Commentary | With the new gains and losses this off-season has produced so far, people have to be wondering, how will the boys in red do this coming season and how will they be successful? Well, there are a number of things that will make this team not only successful, but give them the best chance to win the cup this year, something us fans have been waiting years for.
The biggest thing in my mind for a successful season is to have a strong start. Plain and simple, last season the Capitals had an awful start. They quickly found themselves sitting at the bottom of the league standings at a shocking start of 2-8 in the first ten games of the regular season.
I know I wasn’t the only one who was ready to give up on the team I’ve loved for years. Believe it or not, many so called “fans” did give up. But we all know those true die-hard Capitals fans stick with their team until the end, no matter what the results look like. I again am speaking for many Caps fans when I say I was on edge to say the least for the first couple weeks of the season. Anger and confusion were two of the most popular traits expressed throughout these first couple weeks. How could a team go from doing so well the season before with Dale Hunter, to doing so badly at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season? Fire Oates was a popular comment I saw, as well as the occasional trade Ovie’s that would float around.
The Capitals clearly picked it up a great deal by April, losing just 2 out of the 13 games played that month. In my opinion, all the losses and struggles at the beginning had to do with Adam Oates having no training camp with the lockout. He had no time to talk with players, or assistant coaches. Oates went into the season blind and unknowing of what to do with the team. But as the season progressed, the players started trusting Oatsy, and began to believe he was going to be a great coach in the upcoming seasons.
My point is, getting off to a good start is essential to carrying that success through the rest of the season. This good start is certainly not a hard thing to do now that Oates had the summer to talk to all Capitals players, as well as a half season under his belt to have an idea of what combinations work with what players. The Caps just have to make sure they plan this good start, and execute it.
Starting strong is going to be a huge key to success for the Caps going into this season. Starting off strong will not only be good in the standings, but will boost the confidence of the whole team. If the Caps can start the season off strong come October, fans can look forward to a stress free season, and a possible Stanley Cup in Verizon Center come May next year.