Titles: none
Washington Capitals Conference Championships: 1
Notable Players: Mike Gartner, Rod Langway, Larry Murphy
The Washington Capitals play hockey in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team first played in 1974 as part of the NHL expansion of that year. The Washington Capitals started off dismally in their first few seasons. They improved in the 1980's making the playoff's 14 seasons in row. In 1998 Washington Capitals saw its best success by winning the Eastern Conference championship and playing the Stanley Cup under the leadership of Peter Bondra and Adam Oates. The team has been on a rebuilding campaign since, making strategic moves every year (signing Viktor Kozlov and Michael Nylander) to build themselves back into contention.
The Washington Capitals play their home games at the Verizon Center in the Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood of Washington D.C. The arena has a capacity of nearly 21,000. Seeing a game at the Verizon Center gives fans a chance to witness one of the most exciting and dynamic teams in the NHL play in the heart of the nation's capital. Buy Washington Capitals tickets today!
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