With the Christmas season winding down and another impending New Year facing us, what will 2023 bring to the Washington Capitals? Well, right now it looks like the Caps are finally starting to get on the right track in terms of their season. With a 20-13-5 overall record and 8-1-1 in the last ten games, the Caps, despite all the injuries, despite the advanced ages of the team roster, seem to be all-in for a playoff push this season. If this franchise still has a late Christmas wish, it can probably bee summed up with one word: consistency.
Of course, fans have to be concerned about whether or not the Caps can move past a one-and-done Stanley Cup playoff scenario. Having a winning record is great; making the playoff is great as well but a quick exit just means that-a quick exit from playoff contention. The Capitals’ most recent overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators serves as a gut-check of sorts. Yes, this franchise seems to be on the rise again in the Metro Division standings but just when things look great here comes yet another problem.
Before sounding like a downer, it should be noted that the Capitals have a record of 10-2-2 in the month of December and look like a solid playoff team despite the recent overtime loss to the Senators. With 2023 looming right around the corner, it’s time to put together a quick Capitals’ wish list for the upcoming year:
- Alex Ovechkin keeps on doing his thing: Right now there’s so much excitement surrounding the Capitals with team captain Alex Ovechkin continually his climb toward the all-time goal record set by the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky. Having passed “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, Ovechkin’s offensive production creates an air of opportunity to bring enthusiasm to the Caps’ locker room and on the ice. Every goal Ovechkin scores for the rest of the season is history in the making so let’s hope some of this history rubs off on the entire team.
- The Capitals can stay healthy or regain their health in 2023: Let’s be real here in the sense that the Washington Capitals are one of the oldest teams in the NHL. With injuries looming over this team like a giant dark cloud, the Caps need to get everyone healthier this coming year. As players such as T.J. Oshie start recovering from a plethora of injuries that plague this roster, the Caps can continue their upward movement in the Metro Division.
- The Capitals don’t repeat their first round playoff exit in 2023: Nobody gets excited about a team that qualifies for the Stanley Cup playoffs then exits in the first round of the posteason. Let’s hope that the Caps are in it to win it as far as they can go this coming spring. Of course, staying healthy and staying on the winning side of games by picking up points with every opportunity is a tall order to fill. So is winning the Stanley Cup so if the Capitals have their sights set on raising Lord Stanley’s Cup again this June, it’s time to get real with staying hot during the cold days of winter.