3 Reasons Why The Capitals Will Finally Win The Stanley Cup In 2016

The Washington Capitals are the cream of the 2015-16 NHL regular-season crop, outpacing the rest of the Eastern Conference by 14 points (and the entire NHL by six) with a 41-10-4 record (86 pts). Naysayers think that this is just another case of a banner regular-season run that'll end in disappointment come the postseason.

We're taking the exact opposite stance on this one. Here's 3 Reasons Why The Capitals Will Finally Win The Stanley Cup In 2016.

1. Braden Holtby
He's benefitted from a of a clicking-on-all-cylinders offense, but Holtby still has asserted himself as one of the true clutch goalies in all of the NHL. Leading the NHL in wins (35) by four, Washington's franchise goalie has knack for reading and reacting to changes in momentum -- steeling himself when the chips are down and preserving leads with great fundamentals and awareness.

His save percentage is on the fringes of the league's top ten, but that stat doesn't tell anywhere near the whole story in what's been a banner year for the 26 year old.

2. Defense
We would have put "Blue Line" as the header of this section, but it's the team's overall defense -- from blue line grit to man-up skating by the Caps' forwards -- which has the Caps pacing the league with a miniscule 126 goals allowed. More Capitals news inside the Chat Sports iPhone and Android apps!

There's a reason why Washington has three players in the top-ten in over plus/minus, including C Evgeny Kuznetsov who leads the league at +27 -- the team has completely bought into Barry Trotz's defensive scheme, and has gone the extra mile all year to disrupt and redirect on all levels.

3. Sheer Balance
Washington leads the NHL in a host of metrics on both sides of the puck, including goals per game (3.29), power play percentage (3.29) and goal margin (+58). There are no holes on this team, from the forward lines to the defensemen to the netminders.

This is a complete hockey team built to ride its depth deep into the playoffs. It's also the most well-constructed group of Washington's current rise to Eastern Conference prominence, and one that doesn't seem weighed down by the troubles of playoffs past.

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Related Topics: Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals News