We asked some of our favorite Capitals bloggers to weigh in on the upcoming season and we’ll post their responses over the next two days. Next up, Neil Greenberg and Peter Hassett from Russian Machine Never Breaks:
What will end up being the best offseason move?
Tomas Vokoun at $1.5 million is not only the best move the team made, it is arguably the best move made by a team in the offseason. General Manager George McPhee said he knew the music stopped and Vokoun didn't have a seat, so he offered him some cash to play on a winning team. Putting a top-five goalie in front of one of the NHL's best teams makes him an instant Vezina candidate.
Biggest concern entering the season:
Now that the organization has put white-net/black-net-gate behind them, it is time they focus their attention on the power play. Most of the drop in goal production can be attributed to the power play, which dropped from the league's best (25.2 percent) to just meh (17.5 percent) last year. Power-play opportunities have been on the down slope, so the boys in red are going to have to make each time they get the man advantage count.
Who will have a bounce-back or breakout year?
Coach Bruce Boudreau. McPhee made offseason moves that said the organization felt it was the players, not the coach. Boudreau now has all the tools in place to get this club to the promised land: grit, finesse, and veteran leadership. All signs point to a change in mentality when it comes to training, fitness and overall commitment. If they can add accountability to the mix, we think Boudreau is in the Jack Adams discussion and also shakes the playoff demons off his back.
Ideal season-opening line combos:
What should be the 2011-12 theme song?
— "Operation Ground and Pound" by DragonForce, which will teach the Caps that they must-- like this song-- sustain intensity for the full duration
— "Regulate" by Warren G and Nate Dogg, because one most regulate one's self first and foremost before regulating others
— "Rainy Days and Mondays" by the Carpenters, for no good reason, this is just a pretty song
Season preview in haiku form:
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Win The Cup
foamy beer is nice
fills up from the bottom now
that's nice CRASH THE NET
the stranger in net
he is very very old
didn't cost much though
is harder to pronounce than
Matthieu Perreault, right?
Previously: Japers’ Rink