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Capitals see window to win championship as open

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven

Alex Ovechkin

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For the Washington Capitals, the preseason narrative is getting old, but this time around there is one difference: Alex Ovechkin is no longer in his 20s.

“I think our guys are getting to an age where a lot of them are in their prime, and we need to be assertive in what we’re doing,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told the Washington Post. “The window is there, whatever it is; we’ve got to try to make it happen here over the next two, three, four years. I mean, there’s more urgency in what we’re doing now, because we’ve got to try to win a championship.”

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis agrees that with Ovechkin celebrating his 30th birthday and Nicklas Backstrom’s 28th nearing (Nov. 23), the Capitals sense of urgency is growing.

In line with that win now mentality, the Washington Capitals have added to their veteran core in recent years by bringing in forwards Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie as well as defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. Washington certainly has noteworthy youngsters too like Evgeny Kuznetsov (23) and Andre Burakovsky (20), but it’s fair to call this a veteran team.

Although Washington has made the playoffs in seven of its last eight campaigns, it hasn’t made it past the second round over that span.

“Every year we talk about [how] this team can do something,” Ovechkin said. “You know, I think right now it’s time to not [be] talking; we have to do it. It’s 10 years; we have to move forward and take a big step.”