Last Friday evening, the Verizon Center was brimming with higher expectations than in seasons past as they faced Philadelphia. The area appeared packed like never before for a pre-season game. It was apparent that the Caps have plenty to look forward to this season. The Caps won the game and showcased some of the young talent of the future with a big tough center in Beagle and a steady top blue line defenseman in Alzner. See more at this best seo hosting
Beagle's size bodes well for the future. His style of play would create the perfect contrast to Backstrom. Federov doesn't have many years left and Beagle could fill a role not seen in a Caps uniform since Dale Hunter, but first he'll need to hone his face off and passing skills. If he could become a 15 goal and 50-65 assist center a season and play the PK, it would be create even more match up problems for teams in the future. Rebound goals would come as long as Beagle plays near the net.
The Caps boast the most depth and talent they've had in a very long time. A lot of young talent and prospects have landed in the Southeast Division making it a very competitive division. The Caps should be poised to capture the division title once again this year.
Bumping up against the league maximum in salary cap, the Caps were forced to send the likes of Alzner, Beagle, and Bourque back to Hershey. Alzner illustrated how ready he was to play at the NHL level vs. Philly. He's already utilizing his size as he moves the opposition out of the crease and can move the puck up ice too. Of all the recent defensemen to rise through the Caps ranks since Scott Stevens, Alzner looks the most ready to play at the top level from the start of his career.
Ovie is ready for another great season and hopefully with a healthy Semin should produce plenty of scoring. Federov should once again steady Semin with Backstrom and Ovie posing a challenge to all teams. Chemistry along the forwards and lines is one of the greatest challenges the Caps face in the first half of the season.