Can The Washington Capitals Win The Presidents Trophy This Year?

With only 12 games to go the Washington Capitals are within striking distance of another franchise first: The Presidents’ Trophy.

Along with the cash bonuses to the organization it ensures home ice advantage throughout the playoffs – a huge plus to a team with a 26-4-4 record at the Phone Booth and PK issues away.

It is a five horse race (Washington, Chicago, Phoenix, Vancouver and San Jose) and the Caps have the easiest road to the prize.

The Caps play their remaining games against teams with an average .464 Win %. The other four contenders all play teams that average .507 or above:

  • WSH .464
  • CHI  .507
  • SJS .520
  • VAN .528
  • PHX .538

Looking at the Simple Rating System (SRS) of each team’s remaining schedule once again shows the Caps have the easy road:

  • PHX .20 SRS for remaining opponents
  • VAN .16
  • SJS .13
  • CHI  .02
  • WSH -.21

An average team will have a rating of zero. An above average team will have a positive rating while a below average team will have a negative rating. Every team will have a rating that is the equal to their average point margin plus the average of their opponent’s ratings, so the teams’ ratings are all interdependent: the Caps’ rating depends upon the ratings of all their opponents, which depends upon the ratings of all their opponents (some of which are the Caps), and so on.

And finally, if we look at the Goals For and against for the remaining teams, the Caps play teams that give up an average of 2.94 Goals per game while only scoring 2.77, giving them the best Pythagorean Win % of the finalists at .527. Next best is Chicago with an expected win % of .505 with the rest sub-.500.

So to sum up: The Washington Caps should lead all NHL teams with 119 points and have all roads for the Cup run through DC.

  • Peter


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  • Bart

    Tee, hee, you said Pythagorean.

  • BobbyG

    The President’s Trophy should be only a means to an end–home ice advantage throughout the playoffs–and not an end in itself. PT trophy winners have gone down in flames before–remember the SJ Sharks?–so the Caps should take note and learn from history. I hope they put their foots on the throttle and go into the playoffs with a full head of steam. They need to improve on the PK, and get their #1 goalie situation sorted out in their remaining regular season games. I don’t care if Ovie doesn’t win the Rocket Richard, Art Ross or Hart trophies. The only individual award that would mean something is the Conn Smythe to go alongside the Stanley Cup. I’m really pulling for him and the Caps to pull it off.

  • “They need to improve on the PK, and get their #1 goalie situation sorted out in their remaining regular season games.”

    Agreed on the PK but are you under the impression there is a goalie controversy? Theo is clearly the #1 option right now.

  • BobbyG

    @neilg: I don’t think there’s a goalie controversy. It just seems that Coach BB has taken his time to decide on #1 but perhaps by now he’s come to the conclusion that should be pretty obvious. I agree, the Caps should ride Theo as far as he’ll take them–hopefully all the way.