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It’s All About Goaltending In Washington

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

What Washington Has: A fully-signed lineup; a legitimate, if aging, superstar scorer in Alex Ovechkin; a brand new goaltending tandem in starter Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren; two nifty-off-season acquisitions in former Senators and Maple Leafs forward Connor Brown and former Blackhawks center Dylan Strome; a deep group of forwards; an elite-level defenseman in John Carlson; decent depth signings in veteran forwards Marcus Johansson and Henrik Borgstrom, and D-man Matt Irwin.

What Washington Needs: Salary cap flexibility; a quick return to health for injured forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Carl Hagelin; a much-improved home record (they went 19-16-6 last season)....

...the biggest gamble Caps are taking this coming season is in goal. Last year’s duo of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov both are no longer with the organization, replaced by former Canadiens and Blues goalie Charlie Lindgren and former Colorado starter Darcy Kuemper. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan gave the 32-year-old Kuemper a five-year, $26.25-million contract, making him Washington’s No. 1 guy in net for the foreseeable future, while the 28-year-old Lindgren will spell off Kuemper in preparation for a playoff run. The Caps’ offense should give Kuemper more than enough support to win more games than he loses, but make no mistake – the pressure is squarely on Kuemper to prove his Cup-winning season with the Avs this past year was no fluke.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink


TreKronor's avatar

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan gave the 32-year-old Kuemper a five-year, $26.25-million contract

A big overpay for that goalie at that age, but I guess MacLellan is giving it one more shot these next couple years while Ove is still with the team.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/03/22 at 01:32 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Most contenders need solid to elite goaltending, but to me, for Washington its all about Backstrom’s hip. If he doesn’t return to the player he was, I don’t see them as a favorite, as with all playoff runs, trades, health, matchups factor, but on paper, without 100% Backstrom its tough sledding IMO.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 08/03/22 at 02:20 PM ET

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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