2013 NHL Season: 5 Bold Predictions for the Washington Capitals

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2013 NHL Season: 5 Bold Predictions for the Washington Capitals
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Usually, when I get an AP Mobile Alert on my iPhone at 2:45 am PST, it is rarely good news. Invariably, it always seems like a big earthquake has struck somewhere, or there are tsunami warnings being issued or something quasi-cataclysmic like that.

But at 2:45 am, PST, on Sunday January 6, 2013, I got the alert all hockey fans had been wishing about for months:  At long last the NHL lockout was over.

As reported by various outlets, such as ESPN, the NHL and NHLPA finally put their petty differences aside and agreed on the framework for a new 10-year CBA that brought the lockout to a merciful end and salvaged a 48-game season.

For Washington D.C. sports fans, the end of the lockout means the return of the Washington Capitals. And with the devastating injury suffered by Robert Griffin III (ESPN), the return of the Caps could not have come at a better time.

So there will be a season after all and it is now time to look at the upcoming 48-game sprint to the playoffs—and start making some predictions for the Caps.

The last time we saw the Caps, roughly eight months ago, they had just lost a Game 7 to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was a bitter defeat and the lockout made the rancid taste of that loss linger in the mouths of Caps' fans for far too long.

But that was then and this is now. The Caps are back with a new head coach in Adam Oates (ESPN), a new second-line center in Mike Ribeiro (Washington Times) but without Alexander Semin (NHL.com).

For the Caps, they come into this truncated season with lots of questions—and a ton of potential to do some really great things.

How great can things get for the Caps this season? It's hard to say. But if we are going to dream, why not dream big?

Let's take a look then at five bold predictions for the Washington Capitals for the 2012-2013 season.

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