2009/09: 50-24-8 (1st in Southeast, 2nd in East)
Arrived: Mike Knuble (PHI), Brendan Morison (DAL), Boyd Kane (PHI)
Departed: Brent Johnson (PIT), Donald Brashear (NYR), Sergei Fedorov (KHL), Viktor Kozlov (KHL), Staffan Kronwall (CGY)
Arguably one of the most explosive goal scoring teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals have no shortage of firepower. Led by the always entertaining Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals are entering the 2009/10 season with high expectations after a very successful season finishing 2nd in the East and battling through one of the most memorable playoff series to date. Mike Green is following up one of the best offensive d-man seasons in recent history with 31 goals and 73 points in only 68 games. It’s hard to picture him repeating that performance but it’s not hard to see him being the top offensive d-man again this season. Defensively will be where most nay-sayers will be pointing their fingers and with good reason. I’m not talking about Mike Green and scoring goals, but the concern is whether the Caps can keep enough pucks out of the net to win games if their scorers aren’t producing. Judging by Simeon Varlamov’s playoff performance they should be able to. The Caps are a lock to win the Southeast again.
FANTASY WORTHY FORWARDS
Alexander Ovechkin (LW) – Alexander the great is a top 3 fantasy threat in any format. He has only lead the league in goals since the lockout and had over 100 points in 3 out of 4 years with at least 40 PIMs per season. He is just plain beastly when it comes to fantasy hockey, he can be and probably should be drafted #1 overall.
Alexander Semin (RW) – When healthy, this guy is as good as it gets. He may have the sweetest hands in the league and can single handedly skate through a team and score. He is electrifying to watch and following a season where he put up a career high 79 points in 72 games he has proven that if he can get 80 games in a season 90 points is very possible.
Niklas Backstrom (C) – When centering the powerplay magic happens with the Alexanders, and even when not playing together Backstrom usually plays with one of the 2 stars which means plenty of points. Coming off of an 88 point season Backstrom can be expected to put up similar numbers this year.
Keep an eye on: Mike Knuble (RW)
FANTASY WORHTY DEFENCEMEN
Mike Green: 73 points in 68 games…seriously, he should be the first d-man taken and will no doubt once again put up phenomenal numbers for a defenceman. Draft him early and often.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Simeon Varlomov: After a stellar post season expectations are high for this youngster. The question is whether in his true rookie season if he can carry the load as a starting goalie. All the work will not be on him as Varlamov and Theodore will probably have some sort of time share. Expect 50-50 starts but do not expect spectacular numbers.