There are a number of reasons the Caps won the Stanley Cup last season. Washington boasted incredible center depth, a deep blue line, their superstars played like superstars, they got production throughout the lineup and had clutch goaltending from Braden Holtby.
Finding that championship formula can be difficult. General manager Brian MacLellan decided that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and returned much of the same team for this upcoming season.
So all those reasons the Caps won the Cup last season? All of those factors are still true.
Center depth? Check.
Jay Beagle may be gone, but Washington still returns Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller as their top three with Nic Dowd on the fourth line.
Deep blue line? Check.
The team returns the same top four plus Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey are another year older and ready to take on more responsibility.
Superstar players? Check.
Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson all return.
Offensive depth? Check.
The entire offense minus Beagle is back this season, plus players like Sergei Shumakov and Shane Gersich will compete for the few openings left on the roster.
Clutch goaltending? Check.
Holtby isn’t going anywhere.
Can this team win a championship? We know it can because it did it last year with this roster.
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