The dog days of summer are almost over and soon enough Capitals players will return to the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex to begin training camp. Players have already stopped partying and started training as they gear up for a chance to defend the Stanley Cup. Here are the top 10 games to look forward to this upcoming season.
10. Dec. 31 vs. Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg and the defending President’s Trophy winner Nashville Predators come to the District on New Years Eve for a matinee affair. This should be an interesting one even without the storyline of Barry Trotz facing his former team. The Capitals fell to the Predators the last two years on home ice and will look to end #CapsYear part one on a high note.
9. Nov. 21 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The night before Thanksgiving is always a fun time. This year is no different. They’ll host the Blackhawks to kick off what is sure to be a fun Thanksgiving-Eve.
8. March 6 at Philadelphia Flyers
Fight! This night will kick off the first of three meetings with the Broad Street Bullies and is sure to have Metropolitan Division seeding implications.
7. Nov. 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The steps are ours now. On this early-November night the Penguins come to town for the first time since the Capitals put them on the ropes in an epic Game 5.
6. Feb. 5 vs. Vancouver Canucks
This game marks the return of Jay Beagle, arguably one of the nicest players who ever donned a Capitals jersey! He is sure to get a rousing ovation from the sold out crowd. We miss you Beags!
5. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning March 20
The Capitals and Lightning provided an enteratining, roller coaster, Eastern Conference Finals. This late-March contest is their first of two meetings this season with the Bolts. Additionally, the Capitals will have nine games left in the regular season, so we’ll get a clear picture of where they should stand heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
4. vs. Vegas Golden Knights Oct. 10
Why in the world are three of these next four all are at the infancy of the season? It’s the schedule makers, not us! Can’t help it. In just the third game of the season, the Capitals will be pitted against the second-year Golden Knights in a 2018 Stanley Cup Finals rematch. They’ll meet again in Sin City on December 4.
3. vs. New York Islanders Jan. 18
This game will mark the return of Barry Trotz. After guiding the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup, Trotz and general mangaer Brian MacLellan couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension. Instead, Trotz jetted to the Island with a John Tavares-less Islanders team.
2. at Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 4
After the Capitals raise the banner (see below), the team will head up to Pittsburgh where emotions are expected to be flaring on both sides. This place was once a house of horrors until May 7 when Evgeny Kuznetsov’s game-winning overtime goal eliminated the Caps’ longtime nemesis. There is no doubt Sidney Crosby and company will be out for revenge and with this contest being the second of a back-to-back for Washington, they have to come out of the gates swining and not worry about rest until the next day.
1. vs. Bruins Oct. 3
Number one is the night we’ve all been waiting for since Alex Ovechkin lifted the Stanley Cup over his head and the team paraded along Constitution Avenue. This is the day the Capitals will raise the Stanley Cup Championship banner. It will surely be a roucous crowd at Capital One Arena and after our shortest offseason ever it’s going to be sweet seeing the puck drop to kick off a new season!