ARLINGTON, Va. -- After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season and failing to advance past the Eastern Conference Second Round in six previous appearances, the Washington Capitals believe they have what it takes to go all the way.
"I think we're optimistic that the style we play is more suited to the playoffs than we've ever had in the past," Washington general manager Brian MacLellan said.
When the Capitals host the New York Islanders in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Wednesday, they'll be looking to start writing a new page to their history.
Once regarded as a one-dimensional offensive powerhouse, Washington has earned a reputation across the NHL as a tough, hard-hitting team that's still a scoring threat.
"In the past we were maybe sort of a rush team," forward Brooks Laich said. "I don't think we're as high flying, high octane [an] offense as we once were, but I think we're a lot more difficult to play against this way. It should bode well for a sustained playoff run."