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What would the Capitals' all-time team roster look like?

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USA TODAY Sports

What would the Capitals' all-time team roster look like?

There’s no more accurate way to gauge how good a player is than to look at his video game rating. EA Sports has already declared Alex Ovechkin as the best left wing in hockey for the upcoming game NHL 18, but there’s another video game out there with a fun quirk worth exploring.

NBA 2K18, which will be released Sept. 19, features the all-time team rosters of all 30 NBA teams. Want to see how Michael Jordan would fare against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors? Want to see LeBron James of the Cavaliers play LeBron James of the Heat? Want to revisit the Magic Johnsvon-Larry Bird rivalry? You can.

But we're hockey fans. We don't care about that. Let's take this to the ice and figure out what the all-time roster of the Washington Capitals would look like.

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An NHL game roster consists of 20 players: 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and two goalies. Looking at all the players to don a Capitals sweater in franchise history, here's what Washington's all-time lineup would look like:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Mike Gartner
Dennis Maruk - Adam Oates - Peter Bondra
Dave Christian - Bobby Carpenter - Jaromir Jagr
Michal Pivonka - Dale Hunter - Dino Ciccarelli

There are not too many natural left wings on this list so I had to shuffle some players around to fill out the lineup. With the context of the team's playoff struggles, it can be easy to forget just how good Ovechkin and Backstrom are. The fact that Ovechkin is the best Capitals player ever is undisputed. Even for a team that boasts Oates, a Hall of Fame center, Backstrom still gets the nod for the top line. He often gets lost in the shadow of his Russian line mate, but he is just that good. Gartner vs. Bondra was a tough call for the top line. Ultimately I went with the stats. In his best season Bondra scored 85 points, a mark that Gartner matched or surpassed four times in his career.

Defensemen
Rod Langway - Larry Murphy
Scott Stevens - Kevin Hatcher
Sergei Gonchar - Al Iafrate

Langway and Stevens are inarguable and any all-time Caps roster that does not include both players should not be taken seriously. The tough part about the defense was not so much picking who was in, but the players who were left out. Brendan Witt, Sylvain Cote, Rick Green, Yvon Labre and Mark Tinordi were all considered and it was especially hard to leave out Mike Green and Calle Johansson. The problem, however, is if you put one of them in, someone else has to come out. Would you take out any of those six for Green or Johansson? I wouldn't.

Goalies
Braden Holtby
Olaf Kolzig

The only other goalie worth bringing up here is Don Beaupre, but ultimately he comes up short to Holtby and Kolzig. Holtby has established himself as one of the top netminders at a time when goaltending has become so dominant, the NHL has literally had to shrink the size of the goalie pads. Kolzig, meanwhile, has more than double Beaupre’s career wins in Washington with 301 compared to 128. And no, Jim Carey is not a legitimate answer. He had one great season earning a Vezina Trophy in 1996 before falling off the face of the Earth. Both Holtby and Kolzig have Vezinas of their own plus several years of consistently great play.

What would your all-time roster look like?

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Andre Burakovsky responds to demotion with his first goal of the season

Andre Burakovsky responds to demotion with his first goal of the season

Andre Burakovsky needed a spark. In seven games playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, Burakovsky had only two assists to show for his efforts.

In order to spark the young winger, Barry Trotz moved Andre Burakovsky to the third line. It looks like that was a good move.

In his first game on the third line on Friday, Burakovsky scored his first goal of the season as he wristed a blistering shot past Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. Watch it in the player above.

The biggest issue for Burakovsky this season was waiting too long to get his shot off. Trotz's advice to him was, "Don't think too much." Burakovsky took those words to heart.

After taking the pass from Orlov, Burakovsky had room to work. Rather than waiting for the Red Wings to close the gap while aiming for the perfect shot, however, Burakovsky turned and immediately snapped the shot away.

It was a play he was not making in the first seven games. Will this goal spark the breakout season we have all been waiting for?

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Tarik's three stars: Andre Burakovsky rises to the challenge

Tarik's three stars: Andre Burakovsky rises to the challenge

DETROIT— Did the Caps ever need that.

Alex Ovechkin scored on the power play in overtime, and the Caps skated away with a 4-3 win over the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. The victory snapped Washington’s two-game losing streak.

My three stars of the game.

1-Andre Burakovsky

Andre Burakovsky scored his first goal of the season in the second period, then made a nifty pass to T.J. Oshie with 1:01 left to play to tie the game 3-3 and force an extra session. As sweet as the assist was, the goal probably meant more to No. 65. With 50 seconds remaining in the second period and the Caps in desperate need of something, Burakovsky controlled a pass from Dmitry Orlov a ripped a shot through a Detroit player and past Petr Mrazek’s short side to send the game into the third period knotted 1-1.

RELATED: BURAKOVSKY RESPONDS TO DEMOTION WITH HIS FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON

2-Tomas Tatar

The Slovakian winger tied the game 2-2 early in the third period with a beautiful, long range redirection that found its way past Braden Holtby. Tatar then struck on the power later in the final frame, finishing a world class crossing zone pass from Henrik Zetterberg that skated the Wings to a 3-2 lead.

3-Jay Beagle

Burakovsky got off the schneid. Then Beagle followed suit just 1:25 into the third period…shorthanded no less. With the Caps killing off a penalty, Alex Chiasson made a diving play to get the puck up to Beagle, who raced away on a breakaway. Beagle made no mistake once he got within striking distance. The assist marked Chiasson’s first point as a Capital.

Do you agree? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

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