Washington Capitals glance

October 05, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Coach -- Glen Hanlon, second season.

2003-04 record -- 23-46-10-3, 59 points, fifth in Southeast Division.

Player to watch -- Alexander Ovechkin, the first overall draft pick in 2004, turned down big money in his native Russia to play in the NHL. A sturdy 6 feet 2 and 212 pounds, he's smart and mature. The Capitals expect him to be the cornerstone of their franchise for years.

Outlook -- They spent big and got burned, leading them to dump a boatload of contracts and prepare for the new cap-based system. Goalie Olie Kolzig is respectable, and center Dainius Zubrus brings skill. Five-time 20-goal scorer Jeff Friesen, obtained from the salary-slashing New Jersey Devils for a conditional draft pick, will help offensively, but there's little depth up front after Ovechkin, Friesen and Jeff Halpern, the 2003-04 team scoring leader with only 46 points.

NHL schedule

Today's games

N.Y. Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Montreal at Boston, 7 p.m. Columbus at Washington, 7 p.m. Atlanta at Florida, 7 p.m. N.Y. Rangers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. St. Louis at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. Calgary at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Ottawa at Toronto, 8 p.m. San Jose at Nashville, 8 p.m. Anaheim at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. Colorado at Edmonton, 10 p.m. Phoenix at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m.

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