3 Challenges With A Shortened Season
I. NO PRESEASON: With a new head coach (Adam Oates) in town, it is extremely important to build team chemistry as quickly and as early as possible. With the majority of the team's star athletes playing international hockey during the lockout, all of the preseason team building time is essentially wasted. Unfortunately this could lead to some early chemistry struggles for the Capitals, specifically with new player like Mike Ribeiro.
II. NO ROOM FOR ERROR: The Caps last campaign began with a Bang as the team started off 7-0, going 7-2 in October. With 42 regulation wins, Washington barely squeaked into the playoffs where they made it to the second round losing to the New York Rangers in seven games. If the 2011-2012 season was shortened to 50 Games the Caps could have been 25-21-4 and may have missed the playoffs entirely. A shortened season may be disastrous for a team who will need plenty of game time experience to get the hang of a new head coach's schemes and strategies.
III. NO TIME FOR INJURIES: In an 82 game NHL regular season players with injuries will have more time during the season to heal completely before going down the home stretch. In a season where teams will be playing 39.1% less regular season games there is absolutely no room for any of the team's super star athletes to sustain any type of serious injury. Usually a team could survive 15 or so games with out one or two of it's stars out on the ice, but in a 50 game season, not a chance.
These three things are not certainties. If the Capitals can pick up Adam Oates system quickly, gel with new players, keep the losing streaks at a minimum, and stay healthy, they will have a great chance to be a dominant team in this short season.
Written By Caps Contributor Aaron Ebert @AaronEbert22
Read The 3 Ways A Shortened Season Could Benefit The Capitals