As the clock pushes it's way past 12 A.M., the dawn of the 2008-09 Washington Capitals season will be upon us. This off-season has been relatively busy for the Caps, all while trying to mold a Stanley Cup contender. Out are goalies Christobal Huet and legendary Olaf Kolzig, heading to Chicago and Tampa Bay respectively.
Washington's big acquisition this year is Jose Theodore, who is expected to carry a heavy load this year if the Capitals are to succeed.
The fowards and defense remains much the same, Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Shaone Morrisonn, Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr, Sergei Fedorov have all signed contract extensions, and it appears this team is heading in the right direction.
The opposite is the case for Atlanta. After trading away superstar Marian Hossa at last years trade deadline, and failed to replace his scoring touch during the free agent period. They do not possess a particularly deep roster, and will look to rookie defenseman Zach Bogosian to play important minutes with the rest of this pitiable defensive corps.
That being said, Washington will still have to find a way to limit the playing time of John Erskine and Milan Jurcina in order to succeed. Both had disappointing pre-seasons and were vastly outplayed by rookie Karl Alzner, but the team felt it was best for Alzner to play more minutes in the AHL.
The clock will be ticking on the JURSKINE combination and it might not be long before either; or both, are replaced. But if the past 7 games are any indication, we should be in for a high scoring season from these upstart Caps.
It begins now.