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For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Washington Capitals will finish a National Hockey League regular season with the most standings points in the league, earning them the Presidents’ Trophy.

When Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles scored with 2:01 remaining in overtime, the Avalanche topped the San Jose Sharks 5-4, clinching the #1 seed of the entire league for the Caps.

Hopefully this is the first of many, but it truly shows the growth of the team and organization, regardless of what unfolds during the post-season. Ted Leonsis, George McPhee and the rest of the executive committee of the Capitals made a tough decision prior to the lockout, selling all assets in order to re-stock the shelves, and it appears to be working.

Seeing the Caps hoist the Cup this season would be ideal, but with how things have been structured on the personnel front it’s also good to know the team should be in position to be a legitimate contender for the forseeable future.

Saturday the Capitals American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears, set an all-time AHL record with their 58th win of the season earning them the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s 2009-10 regular-season points champion.

Success breeds success and a winning culture goes a long way in helping players and teams to believe they can get the job done. This is another step along the way of becoming an elite franchise. The ultimate goal is all the remains in the short-term as the long-term plan continues to help the franchise flourish and reach new heights.