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The history of the Washington Capitals shows a team that has only one conference championship to its credit with a resulting Stanley Cup appearance in 1998 where they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Despite not having much to show for it on paper, the Capitals are a tough opponent who never give up.
The 2015-16 season saw the Capitals surge to a record of 56-18-8 for 120 points, best in the NHL. That success only carried them so far, however, as they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Ovechkin’s fiercest rival, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
A third season in Washington under Barry Trotz garnered 118 points, good enough for their second consecutive President’s Trophy. Unfortunately, the team could not get over the hump in the playoffs, being bounced by the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two again. The hard-fought series ended after seven games with the Capitals heading home and the Penguins going on to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
There is an air of urgency in Washington. The complaints about a lack of consistency with the coaching staff no longer hold water as Trotz enters his fourth year with the team. Still needing to take things to the next level, Ovechkin and company look to remove the stigma that they can’t win the big games in the playoffs and bring a championship home to the nation’s capital. The very legacy of Alex Ovechkin is at stake. For further reading about the Washington Capitals click here.