The Capitals’ first season under Coach Adam Oates has come to a close, and it’s fascinating to see the storyline that took this team from ugly beginning to ugly end—with a lot of magnificent moments in between, and some positive takeaways and question marks for the future.
Actually, this season’s story began even earlier, according to Brooks Laich’s chronology, with the thread of accountability—no player mattering more than anyone else—reaching back to Dale Hunter’s regime. By the time the Capitals had a chance to build on that team concept come January 2013, however, there even more elements to figure out: a new coaching staff, a new system, a shortened season.
And it wasn’t pretty, as the Capitals found themselves in last place.
“When we weren’t winning, when we weren’t doing things well early on in the year, we weren’t as much of a team as we needed to be, off the ice and on the ice,” Laich said of the early part of the season.
Appropriately enough, the perennial villain f