The Washington Capitals 2013 season got off to a less-than-stellar start Saturday night. The Caps were pretty thoroughly outplayed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6-3 loss in the season opener for both teams (ESPN).
It was not the sort of start Caps' fans had in mind and, clearly, not the kind of game new head coach Adam Oates will look back on fondly many years from now.
The Caps gave up three power-play goals on seven opportunities, were outshot 34-30, were out-hit 27-16 and even lost the faceoff battle 40-34.
In short, the Caps were beaten in all phases of the game, and there is not much more one can say about that.
With that loss now in the books, one has to look ahead in the schedule to determine the games that will, in all likelihood, define this team's season.
Last week, I wrote an article in which I looked at the Caps' 2013 schedule and provided some suggestions as to five games on that schedule that all Capitals fans would want to watch.
This article is a bit of a continuation of that piece, with the added bonus that several teams now have two games under their belts, and one can, to a certain extent, tell which teams just might be a bit better—or worse—than originally anticipated.
For your consideration, here are the three games on the docket that, even at this early stage of the campaign, could very well define the team's season.