To say the Washington Capitals weathered a roller coaster of a season would be an incredible understatement. The Caps' streaky season ranged from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Only 22 games into the season, Washington's front office gave the word that fifth-year head coach Bruce Boudreau was to be shown the door. As Boudreau jetted across the country to take over the ailing Anaheim Ducks, few predicted that new coach and ex-Capital Dale Hunter would turn the team around.
The Hunter-led Capitals limped through the season at times while the players tried to get acclimated to their new coach. As the regular season dwindled, it looked as if the Capitals were out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. However, with the season on the line, Hunter's Capitals pulled out five wins in their final seven games.
The 2011-12 Capitals were a different breed than the Capitals teams of previous seasons. The '11-12 season marked the first in which the Caps did not break 100 points since the 2007-08 season. Instead of dominating the regular season only to fall short in the playoffs as they have in recent years, Washington flew under the radar, sneaked into the playoffs and upset the defending world champion Boston Bruins in the first round.
Despite the successful ending, there were times when the Caps looked like they were in complete disarray this past season. If the Capitals want to start off on the right foot next October, they need to do a little maintenance this offseason.