I'd like to think that this is ultimately a good thing. Last year's coasting through the regular season may have led to too much complacency in the playoffs and a feeling of desperation when they suddenly found themselves up against a hot goalie and a team that wouldn't quit. Perhaps this one will ensure that they get a feeling of vulnerability, so there's absolutely no overconfidence going into the playoffs and that they end up confident in their own abilities to bounce back, assuming they do bounce back.
That said, I'm not feeling as optimistic about the goaltending situation as I once was. Also, the power play is a piece of crap. Trading away Fleischman doesn't look like such a brilliant move yet, but maybe that will change. I know, Fleischmann was awful in the playoffs last year but he had flashes of brilliance. He'll be a 35-40 goal man yet, I think, and the Caps will still be scratching their head wondering who to use for second line center. Thoughts?