NHL Power Rankings: Previewing the Flyers’ Metropolitan positon

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Washington Capitals

Head Coach- Todd Rierdon (first season)

Key Returning Players- Alex Ovechkin(C), Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov,

2018 Outlook

Justin:  The reigning cup champs, the Washington Capitals, will bring back much of the same squad from last year, although the man behind the bench will not be Barry Trotz. Todd Rierdon will now captain the ship, and it will be interesting to see what course he decides to chart for his crew. If he’s smart, he won’t change a lot and he’ll let Alex Ovechkin be Alex Ovechkin. The Caps have plenty of offensive weapons and just re-signed defenseman Jon Carlson to a lucrative contract extension.

If Braden Holtby stays healthy and the Caps continue to get contributions from their bottom six, there’s no reason why this team should not be one of the best teams in the league. Yes, Ovechkin and Backstrom are getting older, but still playing at a high level. Some experts have picked them to fall as far as 4th, but a new coach is not reason enough for this team to fall that far off of last year’s pace.

Bottom Line: The Caps should be in a tight battle for first place all season long. They’ll have some peaks and valleys as they adjust to a new coach, but the playoffs are a mere formality.

Prediction:  First in the Metropolitan Division, 103 pts0

Anthony: The Capitals refused to pay the coach that finally got them to a Stanley Cup and then turned around and overpaid Tom Wilson. A new coach doesn’t necessarily mean that the team will fall apart, and Alex Ovechkin is still Alex Ovechkin, but there will probably be some adjustment. They’ll still be top three in the Metro assuming they don’t suffer a string of injuries.

Bottom line: Despite a couple bottom six subtractions the Capitals are basically the same. It might take a while for them to adjust to a new coach’s system especially if Ovechkin doesn’t warm up to him.

Prediction: Third in the Metropolitan Division, 96 pts

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