NHL.com is doing a 31 in 31 series where they preview every NHL club before training camps begin. Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan appears engaged in an effort to change or spin a narrative that he gave to the media originally in February 2016: the Capitals’ peak Stanley Cup window is now more or less closed.
The article, entitled Inside look at Washington Capitals with a subtitle of Presidents’ Trophy winners seek to prove Stanley Cup window hasn’t closed despite key offseason losses, has some new, bold-ish quotes from Mac.
“People can make their own evaluations,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said exclusively to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “I think we’re trying to throw out as an organization that we think we’re better than outside people think we are as a team and, hopefully, we’ll prove it here going forward.”
This is likely true. Many rough advanced analytic projections show that, despite losing the most core talent of any NHL team over the offseason, the Capitals are still likely to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference (though their slide is more pronounced when Western Conference teams are included).
MacLellan also tried to minimize Nate Schmidt’s contributions from last year, while praising Karl Alzner who struggled and admitted to losing a step after sports hernia surgery.
“Schmidt was more our sixth defenseman last year, and I don’t foresee that being a huge issue,” MacLellan said. “Alzner will be the more difficult one to replace.”
— NHL (@NHL) August 30, 2017
Was the NHL or MacLellan successful in changing the narrative? I’m sad to say Twitter was not convinced.
Window – open or closed no matter. They could win 82 regular season games and no one would bet on the Caps to win The Cup.
— Tazbruin25 (@Tazbruin25) August 30, 2017
— mookie (@cresh__) August 30, 2017
Thank you!! I needed a good laugh
— stormer72 (@stormer1972) August 30, 2017
— Brandon Marinacci (@B_Marinacci) August 30, 2017
We r done. Our best shot was last season and we choked.
— Jason Adair (@JasonAdair14) August 30, 2017
— Jarryshow (@JarryEgo) August 30, 2017
— Logan (@Jones4Johansen) August 30, 2017
The window never opened
— Am Shibe (@_happyhapp_) August 30, 2017
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