No more waiting. Hockey is here. Are you ready? Perhaps not. It’s been like 252 days since the last Caps game. To help acclimatize you, we’ve polled the RMNB crew and asked them what they expect from the upcoming season. Behold: our predictions for the
2012-2013 NHL season.
Ian Oland, Co-Founder, Person with Ferrets
- The Capitals will finish second in the Southeast Division this year, behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- When we look back on the regular season, the biggest problem of this team will be secondary scoring.
- Ovechkin will score 18 goals and tally his first regular season hat trick in two NHL seasons. Ovi will also score his first short-handed goal in four seasons.
- The power play will finish at 19%, one of the best in the league.
- Filip Forsberg will join the team at the end of the season.
- Braden Holtby will start 65% of the games, and while his numbers begin to regress to the mean, he’ll have a .919 SV% and win 20 games.
- Karl Alzner will score 5 goals to the bewilderment of his teammates.
- Alex Semin will notch a hat trick in his second game back at Verizon Center. Adam Vingan will also be the only person to snap a photo of Ovechkin and Semin bro-hugging post-game. Sasha Minor will pick up six stick infractions against the Caps this season.
Bonus: Jay Beagle will have a breakout year with 8 goals, Fedor will grow a beard, Martin St. Louis will finally admit to that he is indeed a leprechaun, and Matt Hendricks will seriously injure a goalie’s groin performing his new paralyzer move.
Chris Gordon, Features and Photos, Recently Bearded
- Alex Ovechkin will score 18 goals during the regular season.
- Tom Poti will play an injury free season, completing his improbable comeback.
- Eric Fehr will play at least one game on the top line.
- Struggling to adapt to a new coach, Washington will get off to a poor start only to finish out March and April as one of league’s top teams.
- The Capitals will win the Southeast division by two points, beating out the second place Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Alex Semin will be reinvigorated after joining the Carolina Hurricanes. He will net 28 goals with the help of the Staal brothers.
- Steven Stamkos will narrowly beat out Semin for the Rocket Richard Trophy, scoring 30 goals.
- The Ovi on penalty kill experiment will last two games.
- The Caps will become Eastern Conference champions, led by the strong playoff performance of number-one netminder Braden Holtby.
- Barack Obama will attend Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, who will win the Stanley Cup.
Igor Kleyner, Actual Freaking Rocket Scientist
- For the first time, Alex Ovechkin is not his team’s top scorer (points) in the regular season.
- For the first time, Southeast Division sends three teams to the playoffs.
- For the first time in their history, Capitals will have fewer than 20 fighting majors in the regular season.
- For the first time in its history, team X will win the Cup.
- For the first time ever, Leonsis makes small profit on the Capitals, only to be pulled back in the red by Alex Ovechkin’s wild engagement party totally trashing uncle Ted’s house.
Rachel Cohen, Artist, Won’t Shut Up About Epcot
- The Caps will win the Southeast division again.
- Under Adam Oates, the power play gets better.
- The Caps will get far in the playoffs, but — as much as an optimist I am– they’ll need a full year to really get used to Oates’ new system (but I’ll still keep hoping. ;D)
- Matt Hendricks paralyzes the heck out of everyone in the shootout.
- A young girl from Kansas finally drops her house on Gary Bettman.
Fedor Fedin, Muscovite, Possibly Looks Like Justin Bieber
- The Caps will win Southeast.
- Three teams from SE will make the playoffs.
- Ovechkin and Backstrom will combine for more than two points per game.
- Marcus Johansson will not enter the playoffs on the first line.
- Jason Chimera will keep up last year’s scoring pace.
- Despite the logjam on D, Tomas Kundratek will get a look and make a solid case for starting 13-14 with the Caps.
- Philipp Grubauer will get a look too.
Craig and Doug, PuckBuddys, Greyhound Caretakers
- The Boudreau/Hunter transition required lots of rigor and patience; the long lockout has only complicated the team’s evolution. Coach Oates may be able to combine the best elements of the Hunter defensive style with Boudreau’s high scoring, run-and-gun years. We just like the fact that Oates, unlike Hunter, actually talks to the players. The team responds and plays a great 48; Adam Oates wins the Jack Adams.
- The Southeast has become tougher and more competitive. New additions (and some old faces now opponents), suggest a tight race, but we see the Caps edging the Canes for winning division honors. Ovi will top Sasha in both goals and points (and so will Skinner and the Brothers Staal).
- The Over/Under (in TOI) for Sasha’s first offensive zone penalty as a Cane is 28:28.
- Hendy, MoJo and Beags have breakout seasons. Holtby proves last year was no fluke. Greenie stays healthy and Poti claims fan favorite title. Re-signing Fehr proves prophetic and we learn how to pronounce Wojtek Wolski. Crown Prince Nicky deposes King Henrik as the NHL’s most popular Swede. Obama finally attends a Caps game, and no Kings players boycott the White House Cup ceremony in the Rose Garden.
- Caps top the Rangers in ECF, then best the defending champs LA Kings in six games for the Cup. Our reviewing stand for the parade will be in front of Nellie’s. Gary Bettman steps down at the end of the season and Donald Fehr is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Peter Hassett, Co-Founder, #Bunhead
- The Capitals will win the Southeast Division and place second in the East.
- Contributing to the Capitals success will be healthy Nick Backstrom, improved possession numbers, and an effective PP.
- Alex Ovechkin will improve on last year’s goals per game this season thanks to the above.
- Mike Green, rested and healthy, will have a dramatic return to form, scoring at least 15 goals.
- John Carlson and Karl Alzner will both miss games, ending their iron man streaks.
- Braden Holtby’s Sv% will fall below .920, but he’ll settle well above average for an NHL goaltender.
- The Wild will disappoint, the Blues will do great, but the Rangers’ dominance will be the league’s big story.
Okay, you’re turn: List your predictions in the comments below. At the end of the season, we’ll take a look back and see how we did.