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