After three years of rebuilding and three years near the bottom of the standings, the Caps believe they've got a team on the rise. The additions of top centre Michael Nylander, defenceman Tom Poti and forward Viktor Kozlov via free agency plus the arrival of highly touted rookie forward Nicklas Backstrom bolsters a Caps team with a young and emerging core led by Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Steve Eminger. And of course one of the league's top netminders Olaf Kolzig covers the back end. We see the sleeper team of the conference here. A playoff spot is not out of the question.I guess when you're a former #12 overall pick entering your fifth NHL season, the assumption is that you're leading an emerging core, even if you're a healthy scratch for long stretches at a time.
It's a shame, because everything else in that paragraph sounds so encouraging.