Capitals

Henrik Lundqvist and the Capitals are the perfect match

Capitals

A team in win-now mode needs a veteran goalie, while a veteran goalie needs a Stanley Cup. 

Henrik Lundqvist and the Washington Capitals are the perfect match

First and most importantly, both come in with the same goal -- winning a Cup. For Lundqvist, it's the last piece to his Hall-of-Fame career. For the Capitals, it's about getting back to where they were in 2018, and squeezing all the juice from the Alex Ovechkin era they can. 

As we've said over and over again this offseason, it's an era that's likely to have a short timetable left. That being said, it's difficult to have an "all-in" mindset but still have a young inexperienced goalie (yes, talented, but still raw) without the security of someone else that's seen a lot more ice time in the NHL at the position.

Ilya Samsonov is just 23, with 26 games of experience, so expecting him to just jump into this high-profile role next season and play a majority of games is unrealistic, especially adding in the fact that the schedule in 2021 could be pretty compressed. 

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Lundqvist is at the stage of his career where it's about winning, not stats. He's 38 years old and the chances of finding a No. 1 role were slim to none, especially given the stacked goalie market this offseason.  He can help groom a young Samsonov all while still having an important, yet different, role on a championship-contending team.  

 

Yes, it'll be weird seeing him in a Capitals sweater at first, but we'll get over it pretty quickly. 

Keep in mind, too, the revenge factor for Lundqvist. He stays in the division and pulls the classic move when it comes to getting revenge on your ex -- start dating the rival that makes them jealous. 

A motivated Lundqvist and a hungry Peter Laviolette coached team is something Capitals fans should be excited about.

Even if the future Hall of Famer takes on a diminished role with his new organization, there's no question they both made the right choice.