Behind Enemy Lines: Washington Capitals

By JoHannah Lowder

Apr 11, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save on Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks will play in the Winter Classic on January 1 against the Washington Capitals in D.C. It will the second of two meetings between the teams for the season. While there is no rivalry to speak of between the Blackhawks and Capitals, there are the two games at the beginning and end of last season that the teams may keep in mind. The Blackhawks raised the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup Championship banner in the rafters of the United Center just before they opened their season against the Capitals and won a wild game 6-4. Their last meeting in April sent the Blackhawks back to Chicago with a 4-0 loss. There’s no reliable prediction about what will happen when these two teams meet, and changes with the Capitals make predictions for this season more uncertain.

The Capitals made a few big changes and most of them had to do with management. The longtime owner, Ted Leonsis, is responsible for the major changes. Brian MacLellan became the new General Manager after serving as the assistant to former GM George McPhee. Barry Trotz is the new head coach from the Nashville Predators. The Capitals hope that Trotz can give them a little stability and reliability so they can start an upward trend in the league rather than the slow descent in recent seasons.

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Washington also added veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik from the Pittsburgh Penguins for the next 5 seasons. Braden Holtby is still their starting goaltender and will have a new coach, Mitch Korn, to learn a new style in net. Newly signed goalie Justin Peters from the Carolina Hurricanes will back up Holtby.

Alex Ovechkin will still lead the team on the ice, and Troy Brouwer will still give Blackhawks fans something to look forward to at every meeting between the teams. As a bonus, maybe we’ll get to hear a few interviews by young, newly drafted forward Nathan Walker from Australia. He may or may not get playing time against the Blackhawks, but we can always hope.

What is your prediction for the two game series between the Blackhawks and Capitals this season?

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