Capitals Will Get a Vision of Their Past When They Visit Edmonton: A Fan’s Perspective

I can still remember back to the 2003 season when the Washington Capitals were simply horrible. Even with numerous high priced stars, they could do nothing right. Eventually they traded all the big names, but lucked out in the NHL Entry Draft. Washington skipped past Pittsburgh and got the number one overall choice. That pick turned out to be Alexander Ovechkin and the rest is history.

He was followed by other superstars Nicklas Backstrom(notes) and Alexander Semin(notes). When Mike Green(notes) arrived to complete the quartet, the young guns were born and the team has made the playoffs ever since. On October 27th, the Capitals could be seeing their mirror image in the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have been in the league basement for sometime now, but blue skies appear to be on the horizon.

Finishing last in the league in 2010 led to the drafting of Taylor Hall(notes). He was considered the top prospect that year and gave the Oilers a centerpiece to build around. The 2011 season produced more victories, but not enough for Edmonton to crawl out of the league cellar. That led to the drafting of 2011 top pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins(notes). Instantly the team had a young center and left wing that formed the nucleus of a terrific line for years to come.

Much like the Capitals though, the team needed other parts to make the machine run better. To that end, their run of bad seasons led to the drafting of center Sam Gagner(notes) (2007), right wing Jordan Eberle(notes) (2008), and left wing Magnus Paajarvi(notes) (2009). Put this group together and you have two potent high scoring lines. You also have so-called Edmonton young guns emerging for their fans.

With a record of 3-2-2 so far on the young season, the Oilers are making steady progress. It might not be the blistering pace the Capitals are setting, but do not take that to mean they are not worried about Edmonton. In fact, the team knows this Oilers squad is 3-1-1 at home thus far and coming off a win.

The Capitals young guns are in their prime now, but in the Oilers they will see a reflection. The image will be one of them, only four short seasons ago. It is one they will have to take seriously or watch their winning streak come to an end.

John Atchison was born with ice in his veins and the Capitals in his heart. It is rumored that his first words were, "he shoots and scores".


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Updated Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011