No. 68: Washington Capitals

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 12:11 PM ET
By Ross Marrinson | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 27
Title track: 67
Ownership: 13
Coaching: 97
Players: 76
Fan relations: 46
Affordability: 94
Stadium experience: 46
Bang for the buck: 72

After eclipsing the 100-point mark in each of the past three seasons, the Capitals stumbled out of the gate to begin the 2011-12 campaign. The Caps fired fifth-year head coach Bruce Boudreau -- whose coaching rank dropped 54 spots in 2012 -- after just 22 games, en route to a second-place finish in the Southeast (their worst finish since the 2006-07 season). Meanwhile, left winger Alex Ovechkin's point total dropped for the fifth straight season, fueling rumors about his work ethic and conditioning, and causing the Caps' rank in our players category to plummet 52 spots to 76th overall, only 19th-best in the NHL. Despite making the playoffs in 23 of the past 29 seasons, the Capitals fell in each of our categories, and fans are tired of paying $87.59 -- more than 10 percent higher than the league average -- to experience a home game at the Verizon Center, only to see their team falter in the postseason. Everyone knows the District is an expensive place to be a fan -- the cost per season jumped more than 8 percent from 2011, the highest increase in hockey -- but the fans are tired of waiting. It's time for more from the Caps.