The 2020 postseason will be unlike any other and, as a result, there are a lot of unknowns. As the July 10 start to training camp approaches, let's look at the biggest unknowns facing the Capitals.
Today's question: How will the deadline acquisitions adjust?
The Capitals acquired two players at the trade deadline: defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Ilya Kovalchuk. Dillon played in only 10 games for Washington, Kovalchuk for seven before the NHL paused its season.
The transition to a new team during the season can be a tough one for players. They have to adjust to new teammates and a new system on the fly and, when talking about deadline acquisitions, without much time left in the regular season. Not all players are able to make that transition very well. But what happens when the season is suddenly paused for several months?
The immediate assumption would be that it should help those players. If they just need more time, well, they have plenty of time now. Plus, once the season resumes there will be a training camp that will give them more practice time to adjust. That could be a huge boost for Washington when looking at Dillon in particular. Defense is the major weakness of the team and Dillon has taken on a top-pair role with John Carlson.
On the other hand, while the number of games Dillon and Kovalchuk would have gotten before the playoffs would be limited, its more than they are getting now. Ultimately you're not going to be able to adjust to a new system without playing in it. Instead of a few regular-season games to adjust, Dillon and Kovalchuk's next game will be in the round-robin when the games count again.
A training camp is definitely a luxury that most trade deadline acquisitions don't get, but the best way to learn is through game action and they will be getting even less of that during the pause.
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