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Caps counting on Ovechkin

Updated: July 31, 2004, 1:37 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

McPhee Looking for an illustration of just how great the Washington Capitals' descent was by the end of last season?

Late in the campaign, long after head coach Bruce Cassidy had been dispatched and replaced by the impossibly upbeat Glen Hanlon, and long after disappointing marquee superstar Jaromir Jagr was packed off to the New York Rangers, and long after the fire sale that included other longtime veterans, the Capitals started a goaltender who couldn't find work in the East Coast Hockey ...

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