Caps GM shocked at critics: 'People make it sound like we're a lottery team'
The aftermath of yet another fruitless playoff run hasn't been easy for the Washington Capitals.
After earning a second consecutive Presidents' Trophy, and going all in to acquire top trade-deadline prize Kevin Shattenkirk, Washington wilted once again in the second round of the playoffs at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Since the heartbreaking Game 7 loss on home ice, much has changed in D.C. The Caps lost Karl Alzner and Justin Williams to free agency, as well as Nate Schmidt to Vegas. Additionally, the club dealt Marcus Johansson to New Jersey, and re-signed Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie to long-term contracts.
The roster rearrangement has caused many to wonder how competitive Washington can be going forward - a notion general manager Brian MacLellan simply can't understand.
"People make it seem like we're a lottery team," MacLellan said, according to Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post. "I'm shocked by that. We've got good players. I want people to know: We've got a good team."
While the Capitals certainly lost plenty of talent this offseason, they can still roll out a forward corps featuring Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, complemented by Oshie and Kuznetsov. Not to mention, world-class netminder Braden Holtby is locked in Washington's crease for another three seasons. That core, at the very least, should be enough to help Washington compete for a playoff spot.
Still, on paper, as August approaches, a slight step backward in the standings may appear imminent for the Capitals - and how they recover from last season's disappointment shall be an intriguing storyline to monitor when the NHL returns in October.