Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich, Connecticut has been considered by some as the missing piece for the Washington Capitals. With the acquisition of the slick puck moving defenseman from the St. Louis Blues on Monday, one could argue that the Capitals have no glaring weaknesses on their team.
However one must remember that never before have the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in franchise history. Over the last decade the Capitals have had great regular season success. They have made the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. During that time, they have won six division titles and two Presidents' Trophy Awards and are set to win a third Presidents' Trophy since 2010 this year.
However the regular season success the Capitals have had has not translated into playoff success. Only once in playoff history, have the Capitals reached the Stanley Cup Finals. That was way back in 1998 when the Capitals lost to the Detroit Red Wings. In fact Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals superstar has never seen the Eastern Conference Finals since joining the Capitals in 2005.
Shattenkirk and Capitals head coach Barry Trotz (who came from the Nashville Predators in 2014) have had similar patterns to Ovechkin. They have been solid in the regular season, but have never been able to sip anything from Lord Stanley's Cup.
This season Shattenkirk has 11 goals and 31 assists for 42 points but is a -11. In fact, Shattenkirk is a -25 over the last two years. He may show offensive prowess, but will he show defensive liabilities like the last offensive puck-moving Capitals defenseman, Mike Green? Time will tell. For now, Capitals have reason to be optimistic and skeptical at the same time.