The Washington Capitals are having another great regular season. Their 92 points currently leads the NHL, and once again they are legit Stanley Cup contenders. On Monday, they beefed up their already stellar lineup adding defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade with St. Louis.
The Shattenkirk trade triggered many different types of reactions from the hockey world ranging from excitement and confidence to cautious optimism and skeptical cynicism.
Lets review some of the reactions, as separated into various different categories…
Long perceived as regular season champions, the Capitals are likely hoping that the Shattenkirk deal sends a message to the fans and everyone else that the Capitals, for better or worse, are “all-in” this year in their chase for the Cup. Many folks appreciate that the team is going for it, and some fans are excited for the rest of the season and playoffs.
All in!!!! Let's go @Capitals
— Bram Weinstein (@RealBramW) February 28, 2017
— Charles Schelle (@ImYourChuck) February 28, 2017
No better time to go for it for the Capitals. Good for them for trying. https://t.co/7vQSkevwzc
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) February 28, 2017
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 28, 2017
Early thoughts – and praise – for Capitals landing Kevin Shattenkirk https://t.co/CQs50tfVI8
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 28, 2017
— Guy Adami (@GuyAdami) February 28, 2017
Like the Shattenkirk deal for the Caps. Not too steep of a price, and this may be their best shot to win the Cup. Go all in.
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) February 28, 2017
If the Caps were not favorites to win the cup before Monday’s trade, they are certainly the favorites now. Some folks went just short of guaranteeing the the Caps’ will hoist the Cup. Others fawned over their abundance of talent.
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 28, 2017
Kevin Shattenkirk heading to the Washington Capitals. pic.twitter.com/GPV9QDCl5o
— Mike Johnston (@MikeyJ_MMA) February 28, 2017
So the Caps are winning the cup
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) February 28, 2017
It's official… the Capitals have just won hockey! pic.twitter.com/L8722chRqH
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) February 28, 2017
So the Capitals are Cup favourites.
Even more so.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 28, 2017
Unfortunately, history is working against Washington. Not only has the team never won a Stanley Cup since entering the league in 1974, but they’ve only made it out of the second-round once. Many people love reveling in the franchise’s misery and poked fun at the team’s less than impressive playoff history. Some fans made sure to announce that they are not getting their hopes up.
So what's the Capitals parade route? Like down Massachusetts Ave from Dupont to Chinatown or lol cmon we all know better than this
— Travis Hughes (@TravisSBN) February 28, 2017
Yeah but Im still not picking the Capitals to get past the 2nd round 😉 #Shattenkirk
— Douglas Gelevan (@DGelevan) February 28, 2017
— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) February 28, 2017
Capitals know nobody can stop them in the playoffs if they trade for every player in the NHL. Smart
— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) February 28, 2017
CAPS GUY 1: "We're a regular season juggernaut that struggles to reach the Cup. What should we do?"
CAPS GUY 2: "Get guys from the Blues."
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) February 28, 2017
Oh oh *this* is the Caps year, you see it's different from all the other years because
— Mike Darnay (@MikeDarnay) February 28, 2017
Is this the Capitals’ Year?
Will this be the Capitals’ year? Adding Shattenkirk is another reason to be optimistic that Washington can go all the way. But, as good as they are, to buy stock in the Caps chances means that you have to believe they will overcome their history. It’s been the same song-and-dance with Washington for years.
During last year’s regular season, one in which Washington led the NHL with 56 wins, a frequent topic of discussion was whether it was “the Caps’ year.”
Could happen. But Stars have allowed 37 more goals than Caps. Def wins championships. Plus: Ovechkin. Caps' year. https://t.co/7UvrBLAQPT
— Nick LaFave (@NickLaFave) April 15, 2016
— National Post (@nationalpost) April 26, 2016
@toddcmoritz ive been following, but not watching. is it finally the caps year? panthers/stars maybe? hawks possibly?
— skylar bergl (@skylarbergl) April 14, 2016
— ESPN 980 (@espn980) April 13, 2016
Is this finally the Washington Capitals' year? https://t.co/BchiySgTPW
— Yardbarker (@yardbarker) October 26, 2015
Turns out, last year wasn’t the Caps’ year, as they lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh. Neither was the season before, when the Capitals had 45 regular season wins but had another second round playoff flameout. With Washington, the perennial choking usually feels inevitable.
But this year seems different, again.
Is this the Capitals year?
— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) February 28, 2017
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 28, 2017
IS IT THE CAPS YEAR
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 28, 2017
I think @shattdeuces a great add. Not sure anyone has ever said this before but…I think this is the Caps' year.
— Tim Cowlishaw (@TimCowlishaw) February 28, 2017
— Pete Gilbert (@WBALPete) February 28, 2017
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) January 12, 2017
So again, we wonder, “is this the Caps’ year?” I’m going to foolishly buy stock in Washington’s chances. They are steamrolling opponents on a nightly basis. Also, the time is right. The Chicago Cubs just ended their 108-year World Series drought. The Cleveland Cavaliers just broke through for their first NBA title. Why not the Caps? I think the sports gods shine down on them next. We’ll see.