ARLINGTON, Va. -- Given how the past few seasons have ended, the Washington Capitals rightfully were a happy bunch after dispatching the New York Rangers in five games to advance to the second round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs and earn several days without a postseason contest to play.
Now the focus shifts forward, and the quest for this to be the most successful season in Bruce Boudreau's four-year tenure begins in earnest. Players often talk about surviving the unpredictable nature of the NHL's opening playoff round, but that alone won't make this a successful campaign for the Capitals.
"It is good, but on the other hand we have to stay focused," Matt Bradley said Monday after an optional practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "We won in the first round -- big deal. We're happy we did that, but that was never our goal."