Their head coach: Barry Trotz. Barry was the coach in Nashville since that franchise's inception in the late 90s until he was dismissed from the Music City two years ago. When that happened, Trotz was hired by the nation's capital to coach the Capitals. What fun! Trotz is a good head coach who looks like a sontaran from Doctor Who (see below for comparison), but surprisingly has never been able to make it past the second round of the playoffs. Washington's managed to lose two straight elimination games in the second round in overtime, which must feel great, and he could never quite lead the Predators over the hump while he was in the Volunteer State.
Their captain: Alex F*ucking Ovechkin, my favorite player who does not play with the Avalanche. I could watch Ovechkin blast a hockey puck all day if I wanted to. There is no way God made humans with the intention to let one have the power to do such things like hit a slaps shot the way he can hit one. Lord have mercy. No goal is more patented in this sport than a Caps' power play leading to a pass to Ovechkin in the left face-off circle so he can one-time one into the net. It's incredible how much it works. Almost as incredible as that, is how much the Avs try to do the same thing with Jarome Iginla.
Their 15-16 season: Ultimately it has to be looked at as a failure, which is too bad. Washington was undoubtedly the best team in the regular season. They won the President's Trophy with ease and were a machine from October all the way through April. Their nemesis in Pittsburgh got em though. As I mentioned, they lost in the second round in overtime, at Pittsburgh, and their season ended just like that. All the hard work and effort put in for six months led to nothing, and once again, this franchise couldn't get to the majestic lands that are holding the Stanley Cup.
How did they do against the Avs? LOL they beat the hell out of us. The game in Washington featured the Capitals scoring a touchdown, and the game in Colorado would have been the same way had the Capitals not hit the post every other minute like they did. If you compare the Avs to the best teams in hockey to get a sense as to how close the Avs are to contending for a championship, the games against Washington would lead you to conclude the Avalanche are not even remotely close to being a team that could hold its own if it was to win a title.
When do they play the Avs this season? At Washington on October 18th and in Denver on March 29th.
Will they be good? The Capitals are going to win the Stanley Cup. THIS is finally going to be their season. This team has everything you need. Top-goal scorer? Check (Ovi). Great captain? Check (also Ovi). Top goaltender? Check (Braden Holtby). Great talent in all phases? Check (Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Niskanen, Orlov, Orpik, Oshie). You might recall in my preview of the Predators I said they'd make it to the Cup Final. The Caps are the team they'll play, and also lose to. If this turns out to be the case, which it obviously will be because I'm saying it right now, I'll brag about it a lot in the coming lifetime. If it's not correct, forget I said anything. But ask me to bet right now who I think will win it, curses and everything, I'd say Washington.
3 Questions with their SB Nation blog, Japer's Rink: Similarly to finding a Stanley Cup replica in the Capitals' team office, there are no answers from JR.