Oct 3, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals players wave to fans after their game against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Answers to Washington Capitals Questions

The Washington Capitals are a franchise searching for answers. They have been unable to make a playoff run, and their top player doesn’t play defense. With the help of Stars and Sticks we are bringing you the answers you need.

Q: With changes behind the bench what is going to be the biggest challenge for Caps players?

A: The biggest challenge for the players will be to move into Trotz’s philosophy of defense first.  It shouldn’t be too hard because they had a similar coach; Hunter, with a similar approach to the game.  They also need to play as a unit to be successful.

Q: We all know that Tortz will not put up with a player that doesn’t play D, how will that affect Ovi?

A: Ovechkin had his issues with Hunter who had the same approach. If Alex Ovechkin is not on board, most of the team won’t follow Trotz and that could mean a short tenure for Trotz. Ovechkin doesn’t play defense and I think they need to get on the same page in some manner for the team to be successful.

Q: Capitals fans are getting a bit tired of waiting for a playoff run. How much pressure will there be on the franchise to get it done this year?

A: In any sport, if there is a limit to everyone’s patience and how long they will wait for a team.  It has helped that they have made the playoffs but a run in the playoffs and an invite to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup is what this franchise needs.  The patience level is running low but not completely out and the fans know that Trotz is going to rebuild through the organization so change is coming.  Another 1-2 years and this team will be on track.

Q: What is the biggest need on the Caps roster, and how will it be filled?

A: The Caps have some issues at defense and also a 2nd line center.  While the draft will provide depth it doesn’t bring in players ready to play.  They will need to address these needs in free agency.  They also could use a veteran back-up goaltender which will have to come via free agency.

Q: Teams can still use their compliance buy-out this off-season, who will be bought out and why?

A: It won’t be. Laich and Green were the Capitals only players they were looking at that they might use it on.  The Capitals won’t buy out either.  Green maybe traded but not bought out.

Q: Sometime the roster needs a turn over, is moving a big asset needed at this point, or are the Caps only a few players away from making a run?

A: I think the right chemistry is needed for any team.  I think that they are only a couple of players away.  They need another strong defenseman as well as that 2nd line center mentioned earlier.  Braden Holtby is a capable player in-goal but they need that back-up to help him out.  Bringing in veteran players is never a bad thing wither, especially if they have playoff experience.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your site?

A: Stars and Sticks is an up and coming dedicated site to the Washington Capitals.  Our staff provides an array of opinions and thoughts on the Capitals and hockey.  We also bring our readers a podcast that is recorded in-house by one of our own staff writers.

Taken at face value these answers make it seem like the Capitals have hope, and that’s all a fan base can really hold on to. But, I really don’t expect the Capitals to be a contender next season. I truly believe that they are looking at a three year window before they contend for the Stanley Cup. That would make Ovi 31-years-old, and that brings up another question and it’s one we can’t answer. How long is too long to lose with Ovi on your roster?

Tags: Alex Ovechkin Barry Trotz NHL News Washington Captials

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