2019 Washington Capitals Odds to win Stanley Cup with Expert Predictions
Last year at this time the Washington Capitals were the defending Stanley Cup champions. They were on top of the world. Now they are just a team looking to bounce back from a first-round playoff loss to a wild card team. Things can change in a hurry in this league. Washington needs to find a way to shake off what happened last season and get back on track before age causes their window to close.
Washington Capitals Offseason Moves
The offseason for the Capitals was one of the more boring in the league.
They were clearly more focused on the fact they won their division last
year than their early playoff departure, because they are heading into this
season with a squad that is largely unchanged.
Washington Capitals NHL Outlook
Up front, the top six are unchanged. Why would you change what they have? Lower down they made some changes and got a little feistier and more defensive. They signed winger Carl Hagelin to a free agent deal - at a little more money than several teams would deem him worth, I would suggest. And they added gritty winger Garnet Hathaway in free agency from the Flames. He's a prototypical fourth liner. To make room, they let Brett Connolly go to the Panthers, gave up on young center Nathan Walker, and let Stanley Cup hero Devante Smith-Pelly leave. The latter is in Calgary's camp vying for the spot Hathaway deserted - and he is not going to win it.
On the back end, the team made a trade to change things up a little. They got younger by sending 32-year-old Matt Niskanen to Philadelphia for 29-year-old Radko Gudas. On a pure talent level, they won the deal. But Gudas is a bit of an idiot who is better at getting suspended than almost anything else, and the league seems to be losing some patience with him, so he could be a bit of a liability.
The team also traded away young forward Andre Burakovsky. He was a reasonably useful depth forward, but his mental game wasn't always inspiring. They sent him to Colorado and got a surprising haul in return. Scott Kosmachuk is a 25-year-old AHLer who likely won't turn into too much at the NHL level, but the Caps also got a second- and third-round pick. It's a solid return for a guy who obviously didn't fit into their plans in a real way.
It has been a long while since the Capitals got immediate impact from the draft, and that is again going to be the case here. They got strong value with both first-round center Connor McMichael at 25th, and winger Brett Leason at 56th, but they are both a few years off.
Washington Capitals Schedule
The Capitals face their longest road trip of the year starting early with just the 10th game of the year. And it is a very odd trip. In nine days, they play five games in four different time zones. In the middle of the trip they play three games in four days in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The trip is a little misleading, though - they have three days off between games in Vancouver and Toronto , so they will get to spend a night or two in their own beds mid-trip.
Washington Capitals NHL Futures Odds
Washington is at +2000 to win the Stanley Cup , which places them in a large group of teams as the co-ninth choice. They are tied with Pittsburgh as the fifth choice to win the Eastern Conference at +1000 and are favored to win the Metropolitan Division at +400. Their season point total is set at 97.5 with balanced action. They are -200 to make the playoffs, compared to +170 to miss them.
2019-20 Washington Capitals Predictions
The league is getting younger and faster, but the Capitals have six players over the age of 30 and two more who will turn 30 before the Cup is hoisted. And the oldest of the lot is the most important - Alexander Ovechkin just turned 34 on the same day I turned, well, a little older. I'm obviously not suggesting that he, or any of the other young players for that matter, are at risk of being washed up. But it's worth noting. And in a conference that is just so deep and tough this year, it is reason for a little pause. This is still a playoff team, and perhaps the most likely division winner. But I find it tough to get too excited about this team as a real contender. I wouldn't bet on them to win anything of note this year.
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