The Washington Capitals are far and away the best team in the NHL at this stage of the regular season, and general manager Brian MacLellan realizes the opportunity to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup will present itself in the immediate future.
But in today's salary cap world, things can change quickly, so he realizes the importance of striking while the iron is hot.
"I view it as a two-year window," MacLellan said Thursday, according to Chuck Gormley of CSN. "We’re going for it this year, we're going for it next year, and then after that we're evaluating where we're at. We're going to have some decisions to make as far as veteran players, and our young guys are going to be due for some pay raises."
T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams have played a huge part in the current roster's achievements this season, but both are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2017, along with defenseman Karl Alzner.
The Capitals have a 10-point advantage in the race for the Presidents' Trophy, and seem to have their best shot at winning in the Alex Ovechkin/Nicklas Backstrom era, especially with Vezina favorite Braden Holtby locking things down in net.
It's not quite now or never for Washington, but anything less than a trip to the Final would be a disappointment.