Hey, remember Game 7? No? Good, me neither. Either way, that abortive evening is irrelevant now, because the puck drops on a new season tonight in Boston. About damn time.
The team's ascendancy is reason enough to be pumped for the return of hockey in Chinatown, but coupled with the massive, systemic and ongoing failures of the other local franchises, the microscope under which the Capitals find themselves is more intense than it's been, well, maybe ever. Seriously, when was the last time the Washington Post produced a standalone NHL season preview?
But let's take off the happy goggles for a few minutes; it may shock you to learn, dear reader, that the Capitals are far from perfection. While few Stanley Cup-winning squads manage to avoid undergoing significant changes throughout the course of a successful campaign, the Capitals fancy their chances with what they've got on the ice tonight. Should they? We've got 10 key questions that could affect whether or not Ovechkin's Revenge, as we're dubbing this season, boils into a full-blown couch-burnin' revolution, or simply peters out like the geniuses at EA Sports say it will.
10) Can Mike Green put his disastrous playoffs behind him and duplicate the regular season success he had last year?
9) Will Michael Nylander's contract prove ruinous?
8) Will the penalty kill take a leap forward?
7) Will Bruce Boudreau actually find line combos that work and stick with them?